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Vermont Lt. Gov. Phil Scott introduces presidential candidate Rand Paul during a Republican rally in Essex Monday, August 31, 2015. Produced by Channel 17.
Republican candidate for president Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, in Essex on Monday.(Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)Buy Photo
ESSEX – Presidential candidate Rand Paul spent much of his visit to Vermont arguing that defending the U.S. Constitution sets him apart from rivals Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush.
Calling himself a “different kind of Republican,” Paul assured Vermonters that he can win in blue and purple states, with young voters and with minorities.
“If Republicans run the same kind of candidate that we’ve always run, at least in the last several cycles, they can’t compete in some of these areas,” he said in an interview before his speech.
Locals teed off another contrast.
“Please join me in welcoming to Vermont a presidential candidate that is not Bernie Sanders,” said Vermont’s Republican National Committeewoman Susie Hudson, filling Whitcomb Barn in Essex with cheers.
Paul, who stopped by the fundraiser on his way to New Hampshire and Maine, is a Kentucky senator, ophthalmologist and son of former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul. He became the first non-Vermont presidential hopeful to visit the Green Mountain State this election cycle.
Paul filled the barn with his stump speech, asking Republicans to push back against warrant-less searches of phone records and detention without trial.
“If you like the Second Amendment, you’re not going to keep it unless you have the Fourth Amendment,” Paul said.
“Amen,” offered a man in the crowd.
In his speech Paul also blamed former secretary of state Clinton for the death of the U.S. ambassador in Libya, called Donald Trump a “fake conservative,” argued against involvement in Middle East civil wars and said “the executive branch is on steroids.”
Vermont Republicans gave Paul a quart of maple syrup and a standing ovation.
State Rep. Paul Dame, R-Essex Junction, believes that Paul, who is currently polling near the bottom of a crowded Republican field, is the only Republican that could win Vermont in a general election.
“Rand is the kind of Republican who can win in the Northeast,” Dame said, emphasizing limited government messages that could appeal to centrist Democrats.
Other state Republicans were more muted, saying they simply came to listen but were glad that Vermont was getting some presidential attention.
“I don’t consider myself to be a libertarian,” said Rep. Corey Parent, R-St. Albans.
Conor Casey, executive director of the Vermont Democratic Party, countered in an interview that Paul isn’t too far from other Republican candidates on issues like cutting the social “safety net,” defunding Planned Parenthood and imposing a flat income tax.
“I’m surprised by the Republicans’ choice of guest speaker at this fundraiser,” Casey said.
In an interview, Paul acknowledged that “Bernie, like Donald Trump, is going through a big rise at this point.”
“I think most Americans aren’t socialist, and I don’t know if they’ve discovered yet that Bernie’s a socialist,” Paul said. “Having government own the means of production is, you know, what led to the demise of the Soviet Union.”
Other speakers at the Vermont Republican Party fundraiser included party Finance Chairwoman Dawn Terrill, Executive Director Jeff Bartley and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, who is considering a campaign for governor next year.
Note: The Vermont Republican Party fundraiser took place at the Whitcomb Barn in Essex. The location was unclear in an earlier version of this article.
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Rand Paul rallies Vermont GOP
The 2016 presidential campaign of Rand Paul, the junior United States Senator from Kentucky, was announced on April 7, 2015 at an event at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky. First elected to the U.S. Senate in the 2010, Paul’s candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2016 has been widely speculated since early 2013.
Leading up to his formal announcement, Paul delivered several high profile speeches, which included filibustering the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan, speeches at Berkeley and Howard University, and meeting with community leaders in Ferguson, Missouri and Detroit, Michigan, in what has been described as an attempt to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal with non-traditional constituencies.
