Senator Rand Paul Republican Party Front-Runner — A Profile in Courage — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 203: February 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 202: January 31, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 199: January 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 198: January 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 197: January 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 196: January 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 195: January 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 194: January 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 193: January 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 192: January 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 191: January 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 189: January 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 188: January 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 187: January 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 186: January 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 185: January 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 184: December 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 183: December 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 182: December 16, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 181: December 13, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 180: December 12, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 179: December 11, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 178: December 5, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 177: December 2, 2013

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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Story 1: Senator Rand Paul Republican Party Front-Runner —  A Profile in Courage –Videos

rand-paulRand Paul, Kelley Paul, William Paul, Robert Paul, Duncan PaulRand_Paul_family

Profile in Courage

Sen. Rand Paul : I’ll Decide in 2014 on a Presidential Run – 2/17/13

Sen. Paul: I heard Obama say `trust me` on NSA

Rand Paul’s Plan To Grow The Economy – Glenn Beck Radio 2/13/2013

Judge Jeanine Pirro Asks Rand Paul If He Will Run For President 2016

Chris Matthews: Rand Paul Will Be Republican Presidential Nominee in 2016

Rand Paul: Voters ready for Libertarian Republican in 2016

Sen. Rand Paul Defends the Fourth Amendment – February 11, 2014

Sen Rand Paul (R-KY) Announces Lawsuit Vs Pres Obama, Dirs Of NSA, FBI, DNi, FBI Named In Suit

Sen. Rand Paul Delivers Response to President’s State of the Union Address

Senator Rand Paul HUMILIATES and EXPOSES John Kerry!!

Explosive: Sen. Rand Paul To Hillary Clinton – I Would Have Fired You

Reclaiming Our Rights in the 21st Century (Sen. Rand Paul)

How Rand Paul said the ‘politically bravest thing’ in Washington

Chris Christie Ties Rand Paul for 2016 GOP Primary Lead as Ted Cruz Slips 5 Points

Rand Paul: I’m Thinking Of Running For President – Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor 2/5/2013

Rand Paul: NSA Spying Doesn’t Make Me Feel Any Safer, But I Do Feel My Privacy Is Being Intruded On

Rand Paul: Voters ready for Libertarian Republican in 2016

Sen. Rand Paul Filing Class-Action Lawsuit Against NSA

Liberty & Civil Rights speech by Senator Rand Paul Howard University

How the GOP Can Attract Young People: Rand Paul and Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck: Rand Paul On Freedom

Rand Paul Is the GOP’s Early Presidential Front-Runner

While the establishment hopes for a governor to emerge, he is quietly putting together a formidable operation.

Republican strategists like to say the party’s next nominee needs to hail from the GOP’s gubernatorial ranks. It’s a response to how unpopular Washington is—particularly the party’s congressional wing—and a reflection of the party’s strength in holding a majority of governorships. But another reason for the gubernatorial focus is to sidestep the one formidable candidate that gives the establishment heartburn: Sen. Rand Paul.

Make no mistake: The Kentuckian scares the living daylights out of many Republicans looking for an electable nominee capable of challenging Hillary Clinton. At the same time, he’s working overtime to broaden the party’s image outside its traditional avenues of support. The 2016 Republican nominating fight will go a long way toward determining whether Paul is the modern version of Barry Goldwater or at the leading edge of a new, more libertarian brand of Republicanism.

“That’s the big challenge—is America ready? I think that Rand and his small-L libertarian Republicanism can break through,” said Paul’s longtime adviser Jesse Benton. “He’s a fundamentally better messenger than Barry Goldwater—[Goldwater’s 1964 campaign slogan] ‘In your heart you know he’s right’ is not very compelling. Rand is a wonderful communicator, and I think a message of individual liberty can build wide support.”

Either way, Paul’s brand of politics is a distinct departure from the party’s traditional moorings. His occasional sympathy for Edward Snowden puts him on an island within the party. His critique of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance techniques and noninterventionist views on foreign policy are gaining some conservative followers, but are still outside the party mainstream. Many conservative foreign policy hawks could sooner support Clinton than Paul in a 2016 matchup.

