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Rand Paul: Marco Rubio ought to show up for Senate votes …

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio speaks in October 2013 at the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council in Washington.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Sen. Mike Lee, left, and Rubio talk before a news conference to introduce their proposal for an overhaul of the tax code in March.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio, center, arrives in the House chamber ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in March.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio speaks with the media after delivering remarks during the graduation of small business owners from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program held in Miami in February.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio talks to aides in December before speaking on President Barack Obama’s announcement about revising policies on U.S.-Cuba relations.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio, left, talks to Sen. Lindsey Graham prior to a news conference on Capitol Hill in July.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio talks to reporters in June after a closed door briefing on Capitol Hill.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio speaks to the media in front of a wall dedicated to the victims of the violence in Venezuela as he shows support for the Venezuelan community at a restaurant in Doral, Florida, in April 2014.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio speaks to the media at the Doral restaurant in April 2014.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio checks his phone in March as he arrives for a Capitol Hill news conference to introduce a proposal for an overhaul of the tax code.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio, left, is greeted as he arrives at a restaurant in Doral in February 2014.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio, left, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott speak to the media in Doral in February 2014.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

From left, Sens. Cory Booker, Rubio, Kristen Gillibrand and John McCain wait for Obama to deliver the State of the Union address in January 2014.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio addresses an event held by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in January 2014.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Paralympian Brad Snyder poses with Rubio during a Team USA Congressional visit in November 2013.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio speaks in November 2013 during a campaign stop for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio confers with McCain as U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in October 2013.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio, center, speaks to members of the media as Sen. Ron Johnson, left, and Rep. Ron DeSantis listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill in October 2013.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio returns to the Capitol after meeting with Obama and other Republican leaders about the government shutdown in October 2013.

Moments from Marco Rubio’s career

Rubio speaks to an aide on Capitol Hill as he arrives for the weekly Senate Republican Policy Committee luncheon in September 2013.

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Rand Paul: Marco Rubio ought to show up for Senate votes …

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Rand Paul Reserves Harsh Words for BuzzFeed Reporter Over …

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) slammed a BuzzFeed political reporter Tuesday over an open letter he published which accused the Republican 2016 hopefuls new book of being littered with easy-to-check historical inaccuracies.

BuzzFeeds Andrew Kaczynski and Megan Apper wrote an open letter to the Kentucky senator demanding he stop using fake founding father quotes and charging he does so in his new book.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

As the reporting duo points out, this is not the first time Kaczynski has gone after Paul for this.Kaczynski has on multiple occasions reported that the senator has misquoted the Founding Fathers.

On Tuesday, Paul had enough. Speaking to the Washington Post, the libertarian firebrand blastedKaczynski.

That guy, Paul said of Kaczynski while speaking with the newspaper. The only criticisms have come from some guy whos a partisan. We discount partisans. However, theres a ridiculous cottage industry out there of people who think theyre smarter than everyone else, and because certain quotes are disputed well, yeah! If you want to say somethings not a Thomas Jefferson quote, you can get a whole book on whether its a quote or not.

I mean, this idiot says the same thing about my speeches, Paul added. Do I need to say in my speech, as many people attribute to Thomas Jefferson, but some people dispute, before I give the quote? Its idiocy, its pedantry its ridiculous stuff from partisan hacks. And Id say that guys one of em.

He concluded, noting thatKaczynski is not on my good list.

Kaczynski responded on Twitter, announcing that he now had a new Twitter bio.

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Rand Paul Reserves Harsh Words for BuzzFeed Reporter Over …

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Rand Paul knocks Marco Rubio over voting records …

The Kentucky Republican was asked about a Florida newspaper editorial calling on Rubio to resign over his poor voting record by CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”

“I take my voting record very, very seriously, and I’ve made 99% of the votes,” Paul said, without explicitly criticizing Rubio’s record.

Analysts have found the Florida Republican has missed the most votes this year of any of the senators running for president. Rubio has defended himself, noting that he’s not on “vacation” but running for president and has cast ballots for the important votes.

According to a USA Today analysis last month, Rubio has missed 60% of votes since June 1, while Paul has only missed 1%.

RELATED: Six things to watch at GOP debate

“I’m going to continue showing up because, you’re right, I do get paid by the taxpayer,” Paul said. “I wear it as a badge of honor that I’ve missed very, very few votes.”

Paul did miss a Tuesday vote in the Senate on a cybersecurity bill he has previously opposed for a campaign event in Nevada. All the candidates taking part in Wednesday night’s Republican debate in Colorado were not present for the vote.

Earlier on Wednesday in Colorado, Paul took a shot at GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who has repeatedly mocked Paul and called for him to leave the race due to his low standing in the polls.

“I think maybe he should get out of the race,” Paul told reporters, citing recent polls that show Ben Carson leading the real estate mogul.

