Rand Paul

It's still more than 15 months until the Iowa caucuses, and no one in the crowded field of Republicans with presidential ambitions has announced. But things are already happening in Iowa, especially for Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Paul has reached out to Iowans who never considered voting for his father, Ron Paul, who made a respectable third-place showing there in 2012.

He's still popular with his father's old supporters. Many of them are in the so-called liberty faction of the Iowa GOP.

Sen. Paul Says He'd Authorize Intervention Against ISIS

Sep 10, 2014

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a possible presidential candidate in 2016, says an "overwhelming" majority in Congress -- including him -- would authorize military intervention against militants in northern Iraq and Syria if President Barack Obama seeks approval when he addresses the nation tonight.

Speaking to The Associated Press before a visit to New Hampshire, Paul's comments mark his continued evolution on foreign policy as he tries to shed an "isolationist" label.

Paul says he'd vote to intervene against the militants, who took responsibility for beheading two American journalists.

He says getting Congressional authorization makes the effort more bipartisan.

Paul has been criticized for positions that have branded him an anti-interventionist. His comment that foreign aid be reduced, including to longtime ally Israel, led some to call him an isolationist.

WKU PBS

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has several appearances in New Hampshire this week—appearances  that are likely to further the impression that the Bowling Green Republican is planning to run for the White House.

Sen. Paul is scheduled to speak at an event Thursday in Manchester, New Hampshire, that is hosted by Generation Opportunity, a libertarian-leaning youth group the website Politico says has ties to the Koch brothers.

On Friday, Paul will headline the New Hampshire Republican Party’s Breakfast in the Granite State,  a unity event following Tuesday’s state primary.

New Hampshire, of course, is one of a handful of early caucus and primary states that plays an outsized role in U.S. Presidential elections. Paul’s brand of libertarianism has many fans among Granite State Republicans, who are known for their independent streak.

Paul has said he will announce in early 2015 whether or not he is running for the White House in 2016.

WKU PBS

A majority of Kentuckians are against the idea of changing a state law to allow Rand Paul to run for both the White House and Senate in 2016.

The Bluegrass Poll of 647 registered voters shows two-thirds are against changing the law, including a majority of Republicans.

See the poll's data here.

Paul, a Bowling Green Republican,  is up for re-election to the Senate in 2016, but is also considering a presidential bid that year. Kentucky law disallows a candidate’s name from appearing on the same ballot for two different offices.

Some highlights from the poll:

  • 66% of those surveyed were opposed to changing the law, with 27% in favor.
  • 54% of Republicans were opposed, while 78% of Democrats said the law should not be changed.
  • Sen. Paul is viewed favorably by 39% of those surveyed, 32% view the Bowling Green Republican unfavorably, and 24% said they were neutral

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, reacting to the unfolding unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, says there is a “systematic problem with today’s law enforcement."

In an op-ed for Time magazine, Paul writes that most police officers are “good cops and good people” and face an “unquestionably difficult job."  But, Paul also accuses the federal government of “incentivizing the militarization of local police...in the name of fighting the war on drugs and terrorism."

He also says the disparity in the criminal justice system when it comes to race can make African Americans feel like they are being targeted.

WKU PBS

Rand Paul’s status among potential Republican 2016 presidential candidates has fallen, according to the latest McClatchy-Marist poll. But the survey also indicates Paul has narrowed the gap with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a potential general election matchup.

As of six months ago, the poll showed Clinton with a 20 percentage point lead, head-to-head against Paul.  But now, the Bowling Green republican has cut the lead to six points, 48 percent to 42 percent. 

Neither Paul nor Clinton has officially announced they'll seek the White House in two years.

Among Republicans however, Paul is only garnering seven percent of support, ranking behind Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio.

Kentucky senator Rand Paul said the racial imbalance of the nation's prisons that convinced him to support sentencing reform has not prompted him to scrutinize the death penalty in advance of a possible 2016 run for President.

Paul said he has not had a lot of feedback from minorities about the death penalty, calling it a state issue.

White people have accounted for more than half of all executions in the U.S. since 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. But more than half of the country's current death row inmates are either black of Hispanic.

No Central American youth are on their way to Fort Knox.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul Paul told the annual meeting of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Monday that the southern U.S. border has been so porous that some of the children would be shipped to Fort Knox. A Paul spokesman said in a follow-up statement the Senator's office was "aware that Fort Knox has been discussed as a possible location for unaccompanied migrant children."

However, the offices of two other members of Kentucky's federal delegation, Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie and Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, say they've been told by the U.S. Health & Human Services Department that Fort Knox was briefly considered as a potential Unaccompanied Alien Children shelter, but it isn't being considered anymore.

Sen. Paul: Some Child Immigrants May Go To Fort Knox

Jul 21, 2014
Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says Fort Knox is being considered as a possible place to temporarily house some of the immigrant children pouring across the country's southern border.

Paul spokesman Dan Bayens says the senator's office was notified that the Army post in central Kentucky has been under review as a place to take in an undetermined number of unaccompanied Central America minors.