Rand Paul first acknowledged a possible 2016 Presidential candidacy in January 2013. On February 13, 2013, Paul delivered the Tea Party response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, prompting some pundits to consider him a potential candidate in the upcoming presidential election. On March 67, 2013, Paul engaged in a filibuster to delay voting on the nomination of John O. Brennan as the Director of the CIA. Paul questioned the Obama administration’s use of drones and the stated legal justification for their potential use within the United States. Paul held the floor for 12 hours and 52 minutes. Following his filibuster, Paul spoke at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C., where he won the presidential straw poll with 25% of the votes cast. Paul again spoke at CPAC in National Harbor, Maryland on March 7, 2014. The day after his speech, he won the presidential straw poll for the second year in a row with 31% of the votes cast, nearly triple the percentage of runner-up U.S. Senator Ted Cruz with 11%.
In April 2014, Paul spoke at the GOP Freedom Summit, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity and Citizens United, which was also attended by several other potential presidential candidates. In his speech, he insisted that the GOP has to broaden its appeal in order to grow as a party. To do so, he said it cannot be the party of “fat cats, rich people and Wall Street” and that the conservative movement has never been about rich people or privilege, “we are the middle class”, he said. Paul also said that conservatives must present a message of justice and concern for the unemployed and be against government surveillance to attract new people to the movement, including young people, and Hispanic and African Americans.
Leading up to his decision about running for President, Paul visited several historically black colleges, including Howard University, Bowie State University, and Simmons College. In addition, he visited Ferguson, Missouri, and also spoke at the Detroit Economic Club. During his remarks, Paul highlighted his efforts to improve the criminal justice system by reforming mandatory minimum sentencing laws, and restoring voting rights of individuals with non-violent felonies, which Paul believes disproportionately affects the African American and Hispanic communities. Paul also introduced his plan to create “economic freedom zones” which would help areas of high unemployment, such as Louisville or Detroit, to reduce federal regulation and taxes to boost economic growth. Paul received praise for his efforts from Lorraine Miller, acting President of the NAACP, and he also sponsored legislation with Democratic U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand to improve the criminal justice system for young men and women in a “cycle of poverty and incarceration.” Analysts have considered this effort by Paul an attempt to broaden the appeal of the Republican Party brand to non-traditional constituencies, which Paul believes is an important point for Republicans to consider in any national election going forward. Paul’s outreach to minority communities seems to be working, as polls show him receiving up to 29% of the African-American vote in his home state. This is significant, as John McCain received just 4% of the African-American vote in 2008 and Mitt Romney took just 6% in 2012.
In April 2011, Paul filed to run for re-election to his Senate seat in 2016, but if he does become the Republican presidential (or vice presidential) nominee, state law prohibits him from simultaneously running for re-election. In March 2014, the Republican-controlled Kentucky Senate passed a bill that would allow Paul to run for both offices, but the Democratic-controlled Kentucky House of Representatives declined to take it up. Paul spent his own campaign money in the 2014 legislative elections, helping Republican candidates for the State House in the hopes of flipping the chamber, thus allowing the legislature to pass the bill (Democratic Governor Steve Beshear’s veto can be overridden with a simple majority). However, the Democrats retained their 5446 majority in the State House. Paul in turn gave his support to the idea that the Kentucky Republican Party could decide to hold a caucus rather than a primary, which the party has agreed to do.
In addition to his own political prospects, in the lead up to the 2014 midterm elections, Paul made a point to campaign for several Senate and Congressional candidates, including Joni Ernst and Rod Blum in Iowa, former U.S. Senator Scott Brown in New Hampshire, David Perdue in Georgia, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Pat Roberts in Kansas. Paul facilitated these endorsements through his political action committee known as Rand PAC, which was able to provide funds for candidates that Paul had endorsed, as well as provide volunteer support, and air television and radio commercials in support of certain candidates. Because of Paul’s appeal to younger voters and “grassroots energy,” a majority of Republican campaign operatives, according to Politico, selected Paul as their top choice as a campaign surrogate. After the election, Paul launched a social media campaign titled “Hillary’s Losers” which was meant to highlight many of the Democratic candidates who lost their bids for the U.S. Senate despite endorsements from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Out of the nearly 20 endorsements that Paul offered in the 2014 midterm election, only three candidates were unsuccessful in their campaigns for office. In contrast, more than half of Clinton’s endorsements were unsuccessful, but many political analysts regarded the 2014 midterm elections as a wave election year for Republicans.