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Rand Paul knocks Marco Rubio over voting records …

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Meet Rand | About Rand | U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky

U.S. Senator Rand Paul, M.D., is one of the nations leading advocates for liberty. Elected to the United States Senate in 2010, Dr. Paul has proven to be an outspoken champion for constitutional liberties and fiscal responsibility. As a fierce advocate against government overreach, Dr. Paul has fought tirelessly to return government to its limited, constitutional scope.

As a hard-working and dedicated physician – not a career politician – Dr. Paul came to Washington to shake things up and to make a difference. Dr. Paul is a devoted husband and father of three that is currently living with his family in Bowling Green, Ky., where Dr. Paul owned his own ophthalmology practice and performed eye surgery for 18 years.

Dr. Paul has been married for 25 years to Kelley Ashby Paul of Russellville, Ky., and they have three sons together: William, 22; Duncan, 19; and Robert, 16. He regularly volunteered to coach teams for each of his three sons in Little League baseball, soccer, and basketball. Dr. Paul and Kelley are both devout Christians and are active in their local church.

Dr. Paul is the third of five children born to Carol and Ron Paul. He grew up in Lake Jackson, Tex., and attended Baylor University. He graduated from Duke Medical School in 1988. Dr. Paul completed a general surgery internship at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta, Ga., and completed his residency in ophthalmology at Duke University Medical Center. Upon completion of his training in 1993, Dr. Paul and Kelley moved to Bowling Green to start their family and begin his ophthalmology practice.

Dr. Paul’s entrance into politics is indicative of his lifes work as a surgeon: a desire to diagnose problems and provide practical solutions, whether it be in Bowling Green, Ky., or Washington, D.C.

In 1995, Dr. Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, an organization that provides eye exams and surgery to needy families and individuals. He is a former president and 17 year member of Lions Clubs International, which is dedicated to preserving sight by providing eyeglasses and surgery to the less fortunate around the world. In recognition of his outstanding and sustained efforts to provide vision care to Kentuckians in need, Lions Clubs International has awarded Dr. Paul many of its highest commendations.

A large part of Dr. Paul’s daily work as an ophthalmologist was dedicated to preserving the vision of our seniors. In 2002, The Twilight Wish Foundation recognized Dr. Paul for Outstanding Service and Commitment to Seniors.

During his free time, Dr. Paul currently performs pro-bono eye surgeries for patients across Kentucky. Additionally, he provides free eye surgery to children from around the world through his participation in the Children of the Americas Program. Most recently, he traveled to Guatemala and Haiti on a medical mission trip with the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center. During his time in Guatemala and Haiti, over 200 patients, many of them blind with cataracts, had their vision restored.

Dr. Paul’s entrance into politics is indicative of his lifes work as a surgeon: a desire to diagnose problems and provide practical solutions, whether it be in Bowling Green, Ky., or Washington, D.C.

Meet Rand | About Rand | U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky

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Declared 2016 GOP candidate: Rand Paul – USA TODAY


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USATODAY 7:43 p.m. EDT October 22, 2015

Susan Page gives four reasons why Rand Paul’s presidential run in 2016 matters.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks in Washington on March 19. 2013.(Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images)


Rand Paul was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 in Kentucky. Paul worked as ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Ky., before seeking office. He is the son of former Texas congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.


The Road to 2016

Latest news

October 2015:Paul in Iowa: ‘Looking at cornfields, answering silly questions’

October 2015:Ron Paul accuses feds of trying to hurt Rand’s campaign

September 2015:Rand Paul wins Mackinac straw poll

September 2015:Rand Paul calls for term limits, says Trump has peaked

September 2015:Rand Paul opts to ‘go west’ to revive campaign

September 2015:Rand Paul rallies Vt. Republicans on privacy, civil rights

August 2015:Ky. GOP approves caucus, allowing Paul presidential run

August 2015:Trump-Paul feud includes … golf

August 2015:Paul says he’d fund in full a caucus in Kentucky

August 2015:Paul calls Trump a ‘fake conservative’

August 2015:Paul political confidant indicted in campaign payoff scheme

July 2015:Poll: Paul runs almost even with Clinton in Kentucky

July 2015:Rand Paul super PAC raises $3.1 million

July 2015:Rand Paul looks to revive stagnant campaign

July 2015:Paul renews call to cut off Planned Parenthood funding

July 2015:Rand Paul raises $6.9 million for presidential campaign

July 2015:Rand Paul mum on Trumps immigration stance

June 2015: Rand Paul gets super PAC assist

June 2015: Paul: Take power away from the government

June 2015: Candidates race to distance themselves from white supremacist

June 2015: Rand Paul used NSA fight to draw clicks, dollars

June 2015: In 2016, a GOP divide on national security

June 2015: Opponents pressure Rand Paul over counterterrorism surveillance

May 2015: Sen. Rand Paul: ‘There has to be another way’

