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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul is once again at the center of controversy. He is engaged in a new war of words with President Obama.
Paul opposed the now-failed gun control measures that the president is pushing. But what's getting attention are Paul's accusations that Pres. Obama is using the Newtown families for political purposes.
Paul's comments about the President and the Newtown families came during a breakfast meeting with journalists on Wednesday. "I know they're coming voluntarily, and they want to come and be part of this debate, but it still saddens me just to see them. And I think in some cases the President has used them as props," said Paul.
Later, after the Senate defeat of the gun control measures he supported, the President shot back; accompanied, ironically, by Newtown families.
"I've heard folks say that having the families of victims lobby for this legislation is somehow misplaced. A prop somebody called them. Emotional blackmail, some outlets said. Are they serious?"
Today, Paul was not backing down but, in an interview with conservative talk show host Peter Schiff, he tried to clarify his comments.
"I just think that it's wrong to take those emotions and that sadness and politicize it. And every ounce of my body has sympathy for them," said Paul.
Paul has become known as a politician not afraid to speak his mind. Observers say that could work both for him and against him, especially as he eyes a possible run for president.
"It can work both ways. Clearly a lot of people appreciate that and others may say, well, would be left best for someone else to say, not someone who's going to be running for president," said Dewey Clayton, professor of political science at the University of Louisville.
But there's no doubt Rand Paul is making waves. He's just been named as one of Time Magazines 100 most influential people.
Paul did a number of national talk shows today, but his office did not respond to our requests for an interview.