And he’s got a history of questionable associations and controversial comments that would make Democratic opposition researchers salivate. Whether it’s hiring a top aide who was a former secessionist talk-show host (and defending him amid controversy), questioning the legality of the 1964 Civil Rights Act during his Senate campaign, or facing allegations of plagiarism from past speeches, Paul’s got plenty of controversies poised to reemerge in a presidential campaign. Paul’s invocation of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky to attack Hillary Clinton in recent weeks is classic Paul—throw red meat into the fire to energize the base, regardless of the political consequences.

At the same time, Paul has been doing more than almost any other Republican to expand the party’s appeal to nontraditional GOP voters—the type of activity that’s imperative for future success. He spoke at Howard University and historically black Simmons College in Kentucky (twice) as part of an outreach effort toward African-Americans. His Jack Kemp-like pitch for “economic freedom zones” has even drawn the interest of the NAACP, which invited him to speak. He’s been leading the call for reforming drug sentencing, an issue that’s won support from many young voters and minorities who disproportionately bear the burden of current zero-tolerance policy. This week, at a Missouri Republican Party banquet, he said the party needs “a more diverse party—with tattoos and without tattoos.”

Meanwhile, the politics of the 2016 Republican nomination look increasingly favorable to Paul. He is one of the top fundraisers in the field, has a ready-made base of support from his father’s presidential networks, and has proven his savvy political instincts with a made-for-TV drone filibuster and NSA lawsuit. The newly compressed Republican presidential calendar should benefit a Paul candidacy, since he’s got the grassroots support to play in the small states and the money to fight forward in the big media-market states that follow.

Paul’s mutually beneficial alliance with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who faces reelection this year, is a prime example of his political foresight. McConnell has helped him build chits with the establishment, including donors skeptical of his national viability. McConnell, meanwhile, has gotten tea-party validation to get him through a contested primary against businessman Matt Bevin. He’s also benefited from Paul’s swipes at former President Clinton, who is emerging as an important surrogate for McConnell’s Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. McConnell, if he survives the general election, could become the next majority leader. But Paul, in taming the establishment skepticism toward him, could end up with the bigger prize.

“He is the Republican front-runner,” said Republican strategist Scott Jennings, who served as deputy political director in the George W. Bush administration and is now running a pro-McConnell super PAC in Kentucky. “The political instinct of when to do things is not something you teach—you either have it or you don’t. He’s got a knack for finding populist issues showing why the government is stupid, and people like it.”

http://www.nationaljournal.com/against-the-grain/rand-paul-is-the-gop-s-early-presidential-front-runner-20140225

Rand Paul

Randal Howard “Rand” Paul (born January 7, 1963) is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. He is a member of theRepublican Party and the son of former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas. He first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of his father, who was campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination for president. During his father’s final term in the house, he was the first United States senator to have served simultaneously with a parent in the United States House of Representatives.

A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul began practicing ophthalmology in Bowling GreenKentucky in 1993 and established his own clinic in December 2007. He remained active in politics and founded Kentucky Taxpayers United in 1994, of which he is still chairman.[2]

In 2010, Paul ran as the Republican candidate for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, defeating Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the primary. He subsequently defeated Kentucky Attorney GeneralJack Conway in the general election. A member of the Tea Party movement, he supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, the Read the Bills Act, and widespread reduction in federal spending and taxation. Unlike his more stridently isolationist, or “non-interventionist“, father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.[3][4] He has garnered attention for his positions, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats.[5]

Rand Paul

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Paul Rand.
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Rand Paul
Rand Paul, official portrait, 112th Congress alternate.jpg
Paul in January 2011
United States Senator
from Kentucky
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Serving with Mitch McConnell
Preceded by Jim Bunning
Personal details
Born Randal Howard Paul
January 7, 1963 (age 51)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Kelley Ashby Paul (m. 1990)
Relations Ron Paul (father)
Carol Wells Paul (mother)
Children William
Robert
Duncan
Residence Bowling Green, Kentucky
Alma mater Baylor University
Duke University (M.D.)
Occupation Ophthalmologist
Religion Presbyterian[1]
(baptized Episcopalian)
Website Senator Rand Paul

Randal Howard “Rand” Paul (born January 7, 1963) is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. He is a member of theRepublican Party and the son of former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas. He first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of his father, who was campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination for president. During his father’s final term in the house, he was the first United States senator to have served simultaneously with a parent in the United States House of Representatives.