May 2015: Rand Paul says he’ll force expiration of Patriot Act

May 2015: Rand Paul: Jeb Bush is not conservative enough

May 2015: Rand Paul courts California high-tech community

May 2015: Poll: Paul, Clinton tied in potential Kentucky race

May 2015: Eeew! Rand Paul aide licks tracker’s camera lens

May 2015: Rand Paul supports bird flu role of agency he tried to cut

April 2015: Rand Paul defends Obama on drone strike that killed hostages

April 2015: Rand Paul’s son cited for DUI after car crash

April 2015: Rand Paul’s campaign told to ditch the Ray-Bans

April 2015: Rand Paul blasts Graham, McCain as ‘lapdogs’ for Obama

April 2015: Comic books explore life of Rand Paul, 2016 candidates

April 2015: Rand Paul ad jabs Hillary Clinton as ‘worst’ of D.C. machine

April 2015: Kelley Paul: It’s hard to watch my husband get criticized

April 2015: Fact check: Ad links Rand Paul to Obama on Iran

April 2015: Mike Huckabee to Rand Paul: ‘This is the big leagues’

April 2015: Fact-checking Rand Paul

April 2015: Rand Paul vows to keep temper in check during TV interviews

April 2015: Rand Paul says message will resonate in ‘leave me alone’ N.H.

April 2015: Rand Paul gets testy in NBC interview about foreign policy

April 2015: Paul, Rubio did not mix political and official trips

April 2015: GOP hawks attack Rand Paul

April 2015: 6 factions Rand Paul must court in Iowa, activists say

April 2015: Rand Paul: A familiar name, unlikely political journey

April 2015: Rand Paul announces presidential run

April 2015: Six things to know about Rand Paul

April 2015: Rand Paul sets out to prove he’s not his father

April 2015: Rand Paul teases 2016 campaign themes in video

April 2015: Rand Paul’s views, from tax cuts to Iran talks

March 2015: Rand Paul jabs at Ted Cruz’s ‘winnability’

March 2015: Harry Reid thanks Rand Paul for advice on eye injury

March 2015: Rand Paul to announce presidential campaign April 7

March 2015: Rand Paul targets young voters with Austin tech office

March 2015: Paul on Clinton: ‘Convenience’ shouldn’t trump security

March 2015: Kentucky voters are split on Rand Paul’s 2016 plans

March 2015: Hearing could highlight Rubio, Paul split on war powers

March 2015: Kentucky GOP grants preliminary caucus OK to Paul

February 2015: CPAC: Paul edges Walker in straw poll

February 2015: Rand Paul gets another warm reception at CPAC

February 2015: Rand Paul said to eye April 7 launch for president

February 2015: Rand Paul asks Kentucky GOP for a caucus in 2016

February 2015: Rand Paul endorses David Vitter for Louisiana governor

February 2015: Rand Paul: We can have modern medicine and freedom

February 2015: Fact check: Rand Paul repeats baseless vaccine claims

February 2015: Presidential candidates split on mandatory vaccines

February 2015: Sex-toy retailer among Rand Paul’s 2014 donors

February 2015: Rand Paul: Most vaccinations ‘ought to be voluntary’

January 2015: Drones beware: Rand Paul is packing heat

January 2015: Texas GOP chairman to join Rand Paul’s political team

January 2015: Fact check: Rand Paul exaggerates tax credit fraud

January 2015: Cruz, Paul, Rubio spar on Cuba policy at desert forum

January 2015: Rand Paul doesn’t check spelling in swipe at Bush, Romney

January 2015: Rand Paul slams Obama’s speech via YouTube, Twitter and TV

January 2015: Rand Paul: Honor MLK by uniting ‘two Americas’

January 2015: Rand Paul: Mitt Romney is ‘yesterday’s news’

January 2015: Rand Paul expands political operation ahead of presidential race

January 2015: Rand Paul won’t be hurried toward 2016

December 2014: Rand Paul airs his Festivus grievances again

December 2014: Rand Paul clashes with Marco Rubio over Cuba

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Declared 2016 GOP candidate: Rand Paul – USA TODAY

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Rand Paul facing pressure from his home state – USA TODAY

Tom Loftus, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal 12:47 p.m. EDT October 27, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during the opening of his campaign office in Las Vegas on Oct. 26, 2015.(Photo: Steve Marcus, Las Vegas Sun via AP)

In Kentucky, all top officeholders of both political parties are expected to speak at Fancy Farm the shorthand name for a Catholic Church picnic and forum for raucous political speaking the first Saturday in August at the far western end of the state.

