Watch Rand Paul Bolt as an Immigration Activist Confronts Steve King

The Kentucky Republican didn’t stick around when a “Dreamer” showed up to an Iowa fundraiser.

Sen. Rand Paul speaks at the Pottawattamie County Republican headquarters on August 4, 2014 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
Aug. 5, 2014, 3:43 a.m.

Sen. Rand Paul didn’t even get to fin­ish chew­ing.

With­in mo­ments of Erika An­diola in­tro­du­cing her­self as a “Dream­er” im­mig­ra­tion act­iv­ist to Paul and Rep. Steve King at an Iowa fun­draiser on Monday, the Ken­tucky sen­at­or and likely 2016 GOP pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate made a hasty exit.

An­diola first ap­proached the table where Paul and King were seated, shak­ing hands with each and in­tro­du­cing her­self. “My name is Erika,” she said. As Paul leaned in to take a bite of his ham­burger, An­diola ad­ded, “I’m ac­tu­ally a Dream­er my­self.”

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With a head nod from aide Ser­gio Gor, Paul wiped his mouth and de­par­ted while still vis­ibly chew­ing, leav­ing be­hind his half-eaten ham­burger. (Paul did grab his bever­age on the way out.)

The awk­ward scene was a visu­al re­mind­er of the polit­ic­al tightrope Paul is try­ing to walk as he woos the tea-party base of the GOP, rais­ing money for a con­ser­vat­ive firebrand like King, at the same time he pitches an in­clu­sion­ary mes­sage of a Re­pub­lic­an Party that he says must ex­pand its ap­peal to win fu­ture na­tion­al elec­tions.

“In­stead of ac­tu­ally stay­ing there and talk­ing to us about it, he just de­cided to run away,” An­diola said in an in­ter­view Monday night.

Gor said in an email, “Sen­at­or Paul had a me­dia avail after the event and that’s where we had to be. CNN, Buzzfeed, Wall Street Journ­al and sev­er­al loc­al out­lets at­ten­ded the me­dia avail.”

The fast exit may have been for the best polit­ic­ally. One minute in­to a video, which was pos­ted on­line Monday, King cuts An­diola off and grabs her hand. “Stop a minute,” King tells her. “You’re very good at Eng­lish. You know what I’m say­ing.”

An­diola had ref­er­enced King’s con­tro­ver­sial re­mark last year that some un­doc­u­mented im­mig­ra­tions have “calves the size of can­ta­loupes” from haul­ing drugs across the bor­der.

An­diola ob­jec­ted to that as an in­sult. King ob­jec­ted to her ob­jec­tion. “I spoke of drug smug­glers. Now, you’re not go­ing to tell me you’re one of them are you?” he asked her.

“Do I look like a drug smug­gler to you?” she replied.

The King fun­draiser came on the first day of a mul­ti­day swing Paul is mak­ing across Iowa, the state that will kick off the 2016 pres­id­en­tial primary cam­paign.

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