Sen. Rand Paul Makes Unusual Abortion, Low-Flush Toilet Link

Sen. Rand Paul talks with reporters, March 2, 2011. i

Sen. Rand Paul talks with reporters, March 2, 2011. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Sen. Rand Paul talks with reporters, March 2, 2011.

Sen. Rand Paul talks with reporters, March 2, 2011.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It's probably safe to say when most people discuss abortion rights, low-flush toilets don't typically enter the conversation.

But Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, one of Congress' new Republican stars, established early during his campaign last year that he could be an unorthodox thinker, to say the least.

He reminded us of that Thursday when he reprimanded Energy Department official Kathleen Hogan for federally imposed rules that require manufacturers to offer consumers products deemed environmentally friendly even if they're not so user friendly.

To make his point, according to's Darius Dixon, Paul asked Hogan a question Energy Department officials don't normally get at a hearing on appliance efficiency. Was she pro-choice on the abortion issue?

Hogan deftly side-stepped that landmine by saying she was pro-choice on lightbulbs.

Paul's allegation was that while Democrats tend to be pro-choice on abortion, they favor less choice when it comes to consumer products. And he was particularly ticked off about the lack of choice in certain plumbing fixtures.

A excerpt:

Back to abortion, he said, "I think there should be self-examination from the administration on the idea that you favor a woman's right to an abortion but you don't favor a woman, or a man's, right to choose what kind of light bulb, what kind of dishwasher."

In the middle of her response to Paul's line of comments, Hogan said, "My view is what you want —"

"Is to buy a toilet that works!" Paul interrupted.

Hogan replied: "I can help you find a toilet that works."

"I've been waiting 20 years to talk about how bad these toilets are," Paul later said.

Chairman Jeff Bingaman responded, "Well, I'm sorry about your toilet."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from