So it was surprising this year when RepublicanSen. Rand Paul passed on the event to campaign for president in Iowa. His absence left him defenseless to the blunt barbs that Fancy Farm is known for.

Rand, look at me implored program emcee Matt Jones, a popular local sports radio talk-show host. Youre not gonna win. Youre not gonna win.The crazy people are voting for Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders Just come on back and join us here in the state.

Nearlythree months later, polls show Paul’s presidential campaign still failing to gaintraction. His inability to break through hascaused some Kentucky Republicansto suggest its time Paul focus on getting re-elected to the U.S. Senate next year even if they don’t outright say he should drop his presidential bid.


Rand Paul in Iowa: ‘Looking at cornfields, answering silly questions’

Politico reported last week that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and his allies were quietly ratcheting up pressure on Paul to pay moreattention to the Senate race.

Asked for comment,McConnell aide Robert Steurer said in a statement Tuesday, “Sen. McConnell supports Sen. Paul’s presidential bid and his Senate re-elect.”

Paul’s simultaneous presidential and Senatecampaigns put him in a unique position among the other long-shot GOP candidates, who are all either former officeholders or are not up for re-election in 2016.

I think its a bad mistake to assume Paul being re-elected to the Senate is a foregone conclusion. We have to expect that the Democrats are going to come really hard against him said Ted Jackson, a Louisville political consultant. He added that the longer Paul’s campaign struggles, the more difficulties he’ll face in his first Senate re-election bid.

Rand Paul addresses a crowd in Somerset, Ky., on Aug. 21, 2015, as Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin looks on.(Photo: Timothy D. Easley, AP)

But Pauls presidential campaign manager points to some polling data that he says indicates momentum Paul did qualify (barely)for Wednesday’s prime-time debate in Boulder, Colo., for leading candidates and vows to press on.

Rand Paul continues to be on the main stage of the debate, said Chip Englander. Were excited about having a little bit of momentum going into the debate, and well keep pushing.

Englander notes Paul came in fifth place with 5% support in one recent CNN national poll and is showing improvement in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. But the RealClearPolitics rolling average of national polls shows Paul is favored by only 3.4% of Republicans.

Englander also noted that Paul’s campaignhas more than $2.1 million on hand, and he says Pauls small-donor contributor base is helping.But during the most recent fundraising quarter that ended Sept. 30, Pauls campaign reported spending $4.5 million, while taking in only $2.5 million an unsustainable burn rate.

Many Kentucky Republicans, Jackson included, say Paul has some time, but that next years Senate race is critical.


Rand Paul opts to ‘go west’ to revive campaign

Rand Paul is surely smart enough to make his own decision, said Tom Watson, a member of the state GOP executive committee. Im proud of the fact hes working so hard for what he believes in, but there just hasnt been a lot of traction nationally, and I certainly dont want to take a chance on him losing that seat in Kentucky Sen. McConnell needs all of the soldiers he can find up there.

The Kentucky Republican Party did Paul a favor in August, rewriting its rules at Pauls request to let Paul run for re-election in the traditional May primary while seeking Kentuckys presidential delegates in a new GOP presidential caucus on March 5.


Ky. GOP approves caucus, allowing Paul presidential run

And for now, Paul clearly would be thefront-runner in a re-election campaign. No Kentucky Republican has expressed interest in challenging Paul in a primary, and Kentucky has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since the late Wendell Ford won his last term in 1992.

Many Democrats are encouragingState Auditor Adam Edelen,whom many view as a rising star in the party,to challenge Paul next year, though Edelen is now locked in a tighter-than-expected re-election campaign to be decided next Tuesday.

Bill Stone, a Louisville businessman and former chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party, says Paul has earned the right to press his presidential campaign until results in early voting states are in hand, and he gives Paul a chance.

The media has allowed the bloviating Donald Trump to suck all of the oxygen out of the room, Stone said. So, no, I have not ruled Rand Paul out. Hes so smart that he could stun the crowd at the debate Wednesday night.

Paul challenged Trump in both of the national debates so far, but to no effect.


USA TODAY GOP Power Rankings: Carson is the new king

Englander says it is still early in the campaign. He notes that Wednesday’s debate will focus on economic policy, giving Paul a chance to promote his flat tax plan that will lower taxes and simplify the tax code, as well as his plan to balance the budget.

I think weve got to make progress Englander said. Campaigns are one day at a time, working hard, putting together the organization. Maybe thats not sexy, but thats whats important and thats what were doing every day.

Follow@TomLoftus_CJon Twitter.


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Rand Paul facing pressure from his home state – USA TODAY

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Rand Paul Tries Out ‘Yo Momma’ Jokes for ‘Disaster’ Donald …

Rand Paul thinks Donald Trump winning the GOP nod and inviting Paul to be on his ticket would be an “utter and absolute disaster” and he’s ready to use a “yo momma” joke or two to bring him down.

