Campaign Watchdog: Paul didn't say he wants to abolish agriculture department

Each week, the Herald-Leader will fact-check statements made by candidates and their surrogates in the campaigns for Lexington mayor, the 6th Congressional District and U.S. Senate.


The statement: U.S. Senate Republican nominee Rand Paul "wants to do away with the Department of Agriculture, the federal department that monitors the safety of the food we eat, helps open new global agricultural markets for Kentucky products and supports the rights of rural agricultural workers."

The Kentucky Democratic Party in mock checks it distributed Aug. 26, 2010, at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast.

The ruling: False

The facts: Democrats, including Paul's Democratic challenger, Jack Conway, say they base their comment that Paul wants to abolish the agriculture department on a news report last May in The Courier-Journal about an interview Paul had with the newspaper's editorial board.

Paul maintains that he has never said he is for eliminating the agriculture department.

A videotape of the editorial board interview shows that Paul was asked what federal departments should be abolished.

He said the Department of Education, the Department of Energy and "maybe Commerce."

Asked about the Department of Agriculture, Paul said, "Well, I'm not for the big subsidies out of the agriculture department, whether you have one or not."

He added that it is doubtful that any federal department will be eliminated, "but we certainly have to get rid of the stuff that is bad in those departments."

Jack Brammer

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