A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul began practicing ophthalmology in Bowling GreenKentucky in 1993 and established his own clinic in December 2007. He remained active in politics and founded Kentucky Taxpayers United in 1994, of which he is still chairman.[2]

In 2010, Paul ran as the Republican candidate for the United States Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, defeating Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the primary. He subsequently defeated Kentucky Attorney GeneralJack Conway in the general election. A member of the Tea Party movement, he supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, the Read the Bills Act, and widespread reduction in federal spending and taxation. Unlike his more stridently isolationist, or “non-interventionist“, father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.[3][4] He has garnered attention for his positions, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats.[5]

Early life and education

Randal Howard Paul[6] was born on January 7, 1963, in PittsburghPennsylvania, to Carol (née Wells) and Ron Paul. His father is a physician and former U.S. Representative of Texas’ 14th congressional district. The middle child of five, his siblings are Ronald “Ronnie” Paul Jr., Lori Paul Pyeatt, Robert Paul and Joy Paul-LeBlanc.[7] Paul was baptized in the Episcopal Church[8] and identified as a practicing Christian as a teenager.[9] Despite his father’s libertarian views and strong support for individual rights,[9][10] the novelistAyn Rand was not the inspiration for his first name. Growing up, he went by “Randy”,[11] but his wife shortened it to “Rand.”[9][12][13]

The Paul family moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, in 1968,[11][14] where he was raised[15][16] and where his father began a medical practice and for an extent of time was the onlyobstetrician in Brazoria County.[11][14] When he was 13, his father was elected to the United States House of Representatives.[17] The younger Paul often spent summer vacations interning in his father’s congressional office.[18] In his teenage years, Paul studied the Austrian economists that his father respected, as well as the writings of Objectivistphilosopher Ayn Rand.[11] Paul went to Brazoswood High School and was on the swimming team and played defensive back on the football team.[9][15] Paul attended Baylor University from fall 1981 to summer 1984. He was enrolled in the honors program at Baylor, and had scored approximately in the 90th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test.[19] During the time he spent at Baylor, he was involved in the swim team and Young Conservatives of Texas and was a member of a secret organization known as the NoZe Brotherhood.[20] Paul left Baylor early when he was accepted into the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned an M.D. in 1988, and completed his residency in 1993.[19]

Medical career

Paul has held a state-issued medical license since moving to Bowling Green in 1993.[21] He received his first job from Dr. John Downing of Downing McPeak Vision Centers, which brought him to Bowling Green after completing his residency. Paul worked for Downing for about five years before parting ways. Afterwards, he went to work at the Gilbert Graves Clinic, a private medical group in Bowling Green, for 10 years before creating his own practice in a converted one-story house across the street from Downing’s office.[22] After his election to the U.S. Senate, he merged his practice with Downing’s medical practice.[23] Paul has faced two malpractice lawsuits between 1993 and 2010; he was cleared in one case while the other was settled for $50,000.[22] Regardless, his medical work has been praised by Downing and he has medical privileges at two Bowling Green hospitals.[21][22]Paul specializes in cataract and glaucoma surgeries, LASIK procedures, and corneal transplants.[12] As a member of the Bowling Green Noon Lions Club, Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic to help provide eye surgery and exams for those who cannot afford to pay.[24]