Near the end of 2014, Paul made moves towards a presidential run, including hiring staff in several states, setting up offices, and hiring a campaign manager. In January 2015, Rand Paul gained the support of Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri, a move seen as crucial in taking on potential rivals Governor Rick Perry and Senator Ted Cruz, both with deep ties to Texas. Paul hired a digital strategist who previously worked on the Senate campaign for Ted Cruz, Vincent Harris, and a campaign manager, Chip Englander, who led businessman Bruce Rauner’s successful campaign for Governor in Illinois. Longtime Paul advisor Doug Stafford will stay on as a senior political advisor to the Paul campaign. Campaign operations have also begun in many of the early states, with the hiring of Steve Grubbs, a former Chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, to run Paul’s potential Iowa campaign, Michael Biundo, formerly campaign manager for Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential bid, in New Hampshire, Chris LaCivita, who advised Senator Pat Roberts and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in his gubernatorial bid, in South Carolina, and John Yob, a campaign operative, based in Michigan. Through his political action committee, known as Reinventing A New Direction (RAND) PAC, Paul toured many states seen as important in gathering both votes and fundraising dollars.
After former Governor Mitt Romney announced that he would not seek a third presidential bid, political analyst Mark Halperin made a statement that he thought that Paul was the new frontrunner in the New Hampshire primary if it were to be held then. Polling throughout 2014, both nationally and in statewide contests, has consistently placed Paul among the top tier of candidates potentially seeking the Republican Party’s nomination in the 2016 presidential election.
If anyone ought to be well positioned in the current, fractured Republican field, its Rand Paul. The Kentucky senators libertarian stances make him stand out from the pack, and his supporters were supposed to give him a solid base that he could expand by appealing to more traditional Republicans.
But instead, Paul seems to be flailing, and fighting for space in the crowded GOP landscape. Hes tied for fourth place in the average of national polls, fifth in Iowa, third in New Hampshire. His fundraising isnt going wellhes even been frozen out by the top donor to his father, the former Texas congressman Ron Paul. Hes struggling to earn the backing of his fathers rank and file supporters, as well. And while Rand Pauls recent maneuvers in the Senate succeeded in derailing renewal of the Patriot Act, they also served to highlight the unpopularity of his national-security positions within his partyand the stunt got far less buzz than the 2013 filibuster that made him a hero to many conservatives.
Inside and around the campaign, there is a sense that things are not going as well as hoped for Paul, multiple sources told me. They are in a challenging spot right now, said one Republican operative with knowledge of the campaign. They are having a hard time reaching out to new constituencies while keeping the base happy. The problem, the operative said, is that Pauls flip-flopping and triangulation have damaged his reputation for ideological purity. Senator Paul appears, in the minds of Republicans, to have gone from a guy who was standing on principle, who wanted to do things, to a politician who wants to be something, the operative said.
A different GOP strategist put it more succinctly to National Journals Josh Kraushaar, calling the Paul campaign a disaster.
Why is Paul having such a hard time? Partly it is because the crowded field he thought would give him an advantage includes several conservative candidates appealing to a similar pool of votersfrom the firebrand Ted Cruz to social conservative Mike Huckabee to neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Partly it is the shifting landscape of key issues, which has put foreign policy front and center. (National security and terrorism recently became the No. 1 concern of GOP primary voters, and 57 percent of them want an approach that is more aggressive, not less, according to a recent Pew survey.) And partly it is a matter of flawed strategic assumptionsa campaign that believed it could build a coalition of different kinds of voters based on the candidates various facets is finding it may instead be a zero-sum game.
Just a few months ago, some were calling Paul the early frontrunner for the nomination. The many moderate and establishment-oriented candidates, Paul himself theorized, would split the partys more traditional voters, allowing Paul to consolidate conservatives. Paul was by far the most aggressive candidate in building a campaign infrastructure, constructing a 50-state network that was in place more than a year ago. Meanwhile, he courted traditional big-money donors, schmoozing confabs like Mitt Romneys Utah donor retreat as he sought to prove he was less of a loose cannonsome might say gadflythan his father. In a March 2014 national poll of Republican primary voters, he placed first with 16 percent of the vote.
