Saturday, October 22, 2016

Rand Paul

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Rand Paul

In one of the most bizarre campaign ads put out by a major presidential candidate, Rand Paul released an odd cartoon called “Audit the Ted” last week.

The cartoon, complete with computerized voiceover, was critical of Ted Cruz’s refusal to vote against an audit of the Federal Reserve.

Sen. Paul, who has been at the bottom of the pack of presidential contenders, refused to participate in the “undercard” debate hosted last week in Charlston, S.C.

While Rand received a surge in media coverage over his refusal to be considered a “2nd tier candidate” he has already dropped in the polls over what many viewed as a temper tantrum.

Rand Paul is now considering himself a “libertarian candidate” despite avoiding the label in the past.

The ad below, makes him look like a third-party candidate:

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rand paul

Kentucky Senator and Presidential hopeful Rand Paul didn’t make the cut for the upcoming GOP debate hosted by Fox Business.

The debate to take place on January 14th in Charleston, South Carolina, narrowed the field of contenders and is allowing only the top six candidates according to national polls.

Candidates who land in the top five in Iowa or New Hampshire polls will also be included.

Rand Paul is ranked seventh with a polling average of just 2.8%.

Jeb Bush’s failing campaign barely made the cut with 3.8% of the vote.

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush will participate in the main event.

After being relegated to the “2nd Tier” stage, Rand Paul made the unilateral decision to not participate in the debate.

Sounding like a spoiled child, Rand, the son of Ron Paul, whined to CNN, “”We will not participate in anything that’s not first tier.”

“We do not think that anyone should be able to characterize our campaign as anything less than first tier,” Paul said. “We’ve raised $25 million. We’ll be on the ballot in every state and we just announced the other day we have 1,000 precinct chairs in Iowa.”

Given that the candidate has raised $25 million and has 1,000 volunteers in Iowa, Rand Paul should be doing far better in the polls.

Characterizing Rand Paul’s campaign as 2nd Tier or worse would be accurate given his inability to garner more support from the public despite his significant fundraising efforts.

Donald Trump has raised only $6 million yet remains the top candidate in the polls.

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Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), the libertarian-leaning candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, took the gloves off on Thursday night’s debate.

Paul–who has seen his poll numbers and fundraising totals crater over the last few months–decided to go for broke, and squarely attacked his opponents on the debate stage.

His fiercest fight came when he got into a tough match with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after Christie advocated for continued government collection of phone records in order to combat terrorism.

Paul, who has been a fierce opponent of the NSA’s domestic wiretapping, shot back: “I want to collect more records from terrorists from less records from innocent Americans. The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the revolution over. John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence. And I’m proud of standing for the Bill of Rights! And I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights!”

Christie responded: “That’s a completely ridiculous answer…. How are you supposed to know [which records are from terrorists]?”

Shouting over Christie, Paul countered, “Use the Fourth Amendment! Use the Fourth Amendment! Get a warrant! Get a judge to sign a warrant! Use the Constitution!”

Rand Paul’s campaign has been under increasing strain over the last few weeks.

Aside from his poll numbers, he’s seen a top aide get indicted and his father’s former director of fundraising pen a scathing editorial about how the younger Paul was apparently abandoning libertarian principles during his presidential run.

Only time will tell whether Rand Paul’s aggressive debate performance will help him regain the ground he’s lost over the past few weeks–or if it will further turn off the Republican base to his beliefs.

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A longtime aide to presidential candidate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), has been indicted over payments that allegedly intended to buy an endorsement for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), the father of Rand Paul, is a libertarian folk hero, who ran for President in both 2008 and 2012.

Federal prosecutors allege that Jesse Benton–who currently leads Rand Paul’s super PAC but previously worked for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign– arranged to pay an Iowa state Senator, Kent Sorenson, $70,000 to shift his support from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to Ron Paul for the 2012 election. The payments were apparently concealed from others on the Ron Paul campaign, including Ron Paul himself.

Two other former Ron Paul staffers were also indicted for their role in the payout scheme.

This latest blow comes at a bad time for Rand Paul. Paul has continue to slip in the polls for the Republican nomination, and last month announced lackluster fundraising totals.

Worse, it seems that Paul is having trouble even holding on to his father’s libertarian base. Last week, Ron Paul’s former head of fundraising, Jonathan Bydlak, penned an article in Politico, entitled “Why I’m Tired of Defending Rand Paul.”