Paul commented on the situation during a speech Monday to a Kentucky Chamber business summit in Louisville.

The Kentucky Republican spoke out against transporting the children to Fort Knox. He says they should be treated humanely until being returned to their home countries.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Crosson says Fort Knox was on a short list of potential military sites to house the children.

Crosson says it was determined that Fort Knox won't be available until at least September due to ROTC training at the post.

The Border Patrol says more than 57,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October. Three-fourths of them are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Republican efforts to win control of the Kentucky House got a boost from a national figure Saturday.

The incoming U.S. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, was in Bowling Green to raise money for the Republican Party of Kentucky House Trust. McCarthy visited the commonwealth at the request of the state’s 2nd District Congressman, Brett Guthrie of Warren County.

Speaking to reporters before the fundraiser, Rep. McCarthy said what happens in state legislatures can often trickle up to the nation's capital.

“I feel states are able to show and be a generator of ideas greater than Washington--that you can do the pilot programs,” the California Republican said. “The whole concept of welfare reform came from states. States don’t get to print more money. States have to balance a budget. States have to move forward. They carry out agencies they didn’t create.”

Democrats have controlled the Kentucky House for over 90 years, and the party’s state leaders say they will continue to hold the chamber despite the amount of GOP money being raised ahead of the November election. Republicans would have to win a net gain of five seats this fall to take control of the House.

Multiple super PACs have been created by Republicans this year to boost their party’s efforts to win the chamber, including a group founded by GOP gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner, and a PAC run by a Kentuckian who served as a top aide to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Broadening the Republican Party’s Appeal?

During his visit to The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, McCarthy said he agreed with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s recent statements about Republicans needing to expand the party’s appeal to groups that haven’t recently voted for the GOP in large numbers, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, and young people.

WKU Public Radio

A new NBC News-Marist poll puts Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at the top of the list of 2016 Republican White House hopefuls in both Iowa and New Hampshire. 

Paul has a one percentage point lead (14 percent to 13 percent) over New Jersey governor Chris Christie in the Granite State. In a hypothetical general-election match up with Hillary Clinton, Paul trails the former Secretary of State by three points, 46-43 in New Hampshire. 

Meantime, in Iowa, Paul is tied with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 12 percent of support from likely GOP voters there.

Paul hasn't formally declared his intention to run for president in 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and a top executive of the world's largest retailer are in the speaker lineup for the upcoming National Urban League Conference in southwest Ohio.
 
The civil rights organization expects some 8,000 participants at the meeting in downtown Cincinnati. The theme of the July 23-26 conference is "One Nation Underemployed."

The group says Biden will give the plenary speech. Other speakers will include Paul, R-Kentucky; Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear; civil rights activist and TV commentator Al Sharpton; and Bill Simon, president and CEO of the U.S. stores division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
 
Panel discussions will include progress and unfinished business 50 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and celebrations of African-American culture and music.

The controversy that has surrounded New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t dashed his 2016 presidential aspirations – at least not according to New Hampshire Republicans. 

Christie is first in a poll of potential GOP White House candidates at 19 percent.  Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul placed second in the WMUR Granite State Poll with 14 percent. 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is third at 11 percent. Those numbers are based on the assumption that Mitt Romney will not run again. 

Paul, for his part,  has said he won’t make a decision on whether or not to run for president until after this year’s mid-term election.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton still leads among New Hampshire Democrats, at 59 percent. But that number has edged down slightly from April.

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator is partnering with a Democratic colleague to help low-level offenders wipe their criminal records clean. Republican Rand Paul of Bowling Green and Cory Booker of New Jersey plan to introduce legislation that would encourage states to increase the age of criminal responsibility to 18.

The bi-partisan effort is being called the REDEEM Act, and would automatically expunge the records of juveniles who commit nonviolent crimes before they turn 15 and would automatically seal the records of those who commit them after.

The bill would also create a broad-based federal path for sealing criminal record for adults, with non-violent offenders able to petition courts to make their case.  

Paul is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and a new Quinnipiac University poll shows the Kentucky Senator narrowly leading his potential GOP rivals with 11 percent ofthe vote. That’s just ahead of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who had the support of 10 percent of respondents.

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is teaming up with a Democratic colleague to defend states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Paul and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker are sponsoring an amendment to a spending bill being debated by Congress that would prohibit the federal government from spending money to combat medical marijuana in states that allow it. The U.S. House recently passed a measure similar to what Paul and Booker are proposing.

The amendment wouldn’t legalize medical marijuana nationally, but would instead prevent the Drug Enforcement Administration and federal prosecutors from investigating and bringing charges against individuals who are complying with state law.

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia currently have laws that legalize or regulate the use of medicinal marijuana. While Kentucky isn’t on that list, state lawmakers recently passed a bill that would allow research to be conducted on the possible prescription of cannabis oil to treat certain medical conditions. The oil is extracted from hemp and marijuana plants.

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