A prime example: During his much-ballyhooed speech at Heritage, Sen. Paul repeated the unsubstantiated claim that in the 1980s “Congress armed bin Laden.”
This is a highly disputed allegation, and one that FactCheck.org deemed an “urban myth.” What’s more, it is an assertion Paul has made on multiple occasions, meaning he didn’t merely misspeak.
Aside from the questionable veracity of the statement (a legitimate factor in its own right), there are political problems here for the Kentucky senator. Is it really wise for a Republican to accuse the Reagan administration of arming bin Laden? That puts Paul into Michael Moore territory.
On the heels of his Tea Party response to the State of the Union, it has become fashionable for pundits to announce that Rand Paul has a real shot at the nomination. But this doesn’t appreciate the difficult maneuver Paul is attempting.
And it will only get harder once conservatives view him as a threat. Like a Rubik’s cube, every move Rand makes in order to please one side or constituency has the potential to anger the other side.