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Published On: Thu, Jan 26th, 2017

Rand Paul says John Lewis is a ‘civil rights icon’ but not immune to criticism

Sen. Rand Paul praised Georgia Rep. John Lewis Sunday as a civil rights icon, but said he’s not “immune” to criticism from political opponents. The remarks come in response to then President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of crime in Lewis’ district.

“John Lewis isn’t in a position where there can’t be a healthy debate. Because he’s a civil rights icon, shouldn’t make him immune” to criticism, the Kentucky senator told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump’s tweet drew attacks from liberal supporters. Paul added that Lewis is, like his Democratic colleagues, a fair subject for criticism from across the aisle.

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“John Lewis is a partisan,” he said. “I have a great deal of respect for him, but he is a partisan and I disagree with him on issues. I should be able to honestly disagree with him and not have it all come back to I have no appreciation for a civil rights icon because of this and I think that’s the part I think somehow is unfair in this.”

Then Vice President-elect Mike Pence said in a separate interview he was “deeply disappointed” to see Lewis question Trump’s legitimacy.
“Donald Trump has the right to defend himself,” Pence told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “When someone of John Lewis’ stature, someone who is not only an icon in the civil rights movement, but also by somebody who by virtue of his sacrifice on that day we know as bloody Sunday … for someone of his stature to use terms like this — that (Trump) is not a legitimate president — it’s just deeply disappointing to me.”
Pence said he hoped Lewis reconsiders his decision to skip inauguration. HE DID NOT.
Incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus called Lewis’ comments “incredibly disappointing.”
“We look up to John Lewis and his historic contribution to civil rights and voting rights,” Priebus told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “It’s incredibly disappointing, and I think it’s irresponsible, for people like himself to question the legitimacy of the next United States president.”

photo / donkeyhotey

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