In an appearance on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, the Kentucky senator got a chance to talk about how he really feels about the real estate mogul with whom he’s feuded for months. (NBC News got a sneak peek at some clips you can watch them here and here.)

In one segment with Wilmore, Paul was challenged to answer questions about Trump truthfully for the reward of stickers for “keeping it 100 percent real.” The punishment for untruths: tea bags, signalling, of course, “weak tea.”

Asked whether or not he hates The Donald, Paul offered a characteristic deadpan: “I really love Donald Trump.”

“I think he’s hilarious,” he added. “He’s in the wrong sort of arena now. I mean, he would be great in sort of the arena of television.”

Wilmore dubbed that answer not quite worthy of a prize. “You didn’t keep it 100. You kept it 70.”

But Paul was more candid in answering the question of whether he’d serve as Trump’s running mate if the real estate mogul was to win the GOP nod.

“It would be an utter and absolute disaster and I would want no part of it,” said Paul.

“That,” came Wilmore’s rejoinder, “is how you keep it 100.”

In another part of the segment, Wilmore suggested that Paul could use the most classic of insulting jokes of the yo momma genre during Wednesday CNBC night’s debate to torpedo Trump’s momentum.

“What do you think, like, ‘Your mother wears army boots,’ would that work or not?” Paul tried at first.

The comedian gave Paul an assist, offering a prompt: “Your momma’s so stupid, she thinks pound cake is… ?”

Paul replied: “A vegetable?”

Sick burn, senator.

Paul’s full interview will air November 2 at 11:30pm ET/PT on Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore.”

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Rand Paul’s balancing act: What to do with Ron … – CBS News

In 2012, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul was a force to be reckoned with in the presidential race. His group of supporters – including many young voters – was limited, but passionate. Though he wasn’t considered a serious contender for the Republican nomination, he had a strong showing in both the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, finishing third in Iowa with 21.5 percent of the vote and second in New Hampshire with 22.9 percent.

Now his son, Texas Sen. Rand Paul, is contemplating his own presidential bid. Both men come from the libertarian wing of the party, though Doug Wead, who has worked for both Pauls, calls the elder Paul a “classic libertarian” and the younger one a “practical libertarian.”

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CBS News Political Director John Dickerson talks about Sen. Rand Paul’s day of meeting with people in New Hampshire — even though he won’t make …

And while Ron Paul was generally viewed as someone who ran for president to prove a point, his son could be a serious contender for the nomination. What he has to do is navigate the tricky dance of keeping his father’s supporters engaged and on his side while attracting a whole other group of voters who might not have given Ron Paul a chance.

“His dad’s base is not going to be enough,so he’s got to find ways to expand the base and become, if not the favorite of different factions of the party, at least acceptable,” University of New Hampshire Political Science Professor Dante Scala told CBS News. “He has to do that in such a way that doesn’t make his father’s base voters feel as if they’re being betrayed or that Ron Paul’s legacy is being compromised.”

Politics isn’t the first arena where Paul has followed in his father’s footsteps. Like Ron Paul, who had a medical career that preceded his first run for office, Rand Paul also started out in the field of medicine. He was always active in politics, serving in the Young Conservatives of Texas club during college at Baylor University. He left for Duke University to attend medical school before completing his undergraduate degree, and he opened an ophthalmology practice in Bowling Green, Kentucky, after he completed his residency.

All the while, though, Paul was helping his father with his congressional campaign and 2008 presidential bid, and he started a group called the Kentucky Taxpayers Union in his home state. His rise coincided with the rise of the tea party in 2009, and in 2010 he defeated Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the establishment pick for Kentucky’s vacant Senate seat, to become a senator.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) used old-school filibuster tactics, speaking for 12 hours and 52 minutes to hold-up John Brennan’s CIA nomination. CBS Ne…

His time in the Senate has been largely defined by work on civil liberties issues. In 2011, he tried to block an extension of the PATRIOT Act, which was ultimately unsuccessful, and his national prominence spiked in March 2013 after he spent nearly 13 hours filibustering the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee to lead to CIA over the issue of unmanned drones being used to kill terrorism suspects who are U.S. citizens.

He has also been a stickler on spending issues, opposing budget deals that ultimately prevented government shutdowns because they did not cut enough from the budget, and has voted against raising the debt ceiling because Congress was not balancing its budget.

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, says he believes in the GOPs values but the partys brand is broken, which limits its appeal.

Paul has also rankled his fellow Republicans at times, both because he is far less hawkish on national security issues, and he has pushed the GOP to do more minority outreach. He once said, “The Republican Party brand sucks, and so people don’t want to be a Republican, and for 80 years, African-Americans have had nothing to do with Republicans,” and said a failure to reach out to black voters was the GOP’s “biggest mistake” of the last several decades. He has advocated for issues close to the black community, like expanding voting rights and reforming drug sentencing laws.

