Senator Rand Paul told Fox News’ Media Buzz that, reports to the contrary, he has no intention of dropping out of the 2016 race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Paul also took some more shots at Senator Ted Cruz, after saying last week that the Texas senator was “pretty much done for” in the Senate.
“I think the rumors of my demise are somewhat exaggerated, to say the least,” Paul said Sunday on Fox News’ “Media Buzz.”
His paltry $2.5 million third quarter fundraising haul had sparked expectations that Paul might soon drop out. But he insisted Sunday that he doesn’t need much money to keep up his campaign efforts.
“We run a tight ship around here,” Paul said. “We plan on being in for the long hall, and I think ultimately celebrity will sort of filter out of this.”
Paul also took a shot at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of his GOP rivals for the 2016 presidential nomination.
Five days earlier, he’d said Cruz is “pretty much done for” in the Senate because he’s failed to form personal relationships with his colleagues. Paul repeated that criticism Sunday.
“I think we do have different styles. My style is when I disagree with someone, not to call them a name or be very inflammatory,” Paul said.
“I can be very strong in what I believe in and I’m willing to stand up for that,” he said. “But even (Senate Democratic leader) Harry Reid — who’s on the opposite side — I have pretty good relations with him, even though he’s a Democrat, and I wouldn’t call him a liar or I wouldn’t call him dishonest because I don’t think that furthers the debate, even with people you disagree with.”
Paul may not have much of a chance, but for a major candidate, it’s far too early to drop out. His fund-raising haul may not have been impressive, but he doesn’t need much to compete in the retail-politics states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Trump is finally showing signs of vulnerability, so the next debate is going to be crucial — especially for candidates in the lower tier. Lightning could strike any of them at the debate, propelling them back into the race.
Stranger things have happened, and Paul just needs to be ready if the spotlight shines in his direction.