May 21, 2024
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) teamed up with former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines in a new campaign ad taking aim at transgender athletes competing in women’s sports.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) teamed up with former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines in a new campaign ad taking aim at transgender athletes competing in women’s sports.

The 30-second spot, which is slated to air digitally and on television, features Gaines, who gained attention for speaking out on the issue after being defeated in a national match by transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, asserting she plans to vote for Paul and applauding him for his support on the issue.

“I trained from an early age, giving it my all to achieve my dream. And I accomplished it, becoming a 12-time All-American swimmer at the University of Kentucky,” Gaines says in the ad.

“But for girls across America, that dream is being taken away by men competing in women’s sports,” Gaines added. “Sadly, few stood up for me, but Rand Paul is not afraid to fight for fairness for women and girls, and that’s why I’m supporting him.”

Paul told the Washington Examiner that he got in contact with Gaines after seeing her appear on Tucker Carlson Tonight a few months back and felt it was an issue that he should address.


“I was waiting for someone to stand up for us. Really, over the course of a couple of months, when this all broke issue, or broken to light became an issue,” Gaines said in an interview.

“But it was about March when we competed, and finally, when I realized, you know, we weren’t getting that as female athletes, I took it upon myself to speak out. When Sen. Paul made it apparent that he was willing to stand up for us, that’s very easily something I decided I wanted to align myself with.”

Paul said that while the GOP has largely encouraged members to focus on issues like the economy heading into the midterm elections, he feels transgender women competing in women’s sports is an issue that could resonate with swing voters.

“I think it’s more of a cultural phenomenon than it is even a political one. You go to political meetings, and you’re right, we were talking about the rising price of gasoline and this and that. But inevitably, as you talk to people more and more, particularly people who have women, or have girls who compete in sports, this idea of fairness is now unfair, it is — and just this idea of where are we going? I mean, my goodness, you know that all of a sudden, we’re thinking that this is the new normal? And I don’t think it is.” Paul told the Washington Examiner.


“I think if you were to ask people, this is why it’s important, why we talk about it. If you were to ask Kentuckians, ‘Should men be allowed to compete in women’s sports?’ I think 95% of Kentuckians would say no, even if they’re Democrats, liberals, independents, you name it. I think it cuts across party lines because people do see this as just being unfair,” he added.

Transgender athletes in sports have proven to be a controversial topic, with proponents of the NCAA’s decision to allow Lia Thomas to compete arguing that barring transgender people from competing is discriminatory. Critics of the policy argue that those biologically born as men have an unfair physical advantage.

A growing number of GOP-led states have looked to implement policies barring transgender individuals from competing in female sports leagues.

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