Immigration: Paul falls more to the left on the spectrum on immigration issues than many of his Republican colleagues. In 2013, during the heart of the Senate immigration debate, Paul delivered a speech in which he backed the idea of allowing immigrants in the U.S. illegally to become citizens. He favors an expansion of legal immigration and work permit program. But he ultimately voted against the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill, saying the plan failed to secure the border as its first item of business.

Economy: Ron Paul was famous for his call to “End the Fed,” the title of his 2009 book. Rand Paul doesn’t go that far, but has repeatedly introduced bills that would allow Congress to audit the Federal Reserve. He was also among the many politicians in the formative years of the tea party movement to raise alarm about the amount of debt the U.S. carries. He has advocated for cutting spending across the board and adopting a requirement that the federal government balance its budget.

Criminal justice system: The list of issues that attract bipartisan support is dwindling, but one area where Paul has found friends across the aisle is on issue of reforms to sentencing laws and the criminal justice system. He has worked on legislation to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences and bring disparate drug laws into line. He has also sought to change the laws in order to make the transition out of prison life easier by pushing for bills that would help people expunge their criminal records and allow convicted felons to vote. “Anyone who thinks race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice is just not paying close attention,” Paul said at a speech to the National Urban League last year.

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In what’s being called his first comprehensive foreign policy statement, the potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate explains four main princip…

Foreign policy: This is one of the areas where Paul finds himself most at odds with his own party, especially the traditional hawks who are much quicker to propose military intervention. He frequently invokes former President Ronald Reagan’s words, calling himself a believer in the “peace through strength” philosophy. Compared to some of his peers, he favors a more limited authorization for the use of military force in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – although he believes Congress should always give authorization for war. He has taken heat from fellow Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, for backing President Obama’s plan to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. He has also been a proponent of ending foreign aid to other countries, which has led to criticism that he wants to end aid for Israel, a U.S. ally that receives about $3 billion a year from the U.S.

Civil liberties: Paul’s libertarian beliefs are especially strong when it comes to civil liberties issues. He opposed the PATRIOT Act extension because it continued to authorize roving wiretaps and government searches of business records, and the filibuster was part of a larger concern over the use of drones to target Americans who have not been formally charged with a crime. He also joined a conservative group and Virginia’s former attorney general to sue the president and other top administration officials over National Security Agency surveillance of Americans’ phone records.

“He wants to do better than his father did. He actually wants to be the nominee and a lot of times his father seemed like more of a message candidate than a contender,” Scala said of Paul.

There’s an advantage to having a built-in base of support in Iowa and New Hampshire, giving Paul a source of volunteers and grassroots fundraising that exceeds most of his rivals. But to ensure that base works as hard for him as it did for his father, Paul will necessarily have ensure he doesn’t stray too far. Stay too close to the base, and he risks not attracting enough support to win the nomination.

Foreign policy seems to present the biggest challenge, where Paul is straying both away from his father and the mainstream of the GOP.

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With the midterm elections behind us, the political focus has shifted to the 2016 race for the White House. As Senior Political Edito…

Wead said foreign policy is the area in which Paul differs the most from his father.

“Both men believe that the nation should not go to war without congressional approval. In that sense, they both believe it is a mistake to abandon the U.S. Constitution and forfeit the war making powers to the president alone. And both men believe that the United States should not assume the role of policeman of the world. But the difference is in degrees. And it is huge,” he said.

Ron Paul, Wead said, “would prefer that American stay out of everybody else’s business. For example, he does not see Iran as a threat to American security.” Rand Paul would agree “in an ideal world” but sees the possibility of Iran building a nuclear weapon as a genuine danger to the U.S.

Wead also pointed to Rand Paul’s support for declaring war against ISIS, and said he sees the foreign aid issue in less stark terms than his father. He would focus on ending aid to countries that persecute Christians or money that gets funneled to terror groups that target Americans and Jews, rather than stopping all aid immediately. He also professes to support Israel, whereas his father was vocally critical of the U.S.’s support for the Middle Eastern nation.

But as different as Paul is from his father on the foreign policy issue, it won’t be enough for many Republicans.

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Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, defends an op-ed he penned arguing it was disheartening to hear members of his party like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sug…

Republicans “appear to be over their Bush fatigue when it comes to foreign policy and involvement overseas and that’s arguably been true since last fall with ISIS,” Scala said. “The appetite for sending ground troops abroad may not be what it was 10 years ago but still it appears as if Republican voters are in a hawkish mood, and that leaves Rand Paul on the outside looking in.”

