STEELE ‘NOT COMFORTABLE’ WITH SOME RAND PAUL VIEWS…. Rand Paul, the Republicans’ U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky, has repeatedly stated his opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This morning, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked RNC Chairman Michael Steele if he’s “comfortable with” Paul’s extreme ideology.

“I’m not comfortable with a lot of things,” Steele said.

“It sounds like you’re not comfortable with it,” Tapper said.

“I just said I wasn’t comfortable with it,” Steele replied.

Well, Steele hadn’t just said that, but it looks like he got there eventually.

The RNC chief added that Paul is motivated by a “philosophical position” and “philosophical perspective.” I suspect that’s probably true. But that doesn’t change the fact that Rand Paul’s political worldview is a) is poorly thought out; b) not even close to the American mainstream; and c) the kind of political philosophy that leads to unacceptable real-world consequences.

In other words, it’s not much of a defense. Steele’s point seems to be that Rand Paul is motivated by racism. That may be true. But when a U.S. Senate candidate in the 21st century opposes the Civil Rights Act, it’s hardly acceptable for his allies to argue, “It’s O.K.; his opposition is ‘philosophical.’”

As for the electoral context, Steele, who had to know Tapper’s question was coming, just handed Democrats a script for a campaign ad in Kentucky: “How extreme is Rand Paul? Even the Republican National Committee has said it’s ‘not comfortable’ with Paul’s ideology.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.