Rand Paul is being pushed into a corner.
Just a day after both Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made headlines with their comments on vaccinations, congressional Republicans and at least two potential 2016 challengers moved quickly Tuesday to declare their support for inoculating children against disease.
Most significant, the issue opened a rift between Paul and one of his most prominent allies in Congress: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Less than 24 hours after Paul questioned the use of vaccines, saying he'd "heard of many tragic cases" of vaccinated children "who wound up with profound mental disorders," McConnell pronounced himself "a big fan" of vaccination.
McConnell, noting that he suffered from polio himself as a child, said at a press conference Tuesday that if he were a parent of a young child he would vaccinate him or her.
Despite their rhetorical break, McConnell would not say whether vaccines should be mandated, stating again that as a parent he would support the practice. McConnell, who benefited greatly from Paul's support in his own Senate race last year, is expected to back Paul for the presidency in 2016.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is expected to run against Paul and Christie for president in 2016, put out a strong statement of his own Tuesday urging parents to vaccinate their children. "Every one," he said.