Though Paul’s libertarian ethos is naturally a good fit with New Hampshire’s brand of Republicanism, Scala noted that even former Sen. Scott Brown, who ran hard on his hawkish national security positions, was ultimately unable to unseat incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire.

“His biggest problem in the party is whether in fact he surrenders what Republicans for 50 years have considered their trump card, and that’s the strong interventionist foreign policy stance,” Dennis Goldford, a political scientist at Drake University in Iowa, told CBS News. “And a lot of what attracted people to Ron Paul was the idea that we’ve sacrificed enough for the rest of an ungrateful world and let them all deal with their problems.”

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In Iowa, the challenge will be moving from beyond the libertarian base of the party to also attract some of the state’s powerful social and religious conservatives. There will be fierce competition in that space if people like former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee decide to enter the race.

Plus, Goldford said, Iowa voters are looking for a candidate who is able to display more visceral, in-your-face emotion than Paul does when he’s campaigning.

‘What these folks want is somebody who will channel their rage and anger about the Obama administration, about the condition of the country, and about the future, and so they would respond enthusiastically to people who attempted to channel that set of emotions,” he said. “They’re less inclined to respond enthusiastically to someone who sounds more soft-spoken and at times Rand Paul does.”

Of course, style can be both a positive and a negative, Wead noted when he was comparing father and son.

“The father is a great provocateur. Which explains his following. He would say something outrageous which would drive his audience to Google and when they came away with the answers they had the pride of authorship and the pride of discovery. It made them devoted,” Wead said. “But the father’s provocations also made enemies. The son is a superb politician. He is a natural pleaser.”

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Rand Paul | Right Wing Watch

The 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, was viewed by some on the Right as the subject of the biggest cover-up in history and a sign of the coming apocalypse, so it came as no surprise that House Republicans eventually organized a special committee to investigate the attack, which had already been examined by several other congressional and executive panels.

Republicans have tried for years to use the terrorist attack which led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens to go after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is testifying before the committee today. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently admitted that the special committee was formed to bring down Clintons popularity in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

Of course, uncovering facts has never been the GOPs primary motivation when it comes to Benghazi (or much else). As these five instances show, Republicans and their allies in the conservative media have been much more concerned with creating bizarre scenarios to claim that the administration, and fellow Republicans, are suppressing the truth of the attack.

1) No Evidence But What The Hell

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch unveiled an elaborate conspiracy theory earlier this year, alleging that the Obama administration wanted Libyan militants to kidnap Stevens in order to then do a prisoner swap for terrorist Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was convicted in the U.S. for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. However, the compound attackers botched the job after Stevens died, Fitton said, and therefore we can never know if the administration was actually ready to release Abdel-Rahman.

Fitton conceded in an interview with WorldNetDailys Jerome Corsi, a fellow Benghazi truther, that there is no evidence to support his theory.

Given what we know now, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the terrorist attack on Benghazi could have been a kidnapping attempt aimed at releasing the Blind Sheik, Fitton said.

He noted, however, there is no evidence that the Obama administration may have been complicit in any kidnapping plot related to the Benghazi attack.

And since he cant find any evidence to substantiate this claim, Fitton is pretty sure that there must have been a cover-up, insinuating that the State Department was trying to stop his group from receiving corroborating information.

2) Cover-Up Of The Cover-Up!

When President Obama first proposed bombing the Syrian regime after it used chemical weapons on civilians in Ghouta, Glenn Beck knew that Obama didnt want to stop such war crimes but instead wanted to cover up what really happened in Benghazi.

According to one conspiracy theory, Stevens was actually organizing an operation to transfer weapons from Libya to Syria to aid Islamic extremists (which of course raises the question of why these extremists would then want to attack the American post in the first place).

Seizing on that conspiracy theory, Beck speculated that it wasnt the Assad regime that used the chemical weapons in Ghouta, but rebels using weapons delivered from the U.S. via Benghazi. Now, Beck reasoned, Obama wanted to bomb Syria because he was covering the trail of the lost weapons from Benghazi.

Beck later claimed that David Petraeus stepped down as CIA director not because he leaked classified information to his mistress but because he was about to blow the Benghazi scandal wide open. Becks theory ran into a slight hitch when Petraeus publicly praised Clintons response to the attack.

Beck has also alleged that the administration let them die in Benghazi after issuing a stand-down order, an accusation refuted on his very own news website.

3) I Dont Have Any Proof

The arms-running conspiracy theory cited by Beck emerged in the right-wing outlet WorldNetDaily, a home of credible journalism such as Is Obama Biblical Lord of the Flies? and Does Bible Code Predict President Romney?.

While we werent surprised that Beck would pick up a conspiracy theory from such a website, it was a bit more shocking when a U.S. senator brought up WNDs conspiracy theory in a hearing with Clinton. At a 2013 hearing, Sen. Rand Paul demanded that a dumbfounded Clinton tell him if the U.S. was transferring weapons from Libya into Syria via Turkey.

