Rand Paul

Rand Paul Makes His Move

By on 7.1.14 | 4:31PM

Last night Rand Paul scored a major victory in securing his front-runner status for the 2016 presidential election. According to Politico, Paul announced that former Iowa GOP chair Steve Grubbs will be in charge of Paul’s RAND PAC.

This new addition is crucial to Paul’s push into Iowa, where Paul supporters just lost their footing and power in the state GOP executive branch. Per Politico:

The Iowa GOP central committee voted Saturday to fire the state party chairman and replace him with a fixture of the establishment.

Danny Carroll, removed on a 14-2 no confidence vote, will be replaced by Jeff Kaufmann, formerly the Speaker Pro Tem of the state House.

This was hardly a surprise, however:

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Rand Paul Wants Ex-Cons to Have Voting Rights

By on 6.23.14 | 3:19PM

Rand Paul is hoping to rebrand the Republican Party as a party of opportunity and second chances with a bill that would restore the vote for those convicted of minor drug offenses.

Currently, states have felony disenfranchisement laws with varying levels of severity, resulting in approximately 5.85 million Americans who cannot vote because of criminal records. Disenfranchisement laws disproportionately affect African Americans, leaving one in thirteen African Americans unable to vote because of felony convictions.

Paul believes that his bill will answer critics who claim that Republicans want to restrict voting rights. "Here's a Republican who wants to enhance the vote," he said. "This is a much bigger problem than anything else limiting voting right now. Nearly a million people can't vote. And I want to help people get their right to vote back."

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Mitch McConnell Likely to Prevail in Kentucky

By on 5.20.14 | 5:20PM

It's primary election day in Kentucky, the day the state's Republicans decide whether they will send a long-time Senate minority leader or a Tea Party freshman to face off with Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Mitch McConnell is the Senate minority leader and won his seat in 1984. His challenger is Matt Bevin, a businessman and Tea Party candidate who told the New York Times he would make history by being the first primary candidate to beat an incumbent with a congressional leadership position.

However, the endorsement from Rand Paul, Kentucky's junior Republican senator and a Tea Party hero, went to McConnell. Bevin, despite a lot of attack ads and some time on talk radio, will probably lose. He was twenty points down in polls a week before the election, according to Politico.

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What’s the Matter With Rand Paul?

By on 4.24.14 | 3:06PM

The generally likable winner of the CPAC straw poll who hates the NSA and has garnered support from college-aged libertarians has taken a turn for the worse.

First, despite his clear pro-life beliefs, Rand Paul implied he has little or no intention of supporting bans on abortion:

“The country is in the middle (and) we’re not changing any of the laws until the country is persuaded otherwise,” he says.

Paul talked about how abortion laws can and shoulder reflect a middle ground position on abortion between life beginning at conception and abortion on demand.

Then he adds that “Republicans” have gone too far with the voter fraud issue and has no problems with early voting:

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Rand Paul is Right on National Security and Debt

By on 4.22.14 | 2:02PM

The D.C. commentariat is currently buzzing in unison. “Left” and “right” have united in agitated harmony. You see, Rand Paul is a danger to his party and this country…if not the entire world. Or so the chorus goes. Yesterday, Jed Babbin lent his full-throated support to their refrain.

With all due respect to Mr. Babbin, I don't think a 2002 op-ed addressed to the Bowling Green Daily News can condense the political philosophy of libertarianism “at its finest," nor the notion of liberty as the highest political end.

Likewise, I don’t particularly care to reengage the 1964 Civil Rights Act hubbub. The idea that a private business might reserve the right to refuse service has been thoroughly covered on this digital broadsheet. For his part, Senator Paul is more than capable of defending himself on this point, as he has countless times.

Rather, I’d like to treat—with laser-focus—Mr. Babbin’s contention that Rand Paul “speaks clearly because his positions are naïve and otherworldly.” He continues:

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Paul and Bush Duke It Out on Immigration

By on 4.14.14 | 12:40PM

Presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Jeb Bush got in a slight scuffle over immigration yesterday.

