Difference between revisions of "Rand Paul"

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Paul released a brief statement on the situation in Syria on August 28, 2013, calling for a cautious approach and congressional approval for any military action.<ref name="syria">[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/08/28/rand-paul-urges-caution-on-syria-we-should-ascertain-who-used-the-weapons/?wprss=rss_politics&clsrd  
 
Paul released a brief statement on the situation in Syria on August 28, 2013, calling for a cautious approach and congressional approval for any military action.<ref name="syria">[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/08/28/rand-paul-urges-caution-on-syria-we-should-ascertain-who-used-the-weapons/?wprss=rss_politics&clsrd  
''Washington Post'', "Rand Paul urges caution on Syria: ‘We should ascertain who used the weapons’," accessed August 28, 2013]</ref>
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''Washington Post'', "Rand Paul urges caution on Syria: ‘We should ascertain who used the weapons’," accessed August 28, 2013]</ref> He also questioned the administration’s assertion that the Syrian regime definitely used chemical weapons. Vice President [[Joe Biden|Biden]] said at the time that there was “no doubt” that it did.<ref name="syria"/>
  
He also questioned the administration’s assertion that the Syrian regime definitely used chemical weapons. Vice President [[Joe Biden|Biden]] has said there is “no doubt” that it did.<ref name="syria"/>
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“We should ascertain who used the weapons and we should have an open debate in [[Congress]] over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement. The Constitution grants the power to declare war to [[Congress]], not the President. The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States, and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States,” Paul said.<ref name="syria"/>
 
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“We should ascertain who used the weapons and we should have an open debate in [[Congress]] over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement,” Paul said. “The Constitution grants the power to declare war to [[Congress]], not the President.”<ref name="syria"/>
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Paul also said that he doesn’t think taking sides in the conflict would create any new allies. “The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States, and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States,” Paul said.<ref name="syria"/>
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Paul joined with [[Scott_Rigell#American_response_in_Syria|dozens of members in the House]] calling on President Obama to seek congressional approval for any action.<ref name="syria"/>
 
Paul joined with [[Scott_Rigell#American_response_in_Syria|dozens of members in the House]] calling on President Obama to seek congressional approval for any action.<ref name="syria"/>

Revision as of 08:42, 5 August 2014

Rand Paul
Rand Paul.jpg
U.S. Senate, Kentucky
Incumbent
In office
2011-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 3
PartyRepublican
PredecessorJim Bunning (R)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 2016
Campaign $$7,809,324
Term limitsN/A
Education
High schoolBrazoswood High School
Bachelor'sNone[1]
M.D.Duke University
Personal
BirthdayJanuary 7, 1963
Place of birthPittsburgh, PA
ProfessionOphthalmologist
Net worth$398,003
ReligionPresbyterian
Websites
Office website
Campaign website

Contents

Randal Howard "Rand" Paul (b. January 7, 1963, in Pittsburgh, PA) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Kentucky. Paul was first elected to the Senate in 2010.

Paul is considering a run for president in 2016. He has said he plans to make a decision at some point in 2014.[2][3] He declared in late May 2013 that he will seek re-election in 2016 to the United States Senate.[4]

On February 12, 2014, Paul officially filed a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over National Security Agency data collection.[5][6]

On March 6, 2013, Paul led a filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan, that lasted 12 hours and 52 minutes - the ninth longest Senate filibuster on record.[7] In addition to delaying the final vote on Brennan's confirmation, Paul's stated intention was to highlight his concerns about the Obama Administration's drone policies.[7]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Paul is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.

Biography

Paul was born in 1963 in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Lake Jackson, TX. He attended Baylor University, although he did not receive an undergraduate degree.[1] Paul received his M.D. from Duke University Medical School. Prior to his election to the Senate, Paul worked as an ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Kentucky[8]

Paul is the son of former Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.[9]

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of Paul's professional and political career[8]:

  • Ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, KY
  • U.S. Senate, 2011-Present

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

Paul serves on the following Senate committees[10][11]:

  • Committee on Foreign Relations
    • The Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Global Narcotics Affairs
    • The Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women's Issues Ranking Member
    • The Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection, and Peace Corps
    • The Subcommittee on African Affairs
  • Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
    • Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
    • Subcommittee on Children and Families
  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
    • Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia
    • Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce
    • Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee

2011-2012

Paul served on the following Senate committees[12]:

Key votes

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[13] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8 percent). For more information pertaining to Paul's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[14]

National security

Committee vote on Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Nay3.png On September 4, 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved an authorization for President Obama to use limited force against Syria.[15][16]

The vote came after a three-hour briefing with top Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.[17]

Of the nine Democratic members and eight Republican members that make up the committee, seven Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor, while five Republicans and two Democrats opposed the authorization.[17] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Paul was one of the five Republicans who opposed the authorization.[18]

Economy

Farm bill

Nay3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[19] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that will kick in when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[20] Paul voted with 22 other Republican senators against the bill.

