After a series of deadly tornadoes hit the midwest, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., requested federal aid for his home state of Kentucky. Twitter users then quickly criticized Paul for his previous opposition to disaster relief.
In a letter to President Biden, Paul wrote., "The Governor of the Commonwealth has requested federal assistance this morning, and certainly further requests will be coming as the situation is assessed. I fully support those requests and ask that you move expeditiously to approve the appropriate resources."
Kentucky's congressional delegation wrote another letter requesting "much-needed assistance." This morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., thanked Biden in a tweet for "the Administration's quick work to speed resources to help deal with this crisis."
However, users on Twitter uncovered several instances where Paul criticized other politicians for requesting disaster relief and even voting against disaster relief bills.
When former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey requested federal aid for Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Paul criticized Christie for having a "gimme, gimme, gimme," attitude.
In 2017, the Senate passed a disaster relief bill for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, with Paul being one of 17 senators — all Republicans — who voted No. Paul, speaking against the bill, said "People here will say they have great compassion and they want to help the people of Puerto Rico, the people of Texas, and the people of Florida. But notice they have great compassion with somebody else's money."
Aaron Rupar, former journalist at Vox, wrote on Twitter, "Turns out, @RandPaul, that people can't bootstrap their way out of a storm destroying their house."
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., reacting to Paul's letter, wrote, "Glad he is finally realizing states needing federal assistance after a disaster isn't gritty, wasteful or being "compassionate with someone else's money".
Rep. Eric Swawell, D-Calif., echoed similar sentiments, saying "We should do all we can to help our Kentucky neighbors. God be with them — they are hurting. But do not for one second forget that @RandPaul has voted against helping most Americans most times they're in need."
Jemele Hill, contributing writer for The Atlantic, pointed out how Paul's hypocrisy can be used against him, tweeting, "We know @RandPaul is a heartless hypocrite. The people in Kentucky deserve the relief regardless of their buffoonish leadership, but if the Dems don't use this against him and his party in the future, it is a missed opportunity."
Helen Kennedey, former reporter at the New York Daily News, said "Kentuckians might want to have a think about who they choose to represent them."