Jun 5, 2015 10:44 PM
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
MANCHESTER – Rand Paul rarely passes up on an opportunity to criticize Hillary Clinton.
But he did on Friday evening.
The senator from Kentucky and Republican presidential candidate, in New Hampshire to open his Granite State campaign headquarters, spoke with reporters and was asked by NH1 News about Clinton’s attack on fellow GOP White House hopefuls over efforts to make voter registration harder.
Paul replied that “I’ve tried to make it more inclusive so more people could vote.”
Asked by NH1 News if others in the GOP are preventing people to vote, Paul said that “all I know is what I’m trying to do, and I think it’s a good idea for Republicans to be the party to vote, for allowing people to vote.”
On Thursday at a speech in Texas, Clinton called for automatic voter registration and early voting in all 50 states, efforts that have faced push back from Republicans. She also called out Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for making registration more difficult in their states and for purging voter rolls.
Clinton, the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, also singled out New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for vetoing a bill that would have expanded the Garden State’s early voting hours. At the time Christie called the measure "hasty, counterproductive and less reliable" than the current system.
Christie was campaigning in Concord on Friday morning, and unlike Paul, he didn’t pass up a chance to push back against Clinton.
“Secretary Clinton doesn’t know the first thing about voting rights in New Jersey or in the other states that she attacked. My sense is that she just wants an opportunity to commit greater acts of fraud across the country. So I’m not worried about her opinion,” Christie told reporters.
Paul touts poll numbers
Paul spoke to a throng of supporters jam-packed into the campaign’s small offices in downtown Manchester. After giving a brief speech, Paul shook hands, signed autographs and took selfies with his supporters, both inside the offices and outside in an adjoining parking lot.
Asked by NH1 News of his reaction to some reports in the national media that his campaign was floundering, Paul said “I would say they’re confused, they’re wrong and they should come out and see the great crowds we’re having. I think we’re doing very well. In fact even the polling data looks pretty good from almost any perspective. Several national polls in the past two weeks basically have us in a statistical tie for the lead. In most of the polls in New Hampshire I think we’re in the top three.”
Paul was also questioned about his push in the Senate last weekend to prevent the renewal of the Patriot Act over his opposition to the collection of Americans’ phone records by the National Security Agency. While some pundits say Paul’s move will hurt him with Republican primary voters, Paul disagreed, saying “it might have been a backlash from the Washington machine and maybe some folks who are part of the establishment. But if you look at the backlash from the voters, I think it’s all been positive.”
Paul then yelled to a throng of supporter who were surrounding him, asking them “hey anybody here think it’s a good idea for the government to have all your phone records?”
The crowd yelled out an emphatic “no.”
“I think the backlash is pretty good,” Paul replied.
The opening of Paul’s headquarters in Manchester kicked off a three-day swing for the senator through the first-in-the-nation primary state.
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