Politics & Government

Rand Paul would hurt farmers, Democrats tell group

LOUISVILLE — Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear sharply criticized Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul on Thursday, telling a farm group of about 1,600 that Paul's agricultural policies would hurt them.

Without mentioning Paul by name, Beshear said Kentuckians are hearing "a lot of loose political talk" about the need to eliminate federal programs that provide a safety net for farmers, such as farm subsidies and efforts to "shutter the doors" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

After the 47th annual Kentucky Country Ham Breakfast, the Democratic governor told reporters he was referring to comments by Paul. "Anybody who takes that attitude toward farming doesn't know much about farming," Beshear said.

Paul had left the breakfast and was not immediately available to comment on Beshear's remarks, but he had said earlier that Democrats are misrepresenting his views.

Paul has said federal farm subsidies are generally not a good idea and that government should have tighter controls on them to get rid of waste. He also has said he is not for the elimination of the Agriculture Department but that some of its programs are wasteful.

The Kentucky Democratic Party distributed to people at the breakfast a mock check worth "$0.00" dated "11/3/10," a day after the Nov. 2 general election.

It was made out to Kentucky Farmers, and signed by "Rand Paul." In its memo line was written, "Don't spend it all in one place! Rand."

Read more of this story at Kentucky.com