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- suspended campaign Feb. 3, 2016 -   



Legislation (Congress.gov)



visits to 3rdQ 15
Rand Paul For President, Inc.
RandPaul  | 

...announced candidacy on April 7, 2015 [FEC]
Sen. Rand Paul
SenatorRandPaul  |  @senrandpaul

Reinventing a New Direction PAC 

...leadership PAC filed with FEC on March 9, 2011

Rand Paul for U.S. Senate




America's Liberty PAC

...super PAC filed with the FEC on Oct. 16, 2012
Concerned American Voters

...super PAC re-filed with the FEC on June 12, 2015 +

The Purple PAC

...super PAC filed with the FEC in May 2013 +

Liberty Forums: Rand Paul Forum
Human Action Super PAC
also at www.rand16.org

Conventional Wisdom
- Youth; he is also making a strong appeal to youth.
- Clear message of liberty.

- Starts out with a base of support from his father and having helped on his father's campaign, he has an understanding of what it takes to run for president.
- Some of his more libertarian views do not accord with views of elements in the Republican Party
, particularly on foreign policy and national security. (+)

Notes, Coverage and Speeches

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Jan. 13, 2015 - Addressing Heritage Foundation Action's Conservative Policy Summit.
Feb. 12, 2015 - Lincoln Labs' Reboot Congress.

July 22, 2014 - Briefing on restoring voting rights. July 30, 2014 - YAL Convention.
Sept. 26, 2014 - Values Voter Summit.
March 7, 2014 - Addressing CPAC. April 10, 2014 - At Americans for Tax Reform's Tax Day press conference. June 20, 2014 - Road to Majority conference.
Feb. 9, 2012 - Addressing CPAC. Feb. 14, 2013 - Addressing CPAC. Feb. 5, 2014 - Keynote speech at American Principles Project Gala.

- Announcement speech at Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY, April 7, 2015 (prepared remarks).
- Speech to CPAC at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD, March 6, 2014.

- Response to the State of the Union Address video, Jan. 28, 2014.
- Speech to CPAC at the Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD, March 14, 2013 (prepared remarks).

2016 - Sen. Paul finished fifth in the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, attracting support of 8,481 caucus-goers (by comparison the winner Ted Cruz had 51, 666); he suspended his campaign a few days later stating, "It has been a privilege to give voice to the liberty movement in this race and I believe we have broadened the debate by being part of it."  (+).

Sen. Rand Paul launched his campaign on April 7, 2015 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.  In a pre-launch video (+), Paul billed himself as "a different kind of Republican" able to "defeat the Washington Machine and unleash the American Dream."  In his speech he vowed to bring "a message of liberty, justice and personal responsibility" coast to coast (+).  Paul followed his announcement with a early state tour to New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada.  On June 18 Paul proposed the "Fair and Flat Tax," one 14.5% rate for all individuals and businesses, billing it as "the largest tax cut in American history (+)."

Paul has been active in the Senate in the first part of 2015.   On Jan. 7 he introduced S.34, the Defend Israel by Defunding Palestinian Foreign Aid Act of 2015, in response to the Palestinian Authority's request to join the International Criminal Court.  On March 12 he re-introduced his "Read the Bills" bill (+).  Paul went counter to his image on March 25, proposing an amendment (S.Amdt.940) to increase defense spending by about $190 billion over fiscal years 2016 and 2017 with corresponding offsets from HUD, foreign assistance, the Department of Education and other areas.  On May 21 he held the floor for over ten hours in a filibuster-style effort to block renewal of the Patriot Act (+), and on May 31 he blocked, at least temporarily, provisions authorizing bulk data collection of phone records by the NSA (+).

Paul has also highlighted his efforts to work across the aisle.  On Jan. 8 he joined Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D) in introducing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015.  On Feb. 11 he re-introduced bipartisan legislation to restore voting rights for non-violent ex-offenders, the Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act of 2015.  On March 10 he teamed with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to introduce a medical marijuana bill (+). 
On May 19 he and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2015.  On May 21 he and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Stop Militarizing Our Law Enforcement Act of 2015.  Not coincidentally, Paul's book, Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America (Center Street), came out on May 26.

Politically, Paul continued to show an independent  streak, for example by giving a miss to two early "cattle show" events in Iowa, the Iowa Freedom Summit and the Iowa Ag Summit.  Paul successfully advanced a proposal for the Kentucky Republican Party to hold a presidential caucus in March 2016 instead of the presidential preference primary in May 2016 (+). 
Paul's wife Kelley is chipping in too; in January she did a tour to preview her book, True and Constant Friends (Center Street, April 7, 2015).  Paul has a second book, Our Presidents and Their Prayers (Center Street) due out in September.

Paul made a bit of a spash in the opening minutes of the the first debate at Cleveland on August 6.  When Donald Trump declined to pledge to support the nominee, Paul leaped in, stating, "This is what's wrong.  He buys and sells politicians of all stripes...he's already hedging his bet on the Clintons, okay.  So if he doesn't run as a Republican maybe he supports Clinton or maybe he runs as an independent but I'd say that he's already hedging his bets because he's used to buying politicians."  Trump responded, "Well I've given him plenty of money."  Most viewers would be hard pressed to recall much else that Paul said in the debate.  Paul was one of only two major candidates to skip the Iowa State Fair, he chose to forego the pork chops to perform eye surgeries on a mission to Haiti (+). 

