Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Paul stressing libertarian themes in runup to Iowa

Rand Paul returns to libertarian roots before Iowa caucus - Joseph Gerth, Louisville Courier-Journal:

January 18, 2016 - "Rand Paul finds himself desperately needing a strong showing in the Hawkeye State to get back into the presidential discussion. Once a promising candidate who was leading in some polls, two years ago, the U.S. senator from Kentucky has seen his fortunes plummet as his message became lost in a large field of GOP contenders who had more money and more star-power.

"Now, says Dave Nalle, the vice chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which has endorsed Paul, the candidate is re-emphasizing his libertarian roots in a final dash that Nalle says is crucial for him to stay relevant.

"'I think it’s vitally important,' Nalle said of the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus where he said Paul must do better than polling now shows - which he expects Paul to do.

"According to the most recent Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll, Paul gets 5 percent of the vote and sits in fifth place among likely caucus-goers in Iowa behind U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, businessman Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson....

"The belief among analysts that the race is over for Paul and concern that he needs to focus his efforts on being re-elected to the Senate haven’t stopped him from plowing ahead with his presidential campaign.

"And as of late, Paul appears to have been working harder to reclaim the libertarian heritage of his father, former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican who once ran for president on the Libertarian ticket....

"After he didn’t make the South Carolina debate last week, Paul went on a two-day media tour of New York City television and radio, appearing non-stop almost on the air trying to get his libertarian message out – hitting hard on the issue of limited overseas military engagement and government prying into private affairs.

"'I have a unique voice. I am the one voice saying we shouldn’t make the sand glow. I’m the one voice saying … the government shouldn’t be collecting all your records,' he said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday. Those were also recurring themes during an 80-minute webcast Paul held on Twitter during the South Carolina debate on the Fox Business Channel....

"Nalle said Paul is on the right course to take back the so-called 'liberty voters' who have left the Paul family fold. 'I think he’s listening to his constituents,” Nalle said. 'A lot of us have urged him not to moderate his views.'

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