National Board of Ophthalmology

In 1995, Paul passed the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO) boards on his first attempt and earned board-certification under the ABO for 10 years. In 1997, to protest the ABO’s 1992 decision to grandfather in older ophthalmologists and not require them to be recertified every 10 years in order to maintain their status as board-certified practitioners, Paul, along with 200 other ophthalmologists formed the National Board of Ophthalmology (NBO) to offer an alternative ophthalmology certification system.[25][26] The NBO was incorporated in 1999, but he allowed it to be dissolved in 2000 after not filing the required paperwork with the Kentucky Secretary of State‘s office. Paul later recreated the board in September 2005, three months before his original 10-year certification from the ABO lapsed. His ABO certification lapsed on December 31, 2005. Paul has since been certified by the NBO,[21] with himself as the organization’s president, his wife as vice-president, and his father-in-law as secretary.[27] The ophthalmology board is not officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).[21] The NBO was again dissolved on September 10, 2011.[28]

Political activism

Paul served as the head of the local chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas during his time at Baylor University. While attending Duke Medical School, Paul volunteered for his father’s 1988 Libertarian presidential campaign. In response to President Bush breaking his election promise to not raise taxes, Paul founded the North Carolina Taxpayers Union in 1991.[18] In 1994, Paul founded the anti-tax organization Kentucky Taxpayers United (KTU), serving as chair of the organization from its inception. He has often cited his involvement with KTU as the foundation of his involvement with state politics.[29] Described as “ideological and conservative” by the Lexington Herald-Leader, the group considered itselfnonpartisan,[30][31] examining Kentucky legislators’ records on taxation and spending and encouraging politicians to publicly pledge to vote uniformly against tax increases.[32][33]

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2010 that although Paul had told a Kentucky television audience as recently as September 2009 that KTU published ratings each year on state legislators’ tax positions and that “we’ve done that for about 15 years”, the group had stopped issuing its ratings and report cards after 2002 and had been legally dissolved by the state in 2000 after failing to file registration documents.[29]

Paul spoke on his father’s behalf when his father was campaigning for office,[34] including throughout the elder Paul’s run in the 2008 presidential election, during which Rand campaigned door-to-door in New Hampshire[35] and spoke in Boston at a fundraising rally for his father on the anniversary of the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.[36]

In February 2014, Paul joined the Tea Party-affiliated conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks in filing a class-action lawsuit charging that the US government’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records metadata is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.[37][38][39] Commenting on the lawsuit at a press conference, Paul said, “I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records…. I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”[37] He also said there was no evidence the surveillance of phone metadata had stopped terrorism.[37] Critics, including Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz[40] and Steven Aftergood, the director of the American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy,[39] called the lawsuit a political “stunt”. Paul’s political campaign organization said that the names of members of the public who went to Paul’s websites and signed on as potential class-action participants would be available in the organization’s database for future campaign use.[37][41] On the announcement of the filing of the lawsuit, Mattie Fein, the spokeswoman for and former wife of attorney Bruce Fein, complained that Fein’s intellectual contribution to the lawsuit had been stolen and that he had not been properly paid for his work.[42] Paul’s representatives denied the charge, and Fein issued a statement saying that Mattie Fein had not been authorized to speak for him on the matter and that he had in fact been paid for his work on the lawsuit.[42]

Paul is co-author of a book entitled The Tea Party Goes to Washington (2011) with Jack Hunter, also known as the “Southern Avenger.”[43][44] Paul is also the author ofGovernment Bullies: How Everyday Americans Are Being Harassed, Abused, and Imprisoned by the Feds (2012).[45]

Paul was included in Time magazine’s world’s most influential people, for 2013.[46]

Electoral history

Primary campaign

Then-U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul speaking with a supporter at a healthcare rally in Louisville, Kentucky in November 2009

At the beginning of 2009, there was an online grassroots movement to draft Paul in a bid to replace beleaguered Republican Kentucky senator Jim Bunning. The news of Paul’s potential candidacy became a topic of national interest and was discussed in the Los Angeles Times[47] and locally in the Kentucky press.[48] Paul’s father remarked, “Should Senator Bunning decide not to run, I think Rand would make a great U.S. Senator.”[49]

On May 1, 2009, Paul officially confirmed that if Bunning, whose fundraising in 2009 matched his poor numbers in opinion polling for the 2010 election,[50] declined to seek a third term, he would almost certainly run in the Republican Party primary to succeed him,[51] and formed an exploratory committee soon after, while still promising to stay out of the race if Bunning ultimately decided to run for reelection. Paul made this announcement on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, though a Kentucky news site first broke the news.[52]