2014 Budget

Nay3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[21][22] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[22] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[23] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency and left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Paul voted with 25 other Republican members against the bill.[21][22]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Nay3.png During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[24] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Paul voted with the Republican Party against the bill.[25]

Statement on government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

After the government shutdown went into effect, Paul said on October 1, 2013, that he would support a short-term funding measure “to keep the government open while we negotiate.”[26]

“I think what we could do is pass a very short term, maybe not six weeks, but what about one week, so we could negotiate over a week," Paul said. "I think a continuing bill to keep the government open while we negotiate is a good idea. I do agree that negotiating with the government closed probably to [Democrats] appears like strong-arm tactics.”[26]

“I think if we did it for a week or two, we could still continue to negotiate, have a conference committee and really I think the American people do want us to work this out,” Paul added.[26]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Nay3.png Paul voted against H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[27]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Nay3.png Paul voted against the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[27] On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Paul was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.[27]

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.

Paul Ryan Budget Proposal

Nay3.png In March 2013 the U.S. Senate soundly rejected a balanced budget plan by House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan (R).[28] Five Republicans joined every Democrat present to kill the measure, which failed on a 40-59 vote.[28]

Paul was one of the five Senate Republicans who voted against Ryan's budget proposal.[28]

The proposed budget would have cut about $5 trillion over the next decade and aimed to balance the budget by the end of the 10-year period.[29]

Some tea party members of the GOP opposed the measure because of its reliance on $600 billion-plus in tax revenues on the wealthy enacted in January 2013, in order to balance the budget.[28] Others in the Senate opposed the Ryan plan because of cuts from safety net programs for the poor and the inclusion of a plan to turn the Medicare program for the elderly into a voucher-like system for future beneficiaries born in 1959 or later.[28]

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Yea3.png Paul voted for Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[27]

Social issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Nay3.png Paul voted against S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[27]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Nay3.png Paul voted against the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of five Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the Senate by an 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[30]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Rand Paul's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Paul is a Libertarian Conservative. Paul received a score of 59 percent on social issues and 89 percent on economic issues.[31]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[32]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Favors Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Favors
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Opposes
Support & expand free trade Unknown Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Favors
Prioritize green energy Opposes Expand the military Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Opposes Stay out of Iran Favors
Privatize Social Security Favors Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[31]

National security

American response in Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Paul released a brief statement on the situation in Syria on August 28, 2013, calling for a cautious approach and congressional approval for any military action.[33] He also questioned the administration’s assertion that the Syrian regime definitely used chemical weapons. Vice President Biden said at the time that there was “no doubt” that it did.[33]

“We should ascertain who used the weapons and we should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement. The Constitution grants the power to declare war to Congress, not the President. The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States, and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States,” Paul said.[33]

Paul joined with dozens of members in the House calling on President Obama to seek congressional approval for any action.[33]

Syria authorization amendment

Paul announced that he would introduce an amendment that would make the Congressional authorization on Syria action a binding vote.[34] Paul said on September 4, 2013, in an appearance on Fox & Friends, “So this morning I will introduce an amendment to the resolution in committee and I will ask to make it a binding vote and that Congress acknowledge that this is Congressional authority and that we have the ability to grant it to the President, but the President doesn’t have the ability to initiate war without Congressional authority. That’s what the Constitution says."[34]

Paul, who is against U.S. intervention in Syria, said he was “proud of the President” for asking Congress for authority, but said he wanted Sec. John Kerry in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to “admit we have the authority and if the vote goes against you, that it’s a binding vote.”[34]

When asked if he will filibuster again, the Senator acknowledged that it “only temporarily slows things down” and added, “what I will try to do is I will try to lead the opposition.”[34]

“As people saw when I did this previously, you can talk for only so long and eventually nature calls. So you can slow things down and sometimes get an answer to things, but you can’t permanently delay.”[34] He continued, “I can’t imagine we won’t require 60 votes on this. Whether there is an actual standing filibuster, I’ve got to check my shoes.”[35]

Paul later said he has no plans to filibuster a resolution authorizing U.S. military force in Syria. Paul responded to an inquiry by Tim Kaine during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee debate on a new version of a resolution authorizing force by saying, "That would be a misinterpretation from the media."[36]