Paul started early because he was hoping to lock in support while other potential candidates were still making up their minds. He paid his first visits to Iowa and New Hampshire in the spring of 2013. He vigorously courted social conservatives with a message that linked personal liberty to religious liberty and emphasized his opposition to abortion. In the 2012 Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul came in third, with 21 percent of the vote; he came in second in New Hampshire, with 23 percent. Rand Pauls advisers figured he would naturally appeal to those voters as the closest thing in the field to Ron Paul, and could quickly vault to the front by building on that base.
But polling averages now put Paul under 9 percent in Iowa and around 12 percent in New Hampshire. Paul gets 9 percent of the Republican primary vote nationally, on average, the same amount of support as Carson and behind Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio. Polls at this stage arent at all predictive of how the race will actually shake out, but they are a barometer of Republican activists current sentiment. What they show is that, despite Pauls early organizational efforts and his supposed claim on liberty-minded Republicans, the percentage of voters ready to commit to him is smalland rather than building it up, he may be watching it shrink.
Ron Pauls supporters, a finicky and purist bunch, have proved less transferable to Rand Paul than the campaign assumed. In Iowa, several prominent former Ron Paul supporters, including state Senator Jason Schultz, are backing Cruz. This week, the New York Times reported that Rand Paul was beginning to win over some formerly leery Ron Paul fansa strikingly late conversion of a group he thought he could take for granted. Many Ron Paul supporters have been alienated by Rand Pauls gestures to the establishment, particularly his partnership with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose reelection he endorsed and campaigned for last year. In blocking the reauthorization of the Patriot Act last week, Paul antagonized McConnell, but won points with libertarians for proving he could stand up to the leader.
Unlike Pauls 2013 filibuster against drones, which brought him wide acclaim and highlighted his political creativity, his speech on surveillance last week was largely viewed as a political stunt aimed at thrusting him into the spotlight and goosing his lagging fundraising. Thats perhaps inevitablePaul is a candidate now, as he wasnt the last timeand perhaps unfair, as he has a long track record on the issue. But it highlights how his image has changed, from that of a passion-driven truth-teller, like his father, to that of a politically minded triangulator. Confronted with the accusation, Paul displayed another unfortunate tendency by lashing out at his critics, saying that those who oppose him secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me. (He later backed off and acknowledged that the statement was hyperbole.)
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Rand Paul’s Struggling Presidential Campaign – The Atlantic
Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul brought his presidential campaign to Chicago on Wednesday, appealing to African-Americans on the South Side, entrepreneurs downtown and Republicans in the suburbs.
On a stage set up on a blacktop parking lot in front of an American flag mural at 66th Street and South King Drive, Paul continued a unique approach for GOP White House contenders making an appeal to African-Americans who tend to favor Democrats.
Paul opened his speech by referring to the “black lives matter” refrain used by protesters after the controversial deaths of African-American men at the hands of police. Paul said the phrase reminds him of the deaths of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by officers in New York, and Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody in Baltimore. But Paul said the phrase also has meaning in Chicago.
“When I hear people say, ‘Black lives matter,’ I think of Jacele Johnson, who is 4 years old and got shot this weekend just a few blocks from here,” Paul said of the Englewood girl who doctors say is swiftly recovering after being shot on the left side of her head Friday night outside a family gathering. “You may be saying to yourself, ‘Why is this white guy saying black lives matter, what does he know about crime in my neighborhood?’ Well, I’ve got crime in my neighborhood too. We’ve got some kind of thing going on in our country, and we need to come to grips with it.”
Paul then talked about a horrific 2011 case in his home state. “In my little town in Kentucky, a white woman cut a baby out of another white woman.
“There is crime going on all across America. It is not a racial thing, it is a spiritual problem,” Paul said. “I think government can play a role in public safety, but I don’t think government can mend a broken spirit. Government can’t provide you salvation, government can’t save you. Ultimately, salvation is something you accept yourselves.”