On July 28, 2009, Bunning announced that he would not run for reelection in the face of insufficient fundraising. The announcement left only Paul and Secretary of State Trey Grayson as the remaining candidates for the Republican nomination,[53] with Paul announcing on August 5, 2009 that he would officially run for the U.S. Senate as a Republican. The announcement was made through a series of national TV events, radio, and other programs, as well as newspapers in Kentucky.[54][55][56]

Early fundraising success

On August 20, 2009, Paul’s supporters planned a moneybomb to kick off his campaign. The official campaign took in $433,509 in 24 hours. His website reported that this set a new record in Kentucky’s political fundraising history in a 24-hour period.[57]

A second “moneybomb” was held on September 23, 2009, to counter a D.C. fundraiser being held for primary opponent Trey Grayson, by 23 Republican United States Senators, 17 of whom voted for the bank bailout.[58] The theme was a UFC “fight” between Paul and “We the People” vs. Trey Grayson and the “D.C. Insiders”.[59] The money bomb ended up raising $186,276 for Paul in 24 hours on September 23;[60] bringing Paul’s Senate campaign’s total raised to over one million. Later in the campaign, Paul claimed his pledge to not take money from lobbyists and Senators who had voted for the bailout was only a “primary pledge”;[61] he subsequently held a DC fundraiser with the same Senators who had been the target of the September 23, 2009 “moneybomb”. Paul ended up raising some $3 million during the primary period.

Primary victory

Then-U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul with then-Senator Jim Bunning at a rally inHebron, Kentucky in November 2010

Although Grayson was considered the frontrunner in July 2009,[62] Paul found success characterizing Grayson as a “career politician” and challenging Grayson’s conservatism. Paul ran an ad in February that made an issue out of Grayson’s September 2008 admission that he voted for Bill Clinton when he was 20 years old.[63] James Dobson, a Christian evangelical figure, endorsed Grayson on April 26 based on the advice of what Dobson described as “senior members of the GOP”, but on May 3 the Paul campaign announced that Dobson had changed his endorsement to Paul[64] after Paul and some Paul supporters had lobbied Dobson insisting on Paul’s social conservative bona fides.[65]

On May 18, Paul won the Republican Senatorial primary by a 23.4% margin,[66] meaning he would face the Kentucky Attorney GeneralJack Conway, in the November 2 general election.[67]

General campaign

In the 2010 general election, Paul faced Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. The campaign attracted $8.5 million in contributions from outside groups, of which $6 million was spent to help Paul and $2.5 million to help Conway. This money influx was in addition to the money spent by the candidates themselves: $6 million by Paul and $4.7 million by Conway.[68][69] On June 28, 2010, Paul supporters held their first post-primary online fundraising drive, this time promoted as a “money blast”.[70][71]

Paul’s campaign got off to a rough start after his comments on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stirred controversy.[72] Paul stated that he favored 9 out of 10 titles of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but that had he been a senator during the 1960s, he would have raised some questions on the constitutionality of Title II of the Act.[73] Paul said that he abhors racism, and that he would have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. to repeal Jim Crow Laws. He later released a statement declaring that he would have voted for the Act and stated “unequivocally … that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964”.[74][75] Later he generated more controversy by characterizing statements made by Obama Administration officials regarding the BP oil spill cleanup as sounding “un-American”.[76]

U.S. Senate career

Tenure

112th Congress (2011-13)

Rand Paul being sworn in as a senator by Vice President Joe Biden, along with his family, in the Old Senate Chamber in theUnited States Capitol building