With the primaries just now kicking into high gear, Rand Paul’s campaign isn’t dead in the water just yet–but it remains to be seen how this latest corruption scandal will affect the reform-minded image that the Paul campaign is trying to project.

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Rand Paul knows exactly why Donald Trump is the new frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

“Television works, Wolf,” Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, in response to why Paul’s support was lagging. “If you would give some other candidates time from eight in the morning to eight at night all day long for three weeks, I’m guessing some other candidates might rise as well.”

Trump has been a media juggernaut almost since he announced his candidacy in June. Coupled with the controversial statements that seem to come out of his mouth every few days, the media circus around the fabled businessman and showman continues to grow.

In the past few weeks, Trump has shot to the top of the crowded Republican field, with 20% support–making him the clear frontrunner, above move traditional “top tier” candidates like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker.

Rand Paul is in the second tier of candidates, with roughly 5% support.

Paul continued to rant about Trump’s media attention.

“So, for example, while some people are hearing about one candidate all the time, very few people know I’ve offered a tax code, that you could fill out your taxes on one page [at] 14.5%,” Paul said. “So if I had a billion dollars’ worth of advertising and every network going gaga over that, I think we could get our

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to rise also.”

“But there’s going to be time for that,” he added. “I think this is a temporary loss of sanity, but we’re gonna come back to our senses and look for somebody to lead our country at some point.”

The first Republican debate is on Fox News, on August 6. While the stakes will be high for any candidate, they’ll be especially high for Donald Trump–where he’ll have to prove whether or not he has the substance and the command of policy issue that he needs to become President of the United States.

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Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who’s running for the Republican presidential nomination, is “very concerned” about Muslims immigrating to the United States, according to a recent interview with Breitbart News.

“I’m very concerned about immigration to this country from countries that have hotbeds of jihadism and hotbeds of this Islamism,” Paul said. “I think there does need to be heightened scrutiny. Nobody has a right to come to America, so this isn’t something that we can say ‘oh, their rights are being violated.’ It’s a privilege to come to America and we need to thoroughly screen those who are coming.”

He added that extra scrutiny is needed to make sure those immigrating from countries with strong terrorist ties aren’t coming for nefarious reasons.

“I think we’re doing the wrong thing by just having this open door policy to bring in people without significant scrutiny,” he explained.

“I’m for increasing scrutiny on people who come on student visas from the 25 countries that have significant jihadism. Also, any kind of permanent visas or green cards, we need to be very careful. I don’t think we’re being careful enough with who we let in.”

After the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security exercised extra scrutiny for people coming from and leaving to certain countries, ranked by the possibility of national security threats. But that program was ended in 2011.

Paul, who is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, plans to reinstate that program, to help weed out possible terrorists who want to immigrate to the United States.

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In his push to be seen as a mainstream Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016, libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has thrown out his pledge to cut defense spending–and is proposing a defense budget increase of $190 billion, an increase of roughly 16%.

Other Republicans, like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida–who is also said to be entertaining a presidential run in 2016–have pledged similar increases in the defense budget.

Since his first election to the Senate in 2010, as part of the Tea Party-backed conservative wave, Rand Paul–the son of former Rep. Ron Paul, a libertarian icon and perennial presidential candidate–has been a different kind of Republican. In mid-2011, for example, he pledged to slash a number of major federal departments, and made some cuts to what he saw as a bloated defense budget as part of a “restructuring” of the Pentagon.

He also gained widespread attention in 2013, when he launched a dramatic 13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor against Obama’s increased use of drones, which killed an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlawki, who was a suspected terrorist but not actively engaged in combat, back in 2011 in Yemen–a violation of his constitutional right to due process and a fair trial. Paul’s filibuster put him at odds with hawks from both parties, and solidified his reputation as the sole libertarian voice in the Senate.

It remains to be seen whether his sprint to embrace mainstream conservative ideas will help or hurt his eventual candidacy. Paul inherits a large list of supporters from his father’s campaigns, but needs to stay sufficiently libertarian to engage and mobilize their support. But, on the flip side, he also needs to grow his support among conservatives in order to have a realistic chance at the Oval Office.

Paul is clearly hoping that his support among libertarians is unwavering enough that they’ll stick with him regardless of his new policy agenda.

Paul, for his part, shrugs off criticism. “For me,” he says, “the priority is always national defense.”



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