A white, libertarian Republican senator from the South urging African-American voters in an impoverished, heavily Democratic neighborhood on the city’s South Side to look within themselves to “find your inner grace” isn’t a typical scene in a GOP presidential bid. Paul, though, isn’t running a conventional campaign.
His stop in Chicago came a day after the release of his book “Taking a Stand,” in which he makes the case for a new, more inclusive Republican Party, proclaiming the “Republican brand sucks.”
On Wednesday, Paul sought to bring that theme to the stump.
He advocated for reclassifying nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors as part of his call to end “mass incarceration” in America.
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Rand Paul in Chicago: Crime ‘not a racial thing, it is a …
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, wrapped up his so-called “filibuster” over the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk collection of Americans’ phone records just before midnight Thursday.
Paul’s talk-a-thon on the Senate floor lasted exactly 10 and a half hours.
“My voice is rapidly leaving, my bedtime has long since passed,” Paul said as he began to wrap up his speech. “The bulk collection must end, and I think we have the votes to do it now.”
“Thank you for staying and not throwing things. We will try not to do this but every few years,” he said. “I want to thank the American people for considering the arguments and hopefully for helping us push this towards a reform where we all respect the Fourth Amendment and the Bill of Rights all again. Thank you Mr. President, and I relinquish the floor.”
Armed with binders full of material, Paul started his lengthy speech opposing the PATRIOT Act at 1:18 p.m. Wednesday.
There comes a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer. That time is now, and I will not let the PATRIOT Act, the most un-patriotic of acts, go unchallenged,” Paul said as he started his speech on the Senate floor. “The bulk collection of all Americans’ phone records all of the time is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.
“The people don’t want the bulk collection of their records, and if we were listening, we would hear that,” Paul said.
Provisions of the PATRIOT Act, including Section 215, which authorizes the NSA’s controversial bulk collection of phone records, is set to expire on June 1. Paul, known for his libertarian leanings, has said he does not want the program to be reauthorized.
Over the course of his filibuster, Paul was joined by several of his Senate colleagues, most notably including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is running against Paul in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Cruz, who partook in Pauls 2013 filibuster against drones and waged a filibuster of his own against Obamacare in 2013, compared the moment to the Blues Brothers
Its not clear whether his speech on the PATRIOT Act had any real effect on Mitch McConnells plans.
By Seung Min Kim and Alex Byers
5/20/15 2:01 PM EDT
Updated 5/21/15 4:08 PM EDT
Rand Paul relinquished the Senate floor late Wednesday night after 10-and-a-half hours of lambasting the government surveillance programs capitalizing on a sleepy day in the Senate to highlight his opposition to key parts of the PATRIOT Act that expire at the end of the month.
Wearing dark green sneakers in apparent preparation to go deep into the evening, Paul launched into a lengthy critique of surveillance a stance thats put him squarely against top Republicans and other GOP presidential contenders who advocate continuing the controversial bulk collection programs.
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There comes a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer, Paul said as he opened his remarks at 1:18 p.m. Wednesday. That time is now. And I will not let the PATRIOT Act the most unpatriotic of acts go unchallenged.
By carrying his talk-a-thon to the brink of Thursday, Paul prevented Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from filing cloture on a bill to extend or reform the PATRIOT Act.
But its not clear that McConnell ever intended to so its uncertain whether Paul truly gummed up McConnells plan. And with the House set to depart Thursday, a Senate surveillance vote while House lawmakers are still in town was unlikely anyway.
Rand Paul Reaction To Ted Cruz Liberty University Speech – Paul's Response
Rand Paul Reaction To Ted Cruz Liberty University Speech.
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Rand Paul Reaction To Ted Cruz Liberty University Speech – Paul’s Response – Video
Rand Paul Speech to Congress about Containment of Iran
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Rand Paul Speech to Congress about Containment of Iran – Video
Rand Paul: “Those Who Love Liberty Must Rise” CPAC 2015 Speech
Rand Paul speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference of 2015 about limiting the size and intrusiveness of government and what he believes America…
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Rand Paul: "Those Who Love Liberty Must Rise" CPAC 2015 Speech – Video