Paul was sworn in on January 5, 2011 along with his father, marking the first time in congressional history that someone served in the Senate while their parent simultaneously served in the House of Representatives.[77] He was assigned to serve on the Energy and Natural ResourcesHealth, Education, Labor and PensionsHomeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Businesscommittees.[78] Paul also formed the Senate Tea Party Caucus with Jim DeMint and Mike Lee as its inaugural members.[79] His first legislative proposal was to cut $500 billion from federal spending in one year. This proposal included cutting the Department of Educationby 83 percent and the Department of Homeland Security by 43 percent, as well as folding the Department of Energy into the Department of Defense and eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Seven independent agencies would be eliminated and food stamps would be cut by 30 percent. Under Paul’s proposal, defense spending would be reduced by 6.5 percent and international aidwould be eliminated.[80] He later proposed a five-year budget plan intended to balance the budget.[81]

In February, Paul was one of two Republicans to vote against extending three key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act (roving wiretaps, searches of business records, and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”—individuals not linked to terrorist groups).[82] In May, he remained the last senator opposing the PATRIOT Act, and was ultimately defeated on May 26.[83]

On March 2, Paul was one of nine senators to vote against a stopgap bill that cut $4 billion from the budget and temporarily prevent agovernment shutdown, citing that it did not cut enough from the budget.[84] One week later, he voted against the Democratic and Republican budget proposals to keep funding the federal government, citing that both bills did not cut enough spending. Both bills failed to pass the Senate.[85] He later voted against stopgap measures on March 17 and April 8, both of which passed the senate.[86] On April 14, He was one of 19 senators to vote against a budget that cut $38.5 billion from the budget and fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.[87] Paul voiced opposition to U.S. intervention in the Libyan civil war and has criticized President Obama for not gaining congressional consent forOperation Odyssey Dawn.[88] During the debt ceiling crisis, the Senator stated that he would only support raising the debt ceiling if a balanced budget amendment was enacted.[89]Paul was a supporter of the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which was tabled by Democratic opposition.[90] On August 3, Paul voted against a bill that would raise the debt ceiling.[91]

On September 7, Paul called for a vote of no confidence in U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.[92] Later that month, Paul blocked legislation that would strengthen safety rules for oil and gas pipelines because he stated the bill was not strong enough.[93] In October, Paul blocked a bill that would provide $36 million in benefits for elderly and disabled refugees, saying that he was concerned that it could be used to aid domestic terrorists. This was in response to two alleged terrorists, who came to the United States through a refugee program and were receiving welfare benefits, were arrested in 2011 in Paul’s hometown of Bowling Green.[94] Paul lifted his hold on the bill after Democratic leaders promised to hold a Congressional hearing into how individuals are selected for refugee status and request an investigation on how the two suspects were admitted in the country through a refugee program.[95]

113th Congress (2013-15)

For the 113th Congress, Paul was added to the Foreign Relations committee and retained his spot on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business committees.[96]

On March 6–7, 2013, Paul engaged in a talking 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.

Rand Paul speaking during his filibuster

Paul held the floor for 12 hours and 52 minutes.[97] He ceded to several Republican senators and Democratic senator, Ron Wyden, who generally also questioned drone usage.[98][99] Paul noted his purpose was to challenge drone policy in general and specifically as it related to noncombatants on U.S. soil. He requested a pledge from the Administration that noncombatants would not be targeted on U.S. soil.[100] Attorney General Eric Holder responded that the President is not authorized to deploy extrajudicial punishment without due process, against non combatant citizens. Paul answered that he was “quite happy” with the response.[101] The filibuster was ended with a cloture vote of 81 to 16, and Brennan was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 63 to 34.[102]

In March 2013, Paul, with Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, threatened another filibuster, this one opposing any legislative proposals to expand federal gun control measures.[103] The filibuster was attempted on April 11, 2013, but was dismissed by cloture, in a 68–31 vote.[104]

Also in March 2013, Paul endorsed fellow Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell‘s 2014 re-election campaign.[105] McConnell had previously hired Paul’s 2010 campaign manager, Jesse Benton, as his own campaign manager.[106] Paul’s endorsement was seen as a major win for McConnell in avoiding a challenge in the Republican primary.[105] In August 2013, a phone call was released to the public in which Benton said that he was “holding his nose” in supporting McConnell in order to help a potential Rand Paul presidential candidacy.[107]

