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Rand Paul talks tea party, McConnell and big government in book

FRANKFORT — In his new book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul recounts his tense meeting last year with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in a Louisville airport hangar with Secret Service surrounding them.

McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, was raising campaign money for Paul's opponent, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, in the Republican primary election for the U.S. Senate.

Paul, a Bowling Green eye surgeon who rode a wave of support from the tea party movement to win his first race for public office, said he tried "to keep the conversation light."

"As our meeting continued," Paul said, "Senator McConnell reiterated that he didn't want to get involved in the primary. I thought to myself, 'Not get involved — I wonder what it would mean if he did get involved."

Paul writes of his historic 2010 campaign and his eventual working relationship with McConnell in his 249-page book, now on sale for $21.99.

It primarily provides a spirited defense of his belief in tea party principles. An extra is a list of books that Paul calls "must-read classics." They range from The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Paul, the son of Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, presents the tea party movement and its message of limited government spending as "the most revolutionary force in politics today."

He criticizes President Obama's "big-government agenda," but bristles at the suggestion that the movement is against Obama because of race.

"The tea party doesn't see politics in black and white," Paul wrote, "but black and red — even as its critics continue to see racism when it simply does not exist."

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