Rand Paul: ‘Amnesty’ a Muddled Term that Has ‘Trapped’ GOP

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that the term “amnesty” –- a charge often levied in clashes between the Tea Party and pragmatic wings of the GOP — has “trapped” the Republican Party.

“I think we’ve been somewhat trapped by rhetoric and words, and amnesty is a word that’s kind of trapped us,” Paul told reporters on a conference call organized by the Partnership for a New American Economy, a pro-immigration reform group.

“We’re trapped in a word that means different things to different people, and the people who are opposed to all reform think amnesty means everything, and then other people think amnesty means another thing,” Paul added. “And I really think that some of it is we’re trapped in is rhetoric and that we have to get beyond that.”

Paul, who supports some aspects of an immigration overhaul but voted against the bipartisan Senate reform bill passed last year, said he stands by his position on the issue. And he disputed the notion that the surprising defeat of top Republican Eric Cantor in Tuesday night’s primary is a clear-cut sign that immigration reform is too politically fraught for Republicans this year.

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