Presidential hopeful Rand Paul talks about campaign, Charleston shooting

Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was in the Local 6 area on Friday.

Paul helped local ophthalmologist Dr. Barbara Bowers celebrate her new eye care facility with a ribbon cutting, then they scrubbed and got ready for eye surgery.

Paul took time before the festivities and surgery to talk about his run for the Republican nomination and reflect on the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Paul called the tragedy “mind-boggling.”

“To me it represents a deeper problem,” he said. “Obviously there is a law enforcement response. We need to capture and separate this person or punish this person so this thing doesn’t happen, but there’s also to me a sense of what’s wrong with this person? What’s wrong with society that someone would kill innocent people, particularly in a church?”

He said he knows gun control will become a hot topic again but said he doesn’t think guns are the problem. 

“I think guns can be good or bad, but I think guns in self-defense are a good thing,” he said.

Paul addressed the growing crowd of GOP candidates and told Local 6 he believes he stands out.

“I’m one of the few Republicans that says, ‘Let’s think before we act. Let’s look before we leap,’ and not everything we’ve intervened in the Middle East its been good for our country,” he said. 

He added that he’s been targeting different voters who haven’t heard his message and thinks that’s making him a true competitor of Hillary Clinton. 

“As this all comes together, that’s consistent with my message that sometimes big government messes things up,” he said. “I think that it’s starting to resonate and I think that’s why we’re leading Hillary Clinton among independent across the country.” 

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