In response to Detroit’s declaration of bankruptcy, Paul stated he would not allow the government to attempt to bail out Detroit. In a phone interview with Breitbart.com on July 19, 2013, Paul said, “I basically say he is bailing them out over my dead body because we don’t have any money in Washington.” Paul said he thought a federal bailout would send the wrong message to other cities with financial problems.[108] In September, Paul stated that the United States should avoid military intervention in the ongoing Syrian civil war.[109] In an op-ed, Paul disputed the Obama administration’s claims that the threat of military force caused Syria’s government to consider turning over its chemical weapons, instead arguing that the opposition to military action in Syria, and the delay that it caused, led to diplomatic progress.[110]

In October 2013, Paul was the subject of some controversy when it was discovered that he had plagiarized from Wikipedia part of a speech in support of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Referencing the movie Gattaca, Paul quoted almost verbatim from the Wikipedia article about the film without citing the source.[111][112][113] Evidence soon surfaced that Paul had copied passages in a number of his other speeches and published works nearly verbatim from other authors without giving credit to the original sources,[114][115] including in the speech he had given as the Tea Party rebuttal to the president’s 2013 State of the Union address and in a three-page-long passage of Paul’s bookGovernment Bullies, which was taken directly from an article by the conservative think thank The Heritage Foundation.[116][117] When it became apparent that an op-ed article Paul had published in the Washington Times and testimony he had given before the Senate Judiciary Committee both contained material that was virtually identical to an article that had been published by another author in The Week a few days earlier,[118] the Washington Times said that the newspaper would no longer publish the weekly column Paul had been contributing to the paper.[119] After a week of almost daily news reports of new allegations of plagiarism, Paul said that he was being held to an “unfair standard”, but would restructure his office in order to prevent mistakes in the future, if that would be what it would take “to make people leave me the hell alone”.[120]

Committee assignments

Current
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Political positions

Main article: Political positions of Rand Paul
Further information: United States presidential election, 2016

A member of the Tea Party movement,[121][122] Paul has described himself as a “constitutional conservative”[123] and a libertarian.[124] The National Journal rated him the sixth most conservative senator based on votes cast in 2012.[125]

He supports term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and the Read the Bills Act, in addition to the widespread reduction of federal spending and taxation.[5] Unlike his more stridently “non-interventionist” father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases.[126]

Paul describes himself as “100% pro life”.[127] Paul opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest.[128] He has been a sponsor or co-sponsor of several legislative measures to effectively ban all abortions, except possibly in cases in which the mother’s life is at risk.[128] He believes legal personhood begins at fertilization.[129][130][131]

He opposes same-sex marriage, but believes the issue should be left to the states to decide.[132][133] He has argued that Congress’ political position is “ten years behind the American public.”.[134]

He has criticized mandatory minimums that have led to unreasonably harsh sentences for repeated offenders. He has highlighted the case of Timothy L. Tyler as particularly unfair.[135]

Rand Paul speaking at the 2013Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on March 14, 2013

In a January 2013 interview, he spoke of a possible 2016 presidential candidacy. While not promising a run, he stated the decision would be made within the next two years. He also indicated his intention to shape GOP politics regardless of a run.[136]

He delivered the Tea Party response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on February 13, 2013,[137] while Marco Rubio gave the official Republican response. This prompted some pundits to call that date the start of the 2016 Republican primaries.[138]

He spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. on March 14, 2013.[139] Two days later he won the 2013 CPAC straw poll with 25% of the votes cast.[140] At a Christian Science Monitor sponsored breakfast on April 17, 2013, he reaffirmed that he was considering a 2016 run for the presidency and said no decision would be made before 2014.[141]

He won the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference poll, held April 19–20, 2013, with 39% [142] and the Tennessee Republican Assembly straw poll, also held on April 20, with 58%.[143] His 2013 itinerary reportedly included trips through several early primary states.[144]

Personal life

Paul is married to Kelley (née Ashby) Paul. They live in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she is a freelance writer and manages payroll and marketing communications for his ophthalmology practice.[145] They have three sons: William, Duncan and Robert. Paul wears hearing aids in both ears


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