By the end of the third quarter some commentators were suggesting that Paul's campaign was "on the ropes" and might drop out.  In an October 15 memo, the campaign pushed back, claiming that Paul ("SRP" or Senator Rand Paul) "has the best organization in America." (+)

Sen. Paul seems certain to run, and is positioned in the top tier of potential candidates.  In 2013-14 he spent more total days in the key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina (21 days in the three states) than any other potential candidate except Gov. Rick Perry.  He kept up a fairly busy fall travel schedule, stumping for a number of candidates in the midterms.  Time magazine dubbed Paul "The Most Interesting Man in Politics' in an Oct. 27, 2014 cover story.  For example, in August Paul attracted considerable attention when he joined a team conducting charitable eye surgeries in a remote region of Guatemala.  The University of Utah Health Care's Moran Eye Center organized the trip (>).  On Nov. 20 Paul did something few Republicans would do, meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton, at Sharpton's request, to discuss criminal justice issues.

In a Nov. 6 interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Paul could count on him for "whatever he decides to do," including a run for president.  Politico's Mike Allen reported on a Nov. 12 gathering of Paul aides and supporters at the Liaison hotel in Washington, DC as an indicator of a likely run.  On Dec. 2, Paul announced he will seek re-election to the Senate in 2016, stating he hopes "to continue together in the task of repairing and revitalizing our great nation” (+). 

Critics on both sides of the aisle have focused on Paul's foreign policy views.  In a July 11 op-ed in the Washington Post, "Isolationist policies make the threat of terrorism even greater," Gov. Rick Perry wrote that "Paul seems curiously blind" to the "profound threat that the group now calling itself the Islamic State poses to the United States and the world" (>).  Paul issued a sharply worded response in Politico Magazine on July 14.  In "Rick Perry Is Dead Wrong," he wrote, "On foreign policy, Perry couldn’t be more stuck in the past, doubling down on formulas that haven’t worked, parroting rhetoric that doesn’t make sense and reinforcing petulant attitudes that have cost our nation a great deal" (>). 
For Paul, it really is a constitutional issue in that the Constitution assigns Congress the power to declare war.  On Nov. 24, in an effort to get Congress to act upon its responsibilities, Paul announced he would introduce a Declaration of War resolution against the Islamic State (+); Paul even tried to attach the resolution to a water bill.

Some have questioned Paul's support for Israel.  On Aug. 4
, during a press conference in Omaha, Paul told reporters, “We have never introduced anything that phased out or gets rid of Israel aid.  Israel has always been a strong ally of ours and I appreciate that.” 
Democrats jumped on the remark, pointing to a budget Paul introduced in 2011 that would have eliminated all foreign aid.  Paul clarified that his aim then had been to question foreign aid generally in the context of budget realities, not to target Israel.  In fact in April Paul introduced the Stand with Israel Act of 2014 "to make all future aid to the Palestinian government conditional upon the new unity government putting itself on the record recognizing the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state and agreeing to a lasting peace."

- At 11:47 on March 6, Sen. Paul began what would turn out to be a 12-hour, 52-minute filibuster of nomination of John Brennan to be director of the CIA, in an attempt to draw attention to the Obama administration's obfuscation on the question of whether it viewed drone strikes on U.S. soil as permissible.  Thousands supported the effort; #standwithrand was a top trending topic on Twitter for hours. 

A week later Paul received an enthusiastic welcome at the 40th CPAC joking, "Now I was told I've got ten measly minutes, but just in case I've got thirteen hours of information."  In his speech Paul addressed a topic much on Republicans' minds, how to grow the party.  He stated, "The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered--I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we?  Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom.  The new GOP will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and personal sphere."  Paul finished first in CPAC straw poll, backed by 25-percent of the 2,930 participants ahead of colleague Sen. Marco Rubio who finished at 23-percent. 

A liberty issue that drew Paul's focus was the revelation that National Security Agency surveillance is collecting billions of emails and phone calls.  It was this issue that set off the tiff between Paul and Gov. Christie when, speaking at the Aspen Institute on July 25, Christie warned, "I just want us to be really cautious because this strain of libertarianism going through both parties now and making big headlines I think is a very dangerous thought."  Christie went on to refer to "the widows and the orphans" of 9/11.  Paul responded with a tweet, "Christie worries about the dangers of freedom.  I worry about the danger of losing that freedom.  Spying without warrants is unconstitutional."  Paul and Christie exchanged barbs over much of the rest of the year.  Paul advanced the idea of a class action lawsuit on the NSA surveillance, and for the latter part of 2013 his RAND PAC (Reinventing a New Direction PAC) website featured a "Stand With Rand: Join the Class Action Lawsuit" banner, prompting hundreds of thousands of potential plaintiffs to sign up. 