Editorial to CNN

Paul submitted an opinion editorial to CNN on August 29, 2013, in which he urged President Barack Obama not to rush into a war, saying "America's wars must be debated by Congress, declared constitutionally and fought only for the interests and security of the United States. They should never be fought to save face."[37]

Obama objective is stalemate

Paul said on August 30, 2013 that he thinks the Obama administration’s only objective in Syria is “stalemate” and he does not support “sending my son, your son or anyone else’s son to fight if your goal or objective is stalemate.”[38]

“I think we have no strategic objective and I don’t think it’ll change the course of the war,” Paul told Fox News. “In fact, one of the things that troubles me is that we’ve already announced in advance well, it’s not going to be too much of an attack, it’s not going to last too long and we’re not for regime change.”[38]

“And I’ve told them, frankly, I’m not sending my son, your son or anyone else’s son to fight if your goal or objective is stalemate,” Paul said. “That’s not what Americans are about.”[38]

Paul also appeared on Fox News on August 29, 2013, and said he “can’t see fighting to impose Sharia law in Syria.”

“I also can’t see sending my son to fight with Islamic rebels against Christians,” Paul said “I also can’t see my son going to fight on the same side as Al Qaeda. There’s so many ironies and unfortunate muddling nature to this that I can’t see why we should get involved, and there are potential repercussions.”[38]

Foreign aid to Egypt

On July 11, 2013, Paul introduced legislation that would cut off foreign aid to Egypt following the military ousting of President Mohamed Morsi.[39]

Paul made several comments prior to introducing the legislation, insisting that the events in Egypt constitute a military coup and has criticized the Obama administration for its commitment to continue providing foreign aid to the country.[39] The United States is forbidden by law to give aid to countries where a military overthrow of a democratically elected government has occurred. The administration has maintained, however, that the events in Egypt do not constitute a coup.[39]

“By the President’s refusal to call the situation in Egypt a ‘coup’ and continuing the flow of foreign assistance to Egypt, he is forthrightly saying ‘I am ignoring the rule of law,’” Paul said in a statement.[39]

Paul’s bill is the first legislation in Congress directly addressing the matter, but several other senators, most notably John McCain (R), have expressed the belief that the U.S. should withhold aid to Egypt.[39]

Criticism from Peter King

Peter King (R-NY) speaking about Paul in an interview on CNN on August 1, 2013.

Peter King (R-NY) made remarks in July 2013 that Paul is leading the Republican Party in a dangerous direction and compared him to 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern.[40]

“When you have Rand Paul actually comparing (NSA leaker Edward) Snowden to Martin Luther King or Henry David Thoreau, this is madness,” King said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is the anti-war, left-wing Democrats of the 1960s that nominated George McGovern and destroyed their party for almost 20 years. I don’t want that to happen to our party."[40]

King also said it was “disturbing” that 94 of the 234 House Republicans voted for a measure that would have defunded the National Security Agency’s phone record collection program.[40]

King, the former House homeland security committee chairman, has suggested he might run for president in 2016, if for no other reason than to be a voice in opposition to Paul's foreign policy views.[40]

“Aid to Egypt has nothing to do with aid to Long Island, or New Jersey. They’re two separate issues and he should know the difference between Egypt, Long Island and New York … Sen. Paul claims to be a great friend of Israel but yesterday the ambassador to Israel … said that continuing American aid to Egypt is essential to maintain the peace process and maintain the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement that was negotiated under President Carter over 30 years ago,” King said in an interview. “So it’s very easy to say ‘cut this, cut that,’ you can have an intelligence debate about it, but so far he hasn’t shown very much intelligence.”[41]

King also argued Paul and his libertarian-leaning views on foreign policy were making "America the enemy."[42] "He wants to retreat from the world. He wants to isolate ourselves, go back to a fortress America. The Republicans had this debate back in the 1930s, when you had the isolationist and the Charles Lindberghs, and the Democrats had it in the 1960s when the anti-war movement blamed America first. In both cases it hurt the party for years," King said in an interview on CNN on August 1, 2013.[42]

NSA controversy

In June 2013, The Guardian reported about a secret surveillance program where the NSA obtained phone records of millions of customers.[43] Paul considered a class-action lawsuit against the National Security Agency over the large-scale surveillance program that was gathering data on American citizens. Paul also said he would consider taking it to the Supreme Court.[44][45] Paul called the NSA surveillance program an "astounding assault on the Constitution."[46]

