Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is advising voters to consider the winnability factor when weighing the candidacy of his colleague in the upper chamber.
Paul said he “didn’t find much” he “disagreed with” in Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) 2016 campaign announcement yesterday at Liberty University, but he was “traveling and busy” and only saw a clip. Paul was on the Senate floor Monday for a 5:30 p.m. vote but Cruz was not.
“But I kind of remember those days I went to Baylor University and we were all required to go to convocation,” Paul said on Fox last night of the Liberty students who showed up to the Cruz announcement wearing “I Stand with Rand” T-shirts. “So, all these kids are required and some of those who were required wanted to make sure that just by having to be there they weren’t expressing their support. But we were glad to see them there and organized and, you know, excited about the possibility of me running.”
Paul said his voting record is “very, very similar” to Cruz, but “what makes us different is probably our approach as to how we would make the party bigger.”
“And I’m a big believer that you should stand on principle and be true to your principles. But I also think that we should take those principles and try to bring in new people with them. So I’ve spent the last couple years trying to go places Republicans haven’t gone,” he said. “And maybe not just throwing out red meat but actually throwing out something intellectually enticing to people who haven’t been listening to our message before.”
Paul said he’s “thinking about” running for president and will have “some kind of announcement April 7.” As that date will kick off a five-state tour, that’s expected to be a presidential announcement.
“I try to get along with all the wings of the party. But I also am able to take the message of liberty and bill of rights and take it to Howard University, to their Urban League, to NAACP, to Ferguson, to Berkeley and try to bring new people into the party. So, it isn’t just about rousing the base. It’s about exciting the base by being for the principles of liberty but then taking those principles of liberty, not diluting them and taking them to new people and bringing them into the party. That’s the way you win general elections,” the senator said.
“…Right now I’m the only one that beats Hillary Clinton in certain purple states. I’m the only one that also scores above all the other republicans in whether or not I can beat her. So there will be a lot of conservatives. Ted Cruz is a conservative. But it also goes to winnability.”
Paul said the nominee needs to “aggressively go after the Clintons” for “their corruption.”
“We won’t win unless we do aggressively combat [Hillary Clinton] and make sure that she has to explain her record as well,” he added.