Bush called illegal immigration “an act of love” committed by people wanting to support their families, adding that most of them are here illegally because they can’t get in legally.

This ignited some Republican rage and Rand Paul got his chance to respond:

“You know, I think he might have been more artful, maybe, in the way he presented this,” said Paul, a Kentucky Republican, said on ABC’s This Week. “But I don’t want to say, ‘oh, he’s terrible for saying this.’ If it were me, what I would have said is, ‘people who seek the American dream are not bad people. However, we can’t invite the whole world.’”

Paul’s response was remarkably charitable, perhaps revealing his desire to appeal to a broader base without alienating the one he already has:

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A Response to Bill Zeiser re: Rand Paul and Immigration

By on 4.1.14 | 6:13PM

I think Bill Zeiser speaks to two sides of a major problem facing today’s Republican Party.

When it comes to the Hispanic vote, the GOP suffers from cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, they pay lip-service to a burgeoning constituency that produces 50,000 potential new voters every month. On the other, they appear perfectly content to cede their support. This, despite the fact that 2.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses anchor a Latin mainstream that identifies the economy as the country’s chief concern.

After the 2012 cycle, the conservative pollsters at Resurgent Republic took a closer look at four critical swing states—Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico—with a post-election survey of Hispanic voters. Their conclusion? “Republicans have run out of persuadable white voters.” Bill cites Ramesh Ponnuru’s criticism in his piece—his analysis is fair, but, perhaps, too pessimistic. It also speaks to hard truths.

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Rumors of Christie’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

By on 4.1.14 | 3:44PM

In the post-Bridgegate world, many have pronounced Governor Chris Christie dead in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

However, new polling suggests what most wise people already know: The field is still wide open.

In a national survey, WPA Opinion Research found that Republicans and Republican-leaning independents currently favor Senator Rand Paul and former governor Mike Huckabee, with both winning 13 percent of the vote. However, Governor Christie, former governor Jeb Bush, and Senator Ted Cruz are within the margin of error (3.5 percent) at 9 percent, 11 percent, and 9 percent respectively. 

More good news for Christie can be found in the polling:

When participants were also asked about which candidates would have the best chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election for President, Sen. Paul and Gov. Christie each received 13% with Gov. Bush (12%), Sen. Rubio (9%), Huckabee (8%) and Sen. Cruz (8%) closely following.  

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Sorry, Rand Paul: Hispanics Aren’t Going to Vote GOP Either Way

By on 4.1.14 | 3:21PM

United States Senator and prospective presidential also-ran Rand Paul warned Republicans today that until they get "beyond deportation," they will be ineffective at courting Hispanic voters. Politico reports:

“The bottom line is, the Hispanic community, the Latino community is not going to hear us until we get beyond that issue,” he said at a conservative event. His comments came immediately following a discussion on work visas, in the context of a broader address about reaching out to that community.

“They’re not going to care whether we go to the same church or have the same values or believe in the same kind of future of our country until we get beyond that. Showing up helps, but you got to show up and you got to say something, and it has to be different from what we’ve been saying.”

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Political Hay

Rand Paul and the Washington Aquarium

By 3.28.14

Earlier this week, a debate was held in Great Britain between Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, head of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), over the future of the European Union. Clegg took the pro-EU position while Farage argued against the super-state. UKIP, best described as a libertarian populist party, has experienced a meteoric rise in British politics recently, thanks to the rakish Farage and spreading anti-EU sentiment. It’s finished ahead of the ruling Conservative Party in several off-year elections, each of which seems to hurl British establishmentarians into fresh paroxysms of shock.

Yesterday they were shocked anew. After most analysts proclaimed either a Clegg victory or a tie, snap polling found the British public thought Farage won the debate 57 percent to 36 percent. The Guardian reported that the results “sent a wave of surprise around the ‘spin room’ of politicians, aides and journalists.”

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