Rand Paul stumps for GOP attorney general candidate Ed Martin

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul speaks to a crowd of around 50 people at Drury Lodge Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 during a stop with Republican Ed Martin. (Laura Simon)

Republican attorney general candidate Ed Martin returned to Cape Girardeau on Monday night for a campaign stop, bringing with him the support of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and other conservative voices.

Paul and Martin were joined at Drury Lodge by state Rep. Cole McNary, a Republican challenging incumbent Democrat Clint Zweifel in the state treasurer's race. Around 50 people turned out for the event, which included a stump speech by McNary, followed by local conservative author David Limbaugh's introduction of Martin and Paul.

Leading up to the event, Martin's campaign called Paul a "conservative champion," and Monday Martin compared philosophies shared by Paul in his newly released book, "Government Bullies," to the strategies he said he would like to apply in office if he defeats Democratic incumbent Chris Koster in next week's election.

"Pick a topic and the federal government is intruding on our lives," Martin told supporters.

Martin said as attorney general he anticipated he would need to sue the federal government often because of circumstances where the government is attempting "overregulation," as in the case of the federal health care reform law.

Paul also attacked Koster on what Republicans view as the attorney general failing to take adequate action to oppose the mandate in the law that everyone buy insurance, although Koster did file a brief in court during 2011 indicating he believed the mandate is flawed. Missouri was not among the 26 states with mostly Republican attorneys general that fought the law and ultimately led to the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the law but found that arguments made by states were valid.

"The thing is, your current attorney general apparently is either asleep at the switch, or doesn't care about defending you, because when the onslaught of Obamacare came forward, he just ignored your wishes," Paul said.

Paul said he doesn't often travel, although he receives many requests from candidates for support, but he visited Missouri for Martin because he believes Martin "will be a champion and stand up to government bullies."

Martin, according to Limbaugh, is the "real deal."

"There are so many people in the Republican party who are strong candidates who advocate traditional values and limited government, but a lot of those candidates don't adhere to the principles as strictly as Ed Martin," he said.

A Mason-Dixon poll ordered by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star and TV station KMOV in St. Louis that was released Sunday showed Koster with a 14-point lead over Martin, which the Post-Dispatch called "commanding." The lead is the largest in any statewide race in pre-election polling.

Martin said Monday he believes every statewide race in Missouri is "up for grabs."

Paul is not the first Republican from outside Missouri to support Martin by accompanying him on campaign appearances. His bid for the seat has also brought in Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also attempted to join Martin's campaign for several stops last week, but canceled because of a deadly shooting at a suburban Milwaukee salon. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt took over speaking duties for Walker.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

104 Vantage Drive, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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