Sens. Lamar Alexander and Rand Paul participated in a round table on charter schools Monday at Kipp Academy.
By ERIK SCHELZIG Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Kentucky's Rand Paul said Monday
that he's "very supportive" of fellow U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander but
stopped short of endorsing the Tennessee Republican, who is up for re-election
has been working to fend off potential primary challengers from the right. Tea
party activists unhappy with Alexander staged a counter-rally last week when
the senator held a campaign event in Smyrna. But a GOP opponent has yet to
Alexander's first TV
ad of the campaign features Paul, a tea party favorite, in the two senators'
role in halting an Army Corps of Engineers plan to erect barriers to prevent
people from fishing below dams on the Cumberland River. The spot includes
video of Paul saying: "Nobody wants to say no to Lamar Alexander."
Paul told reporters
before a forum at a Nashville charter school on Monday that he didn't want to
be drawn into what he called a media-driven "parlor game" about
supportive of Sen. Alexander, and I hope he doesn't get an opponent, I
hope he wins re-election," Paul said. "I'm very supportive of him,
but I really just don't want to get trapped into all these political
But Paul, who is
considering a presidential bid in 2016, hasn't completely exempted himself from
political endorsements in Tennessee. He was in suburban Nashville on Sunday
night to speak at a fundraiser for state Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin.
Alexander said he
was comfortable with Paul's position, noting that he has not been endorsed by
any other U.S. senator other than Bob Corker, a fellow Tennessee Republican.
"We're not here
to endorse each other," Alexander said. "What I try to do is earn the
respect of my colleagues. And Rand Paul has certainly earned my respect for the
way he speaks out and works on education, and I hope I can earn his.
"So we're not
here about endorsements; we're here about how can we help teachers, and
parents and children, and I appreciate very much what he has to say," he
Alexander said his
campaign ad featuring Paul was not meant to give the impression that he had won
"My TV ad I
hope gives the impression that we're pretty effective when it comes to
defending the rights of fishermen," Alexander said.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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