Paul admitted that he didnt have any proof before suggesting that the gun-running scheme was what was really happening and the cover-up was an attempt to massage and get over this issue without getting into the gun trade.

Investigations, including one led by Republicans, have found that Stevens was trying to find weapons, but in order to keep them out of the hands of extremists, with no evidence at all that he then sent those weapons to Syrian groups.

4) Marijuana A Benghazi Distraction!

Ben Carson is very upset about the Obama administrations push to reform American drug laws. The GOP presidential candidate told Joseph Farah, the editor of WorldNetDaily (notice a theme?), that the administrations push to liberalize laws on marijuana, along with its stance on the trademark of the Washington Redskins, is all part of a plot to distract people from the Benghazi attack.

Carson told Farah last year that most people now just think Benghazi is a singer.

And these people vote and they have no idea, he lamented.

Carson isnt the only one to latch onto the distraction theme. Conservative activist Robert Knight of the American Civil Rights Union dedicated a column in the Washington Times about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Bradys since-lifted suspension by insisting that the Deflategate scandal was part of an effort to distract people from Benghazi. Iowa radio broadcaster Steve Deace similarly wonder if NFL prospect Michael Sams decision to come out of the closet was also just a Benghazi distraction.

5) Benghazi Special Committee Is Part Of The Benghazi Cover-Up!

Since every single official committee, including ones led by Republicans, that has investigated the Benghazi attack has ended up debunking the conspiracy theories percolating through the right-wing media, a group of conservative activists has launched theCitizens Commission on Benghazi to find the real truth.

This unofficial committee has embraced so many conspiracy theories surrounding the attack that its members even believe that the GOP-led Benghazi Special Committee is aiding the cover-up!

One member, Ret. Navy Adm. James Ace Lyons, told, guess who, WorldNetDaily, that committee chairman Trey Gowdy needs to go, lamenting that this is a continued cover-up.

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Rand Paul: ‘I will force the expiration’ of the PATRIOT Act …

Rand Paul plans to force the expiration of the PATRIOT Act Sunday by refusing to allow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to expedite debate on a key surveillance bill.

In a statement to POLITICO Saturday, Paul warned that he would not consent to any efforts to pass either an extension of current law or the USA Freedom Act, a reform bill passed overwhelmingly by the House earlier this month.

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So tomorrow, I will force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program, Paul said.

Because of the nature of the Senate rules, Paul can force the expiration of the PATRIOT Act, which he has vowed on the campaign trail to repeal as president because he contends it invades Americans privacy rights.

In a rare Sunday session, McConnell, sources said, appears likely to move the USA Freedom Act, despite his opposition to how the bill overhauls the National Security Agencys bulk data collection program. Thats because McConnell has little other choice given the vast support within Congress for the bill.

But Paul argues that bill actually expands the PATRIOT Act and hes threatening to prevent the Senate from moving to final passage Sunday. He can likely prevent the bill from passing until at least Thursday, three days after the expiration of a law many argue is central to the nations security.

Heres Paul statement to POLITICO in full:

I have fought for several years now to end the illegal spying of the NSA on ordinary Americans. The callous use of general warrants and the disregard for the Bill of Rights must end. Forcing us to choose between our rights and our safety is a false choice and we are better than that as a nation and as a people. Thats why two years ago, I sued the NSA. Its why I proposed the Fourth Amendment Protection Act. Its why I have been seeking for months to have a full, open and honest debate on this issue a debate that never came. So last week, seeing proponents of this illegal spying rushing toward a deadline to wholesale renew this unconstitutional power, I filibustered the bill. I spoke for over 10 hours to call attention to the vast expansion of the spy state and the corresponding erosion of our liberties.

Then, last week, I further blocked the extension of these powers and the Senate adjourned for recess rather than stay and debate them. Tomorrow, we will come back with just hours left before the NSA illegal spying powers expire. Let me be clear: I acknowledge the need for a robust intelligence agency and for a vigilant national security.

I believe we must fight terrorism, and I believe we must stand strong against our enemies.

But we do not need to give up who we are to defeat them. In fact, we must not.

There has to be another way. We must find it together.

So tomorrow, I will force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program.

I am ready and willing to start the debate on how we fight terrorism without giving up our liberty.

Sometimes when the problem is big enough, you just have to start over. The tax code and our regulatory burdens are two good examples.

Fighting against unconditional, illegal powers that take away our rights, taken by previous Congresses and administrations is just as important.

I do not do this to obstruct. I do it to build something better, more effective, more lasting, and more cognizant of who we are as Americans.

Manu Raju is senior congressional reporter for Politico.

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