At the end of October a potentially very damaging situation arose for Paul.  MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported that he appeared to have plagiarized from Wikipedia in a recent speech.  In the week that followed, news organizations uncovered a number of other examples of plagiarized passages in Paul's writings and speeches.  Paul announced that he was changing the "approval process" in his office, which he conceded had been "sloppy," and he accepted responsibility, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "Ultimately I'm the boss, and things go out under my name, and so it is my fault."  This appeared to defuse the problem. 

On Dec. 6, in a speech at the Detroit Economic Club, Paul introduced his proposal for Economic Freedom Zones, under which there would be reduced taxes and red tape in impoverished areas.  (Paul introduced the bill, S.1852, on Dec. 18, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as co-sponsor).  At the end of that speech a questioner asked, "What are your plans for running for president in 2016?"  Paul responded, "Where is my cell phone?  Can I call my wife?  [inaud.] there's two votes in my family; my wife has both of them and both of them are no votes right now.  So if I'm a very able politician, I'll tell in a year whether I'm able to persuade my wife."  Of all the potential candidates, Paul has made the most visits to the early primary states (two visits to Iowa, one to New Hampshire and four to South Carolina).

Rand Paul.  Sept. 8, 2015.  OUR PRESIDENTS & THEIR PRAYERS: Proclamations of Faith by America's Leaders.  New York: Center Street [Hachette Book Group imprint].
"Rand Paul reveals the practices of each President of the United States and sheds light on how religion played a part in their governing and personal lives. From George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama, and every President in between, prayer and religion made its way into their public speeches, private journals and official proclamations. In OUR PRESIDENTS & THEIR PRAYERS Rand Paul will reveal the practices of each President and shed light on how religion played a part in their governing and in their personal lives."

Rand Paul.  May 26, 2015.  TAKING A STAND: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.  New York: Center Street
[an imprint of Hachette Book Group].
"Senator Rand Paul, leading national politician and likely contender for the 2016 Presidential bid, presents his vision for America....  When Senator Paul believes in an issue he reaches across the aisle to collaborate with his colleagues. He's worked with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on an anti-war bill, a financial assistance for childcare bill, and a protection for women in the military bill. He's also working with Senator Cory Booker to reform the nation's criminal justice system. He's received standing ovations from conservatives when he spoke at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and standing ovations from students when he spoke at University of California at Berkley, known to be a liberal institution."

Rand Paul.  Sept. 12, 2012.  GOVERNMENT BULLIES: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds.  New York:
Center Street [an imprint of Hachette Book Group].
"Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, takes an in-depth look at the legislation that is trampling the rights of ordinary citizens, strangling their ability to conduct private, everyday activities without egregious government interference. He highlights outrageous searches, seizures and arrests, and points to thousands of regulations that have been added to the books since Obama took office. Most importantly, he charts a direction out of this mess, and toward renewed freedom for all Americans.

Rand Paul.  Feb. 22, 2011.  THE TEA PARTY GOES TO WASHINGTON.  New York: Center Street
[an imprint of Hachette Book Group].
"In THE TEA PARTY GOES TO WASHINGTON, the newly elected senator and self-described "constitutional conservative" explains why his party has to stand by its limited government rhetoric and why the federal government must be stuffed back into its constitutional box. Given the problems our nation faces, these are not mere suggestions, but moral imperatives."


Kelley Paul.  April 7, 2015.  TRUE AND CONSTANT FRIENDS: Love and Inspiration from Our Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters and Friends.  New York: Center Street [an imprint of Hachette Book Group].
"When Kelley Paul arrived on the Rhodes College campus in 1981, she immediately bonded with six women. Three decades of intimate friendship later, Kelley celebrates these relationships and the women who inspired them all. She tells their stories and those of their grandmothers, mothers and sisters, providing a microcosm of women raising families and building lives in 20th- and 21st-century America..."

and there's even a comic book:
--.  April 15, 2015.  POLITICAL POWER: Rand Paul.  Portland, OR: Bluewater Productions. 2
"Since, 2008, Bluewater’s publishing line has been addressing current events and releasing entertaining biographies of the men and women vying to become America’s next leaders." +

Michael Scherer.  "The Reinventions of Rand Paul."  Time.  Oct. 27, 2014.

Ryan Lizza.  "The Revenge of Rand Paul."  The New Yorker.  Oct. 6, 2014

Robert Draper.  "Has the 'Libertarian Moment' Finally Arrived?"  The New York Times Magazine.  Aug. 7, 2014.

Robert Costa.  "Rand Paul builds 50-state network, courts, mainstream support for presidential bid."  The Washington Post, March 27, 2014.

Jill Lawrence.  "Medicine Man."  National Journal.  Oct. 17, 2013.

Frank Rich.  "It's Hard to Hate Rand Paul."  New York.  Sept. 22, 2013.

Jason Horowitz.  "Could Republican Senator Rand Paul Win the White House?"  Vogue.  Sept. 2013

Stuart A. Reid.  "The Education of Rand Paul."  Washington Monthly. July/August 2013.

Julia Ioffe.  "President Rand Paul." 
The New Republic.  June 17, 2013.

American Bridge 21st Century PAC: Rand Paul.


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Sen. Rand Paul
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Human Action Super PAC

  this page last revised Feb. 5, 2016