Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey on Wednesday critiqued Kentucky Republican Rand Paul's decision to appear on The Rachel Maddow Show last month, saying that the Tea Party-backed Senate candidate "walked right into a buzzsaw" by going on the MSNBC program.
"Rand Paul made an amateur mistake," Armey said of Paul's judgment to conduct an interview with Maddow at a Christian Science Monitor event in Washington. "He thought MSNBC was a legitimate news organization, bless his heart... You don't want to talk to anyone in the press that is unprofessional or lazy. Now, basically what he did in that case was, he walked into the buzzsaw."
On the heels of Paul's victory in Kentucky's GOP Senate primary, the Tea Party favorite ignited a firestorm of controversy when he criticized the 1964 Civil Right Act -- which made it illegal for private businesses to discriminate on the basis of race -- on Maddow's show.
In the wake of Paul's widely-scrutinized remarks, Armey still stressed the importance of Tea Party-backed candidates embracing the press.
"The fact of the matter is that you cannot have a functioning democracy without a free, fair, responsible press," Armey explained. "Irrespective of the number of disappointments that you will have in the press, you must always be willing to take a chance on someone who says I'm from the press and I'm here to interview you, until you know for certain that this is one of the unreliable ones."
WATCH a clip of Armey's appearance at the Christian Science Monitor event: