Around the South for Mar. 26: TN, KY & SC

Tennessee: Corker agrees with Obama on Afghan troop draw-down. US Sen. Bob Corker (R) said in a statement that he agrees with President Obama’s decision to keep the number of US troops in Afghanistan level through the end of the year. “This is the right decision in the effort to improve stability in the region and should signal a continued flexibility based upon circumstances on the ground,” said Alexander, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ……. Kentucky: Paul takes a swipe at Cruz. In reference to newly-announced presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY) told The Hill, “We have very similar voting records and very different approaches for how to grow the party.” He added that “people are excited by anybody who tries to make the party larger,” and cited his support among college students. A Cruz aide responded, “These stories are intended to distract, and we’re not going to take the bait.” Paul is expected to announce his candidacy for the White House on April 7 ……. South Carolina: Graham says GOP has to soul-search on climate change. US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), a potential presidential contender, said in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations this week, “[W]hen it comes to climate change being real, people of my party are all over the board.” But he clarified his own stance, saying “it’s real, that man has contributed to it in a substantial way.” Commenting that his party had to do some “soul searching” on the issue, he said “[T]he problem is, Al Gore’s turned this thing into a religion.” …….