Sunday, August 24, 2014

Paul & Cruz praised, criticized for Ferguson responses

Ferguson response shows libertarian divide between Paul and Cruz | TheHill - Kevin Cirilli:

August 17, 2014 - "Rand Paul and Ted Cruz’s differing tone in response to the Ferguson riots could provide clues for the divergent trails they're forging to woo libertarian voters in 2016.

"Both the Kentucky and Texas Senate Republicans urged that civil liberties be protected in statements following unrest in Ferguson, Mo.. After an officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18 year old African American teen, last weekend, riots have erupted and police have been criticized for using overly-aggressive force against protesters and reporters calling for answers.

"Strategists say Paul struck a more provocative tone against in his TIME op-ed, calling for the demilitarization of police but also noting inequality in the prison system. Meanwhile, Cruz took a more tame tack in calling for protection of civil liberties.

"'With Ferguson, Rand Paul took a more libertarian approach – Ted Cruz is just giving lip-service to civil liberties,' said Wes Benedict, president of the Libertarian Party. 'I think the press sometimes gives Sen. Cruz undue credit for leaning-libertarian, but I just don't see it.' Benedict added: 'You're not really libertarian when your gut reaction is to defend militarized police and say, 'Let's study this"'....

"On Friday, authorities were still releasing details into the investigation, including allegations that Brown robbed a convenience store to steal cigars. His family has since criticized authorities for attempting to smear their son's name, and later the Ferguson police chief said the officer who killed Brown did not know he was a suspect in a robbery that took place minutes earlier....

"Matt Wills, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, praised Cruz for 'saying, let's figure this out first and let cooler heads prevail' and compared Paul's rhetoric to that of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).....

"'Look, I live about 4.5-miles outside of Ferguson,' Wills said. 'I really feel for that community... but the political response from Paul and McCaskill to what happened is a little premature.'"

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