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
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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.”

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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