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Rand Paul won't let John Lewis's past on civil rights shield him from criticism

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., smiles as the crowd gathered at his victory celebration cheers his victory, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 in Louisville Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul decided to weigh in on the feud between Georgia Rep. John Lewis, and President-elect Donald Trump.

It started when Lewis questioned Trump's legitimacy as president due to the Russian hacking, causing Trump to return fire as he tends to on Twitter, saying he should "spend more time helping and fixing his district, and calling Lewis "all talk" and "no action."

This caused many to speak out against Trump, taking issue with the way the President-elect addressed Lewis, especially on Martin Luther King day. Lewis has a history of civil rights advocacy during the civil rights era in the 1960's, having been one of those beating on 1965's "Bloody Sunday" protests. Some of those who rose to defend Lewis weren't just leftist however, as the Washington Post listed tweets from well known Republicans.

Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) said he disagreed with calling the election illegitimate but said Lewis “deserves all of our respect. He's earned it.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) riffed on Trump's tweets in defending Lewis: “John Lewis and his 'talk' have changed the world.”

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) replied to one of Trump's tweets about Lewis with: “Dude, just stop.”

While Paul stated that he has great respect for that, he won't let Lewis's history stop him from making legitimate criticisms as to his policies, and principles.

"John Lewis isn't in a position where there can't be a healthy debate. Because he's a civil rights icon, shouldn't make him immune," Paul told Tapper.

"John Lewis is a partisan," continued Paul later. "I have a great deal of respect for him, but he's a partisan, and I disagree with him on issues. I should be able to honestly disagree with him, and not have it all come back to I have no appreciation for civil rights icon because of this. I think that's the part that's sometimes unfair in this."

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