Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced a presidential run today. He is the second major candidate to announce a run, after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Cruz released a statement welcoming Senator Paul into the race and added, “His entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition, help make us all stronger, and ultimately ensure that the GOP nominee is equipped to beat Hillary Clinton and to take back the White House for Republicans in 2016.”
Paul’s campaign slogan is Defeat the Washington Machine, Unleash the American Dream. That ties in with Paul’s populist libertarianism, which looks to roll back the government in favor of civil liberties. His top issues also include implementing a flat tax, term limits for Congress, and a balanced budget amendment. Senator Paul’s proposal to Audit the Fed has a starring role on his issues page, in addition.
While Senator Paul is seen as tech-savvy, his video of his launch speech suffered a hiccup. The video featured the song, Shuttin’ Detroit Down, by country singer John Rich. Youtube’ Content ID system then brought down the video on copyright grounds. The copyright belongs to Warner Music Group.
Paul’s online store has been set up. He sells items such as an eye poster with his campaign slogan and flip-flops. The eye poster relates to Sen Paul as he is a practicing optometrist. The flip-flops have gotten a name change, however, the campaign has since changed the item’s name to sandals, a name with much less political baggage. Flip-flop is a term used to describe when a candidate changes his or her view on an issue, usually in an attempt to get more votes.
Rand Paul’s father, former Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), sought the Presidency several times. However, his son differs from his father in a few different ways. Mainly, Rep. Paul sought to create a national grassroots group around his brand of libertarianism. Senator Paul has tried to balance his libertarianism with more mainstream views in the Republican Party. Senator Paul is also more likely to compromise in the pursuit of a political goal.
Many felt that Representative Paul’s presidential runs were more of an attempt to raise awareness of his libertarian platform. Senator Paul seems intent on winning and is competitive within the Republican primary.
One contentious element of Senator Paul’s stances is foreign policy. He has historically been opposed to any type of foreign entanglements, rather supporting the isolationism his father advocates. At one point in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Senator Paul said he believed we should cut all foreign aid, including that to Israel. Later, he said that he would not end aid to Israel. Senator Paul has defended his statements by saying he advocates for the gradual ending of all foreign aid. On his website, Senator Paul mentions Israel by name as an ally and says he will stand with them.