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Chad’s Morning Brief: McCain Calls Benghazi a Cover-Up, Lubbock City Council Elections Just a Year Away, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of May 13, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

1. Cover-Up (link)

Republicans and Democrats are starting to point fingers at the White House and Senator John McCain on Sunday had no problem calling Benghazi what it was. A cover-up.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday the Obama administration engaged in a “cover-up” after the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

“I’d call it a cover-up,” McCain said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I would call it a cover-up in the extent that there was willful removal of information, which was obvious. It was obvious.”

McCain said a select committee should be convened to investigate Benghazi — and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be called back to Capitol Hill to testify. But he split with other GOP senators who have suggested that the administration’s handling of the incident could rise to the level of impeachment.

“We need a select committee that interviews everybody,” McCain said. “I don’t know what level of scandal, unquote, this rises to, but I know it rises to the level where it requires a full and complete ventilation of these facts.”

McCain and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) both said on the Sunday shows that while they have more questions about Benghazi, they don’t believe President Obama should be impeached over the attacks.

Could we see Hillary Clinton testify again? It wouldn’t shock me.

2. One Year

The City of Lubbock is about a year away from local city council elections. As we all know, and have seen locally, elections have consequences. I believe that it’s safe to say that this is the most liberal City Council this city has seen in a long time. That is something that everyone must think about over the next year. Who will be running for office? It’s too early to know for sure, but four members of the council are up for re-election. Districts 1, 3, 5 along with the Mayor’s seat will all be on the ballot next year.

Will we see some conservatives run in those districts? I hope so. I believe the Mayor has done a good job with what he has to work with, but we need to see some new leadership in those districts.

3. Paul Courting Evangelicals (link)

According to the Washington Post, Senator Rand Paul is aggressively seeking out evangelicals. Paul is doing so in hopes of winning over a GOP establishment that doesn’t trust him completely.

Earlier this spring, Sen. Rand Paul and his wife, Kelley, invited a crew from the Christian Broadcasting Network into their Kentucky home for what turned into two full days of reality TV. In a half-hour special, “At Home With Rand Paul,” the couple are seen bird-watching in the woods, going to McDonald’s and, especially, talking about religion — their belief in traditional marriage and the senator’s call for a “spiritual cleansing” in America.

The appearance was an unusual moment for Paul, who has gained notoriety as a live-and-let-live, tea party hero closely aligned with the libertarian movement inspired by his father, former representative Ron Paul — and not as a social conservative.

For the past few months, though, Paul has aggressively courted evangelicals, not only with the CBN special, but also with a trip to Israel, numerous events with pastors and a handful of appearances in Iowa this weekend.

Paul’s play for evangelical support is part of a broader effort by the rookie senator to court the Republican establishment — much of which views him with suspicion — and become a mainstream political player in a way that his father never was. The younger Paul, for instance, does not even call himself a libertarian, but rather a “libertarian Republican.”

As he openly considers a run for president in 2016, Paul’s rebranding effort is a test of both his political skills and the state of the modern Republican Party. For Paul, the question is whether he can win over the establishment without upsetting his tea party base. For the Republican Party, Paul again raises the question of whether anyone can gain the trust of both sides.

The first step for Paul is to make clear who he is and who he is not. The younger Paul, for instance, embraces support for Israel and does not, as Ron Paul did during a memorable 2011 moment, deliver any impassioned defenses for letting people use heroin if they want.

At a lunch Friday with about a dozen evangelical pastors in a Cedar Rapids hotel, Paul assured the group that he disagreed with libertarians who support legalizing drugs. When one pastor inquired about ideological ties between Paul and his father, the senator asked that he be judged as his own man.

Paul said he believes in freedom and wants a “virtuous society” where people practice “self-restraint.” Yet he believes in laws and limits, as well. Instead of advocating for legalized drugs, for example, he pushes for reduced penalties for many drug offenses.

I like Rand Paul and agree with him on many, if not most issues. My concern with Paul is on the issue of defense. I believe we must have a President that isn’t only a reactionary with our military.

Other Top Stories:

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Insurance Must Cover Eating Disorders

Lawyer Speaks Out Against West Paramedic’s Charges

IRS Officials Knew of Tea Party Targeting

New Orleans Mother’s Day Parade Shooting

Gay-Rights Groups Press Obama on Immigration

CNN: Interview with Castro Brothers

Obama: Seek Out Those With Different Beliefs

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com

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