Rand Paul

Tuesday night belonged to the Republicans. Not only did they gain control of the Senate, but they upped their majority in the House and picked up several governorships, including in several staunchly blue states — Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois.

But beyond the Republican Party and the winning candidates, who else fared well — and not so well — on Tuesday? Here & Now’s Robin Young talks to NPR’s Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving about the winners and losers of the 2014 midterms.

Mitch McConnell isn’t the only Kentucky Senator basking in the afterglow of Tuesday night’s election results.

Rand Paul is using the election as an opportunity to criticize the woman many consider to be the next Democratic Presidential front-runner: Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Paul says he won’t formally decide on whether or not to launch a 2016 presidential bid until next spring. But the Bowling Green Republican is acting the part of a White House contender, and judging from recent comments, he firmly believes Hillary Clinton is his biggest obstacle to winning the presidential contest.

Paul has wasted no time in describing Tuesday night’s Republican victories around the nation as a “repudiation of Hillary Clinton.” In speeches and interviews following the election, Paul has pointed out that the former First Lady and New York Senator campaigned on behalf of several Democratic Senate candidates who ultimately lost—including Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky.

Paul To Campaign For McConnell On Monday

Oct 30, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul will campaign with Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell on the day before Kentucky's pivotal Senate election.

Paul will join McConnell on seven campaign stops Monday at airports across the state. McConnell will begin the day in Louisville before ending in Bowling Green, Paul's hometown. McConnell is facing Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in one of the country's most watched Senate races.

 Paul has been campaigning in competitive elections across the country as he attempts to boost his profile ahead of a possible run for president in 2016.

Grimes campaigned with former President Bill Clinton on Thursday and is scheduled to appear with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday.

He's not even on the ballot this fall, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is beginning news TV ads to help Republicans in key elections across the country.

The prospective Presidential candidate is praising Kansas Senator Pat Roberts for voting against sending billions of dollars to "countries that hate us" in an advertising campaign set to begin running across Kansas Tuesday, according to an announcement released by Paul's political action committee, RandPac. A spokesman said the group is spending six figures on the ads, which reference the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, without mentioning it by name.

Paul will campaign in Kansas on Tuesday.

At the same time, Paul's organization is launching a series of on-line ads aimed at influencing Senate contests in Kentucky, New Hampshire, Iowa and North Carolina.

Rand Paul Tries To Peel Away Isolationist Label

Oct 23, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul is playing down isolationist positions on foreign policy and advocating an approach that he says "recognizes our limits and preserves our might."

The Kentucky Republican is set to give a speech Thursday night in New York that's intended to spell out where he stands on foreign affairs as he considers a White House run in 2016.

Paul has drawn sharp criticism from within his own party for favoring a smaller American footprint on the international stage.

 The Associated Press has obtained Paul's prepared remarks to the Center for the National Interest.

He doesn't rule out military action, but says the U.S. must have a clear exit strategy before using force and cannot have "perpetual war."

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is set to do a lot of traveling over the next three weeks. The Courier-Journal reports between now and October 29th, Paul is scheduled to appear at political events in eight states, including one in Bowling Green this weekend.

Paul, who says he’s considering a White House run in 2016, will also appear in Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Kansas among others.

Sen. Paul, Republicans Rallying Behind 'Religious Liberty'

Sep 26, 2014

Leading Republicans are rallying around "religious liberty" at home and abroad as religious activists gather for a weekend conference.

The annual Voters Value Summit begins Friday in Washington with speeches from several prospective presidential candidates. The lineup includes Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Organizers expect participants to unite around what they call President Barack Obama's attack on religious liberty, instead of focusing on divisive social issues.

The intraparty debate over social issues has broad implications on the GOP's struggle to improve its brand ahead of the November elections and the 2016 presidential contest. The Republican National Committee released an internal audit last year calling for party leaders to be more "inclusive and welcoming" on social issues.

In a prime-time speech Wednesday, President Obama called on Congress to support his fight against the extremist group known as Islamic State. That call has been getting mixed reaction on Capitol Hill, including from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. He says that while he supports the fight against ISIS, he believes the president is "going about it in the wrong way."

His father, Ron Paul, twice ran for president as a candidate who never strayed from a firm libertarian path.

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.

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