Criticism from Dick Cheney

In June 2013, former vice president Dick Cheney criticized Paul's views that the NSA's surveillance programs infringed on the privacy of American citizens by arguing that most of the current Congress was not present immediately after the 9/11 attacks, and thus did not fully understand the circumstances that led to the adoption of the NSA programs. Cheney stated, "When you consider the possibility of somebody smuggling something like a nuclear device into the United States, it becomes very, very important to gather intelligence on your enemies and stop that attack before it ever gets launched.”[47]

Paul responded to criticism from the former vice president by blaming Cheney and the Bush administration’s pre-9/11 intelligence failures and subsequent security policies, which Paul blasted as incompatible with the U.S. Constitution. “Really, someone should have been removed from office for that,” said Paul, “and they should have said this is never going to happen again." Paul continued: "Instead they said, ‘oh, we need to look at the records of all the innocent Americans’ phone calls every day.' And I think you need to have a respect for the Bill of Rights, a respect for privacy and particularly a respect for the fourth amendment.”[48]

NSA lawsuit


Paul's February 11, 2014, video release.

On February 12, 2014, Paul officially filed his class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over National Security Agency data collection.[5][6] Paul was joined by Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of FreedomWorks.[5]

In a video released February 11, 2014, Paul compared the NSA government surveillance to the warrantless searches practiced by the British military prior to the American Revolution.[6]

Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s former attorney general was lead counsel on the case.[5]

Defendants in the lawsuit included Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Director of National Security Agency Keith Alexander and FBI Director James Comey, as well as President Barack Obama.[5]

Economy

Budget Proposal

Paul announced he opposed the bipartisan budget proposal that Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray released on December 10, 2013.[49]

Sen. Paul will oppose the reported cap busting deal,” Doug Stafford, Paul’s senior adviser, said. “He opposes increasing spending and undoing the minimal sequester cuts in current law, which weren’t even close to enough to begin with.”[49]

“I cannot support a budget that raises taxes and never balances, nor can I support a deal that does nothing to reduce our nation’s $17.3 trillion debt,” Paul said in a statement.[49]

WWII memorial closure

See also: United States budget debate, 2013#WWII Memorial

Paul condemned the federal government for trying to block World War II vets from visiting their memorial, saying “some idiot in government sent goons out there to set up barricades.”

“If Harry Reid and the president want to keep the parks closed — I mean did you read the story today? Some idiot in government sent goons out there to set up barricades so they couldn’t see the monument. People had to spend hours setting up barricades where there are never barricades to prevent people from seeing the World War II monument because they’re trying to play a charade,” Paul said on October 1, 2013.[50]

Paul’s attack came after reports that a group of World War II veterans had to break down barricades to access the National World War II Memorial, one of the sites that was closed due to the government shutdown.[50]

Healthcare

Unlikely to defeat Obamacare

In a statement on September 21, 2013, Paul acknowledged that it is unlikely that Republicans in Congress will be able to defeat Obamacare.[51]

“We probably can’t defeat or get rid of Obamacare,” Paul said in a statement.

However, he did note that efforts by Republicans in the House to defund Obamacare in its government funding bill could lead to a compromise.[51]

Anti-Obamacare rally

Senators Ted Cruz, Paul and Mike Lee, who have been leading calls in the Senate to defund Obamacare in any spending bills, took part in a September 10, 2013, "Exempt America from Obamacare" event, organized by Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica, along with other conservative groups.[52]

Democrats will stop at nothing to protect the president’s signature legislation, and too many Republicans are afraid to fight,” rally organizers wrote.[52] They also took a shot at the Office of Personnel Management rule allowing the federal government to continue subsidizing health plans for lawmakers and their aides.[52] “Even Big Government is getting a carve out now,” they wrote.[52]

The rally comes after 80 House members signed a letter in August 2013, calling on Congress to defund the health care law in upcoming fiscal battles.[52]

Petition to defund Obamacare

Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio found agreement in defunding President Barack Obama’s health care law in August 2013 and both of the senators are gathering petitions to defund the law.[53]

The Campaign for Liberty, which is chaired by Paul's father Ron Paul, has been sharply critical of Rubio’s stances on foreign affairs and immigration reform.[53] However, the Campaign for Liberty and Rubio stressed similar lines of attack against Obama’s health care law.[53]

In a message sent out to supporters on August 23, 2013, John Tate, the president of the Campaign for Liberty, pointed toward Congress returning to Washington in September. “Another opportunity may not come around until it is too late to reverse the damage Obamacare is doing to our health care and our liberty,” Tate insisted. “Next month, Congress will consider a ‘continuing resolution’ (CR) to keep taxpayer dollars flowing to the federal bureaucracy. Senators Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul are spearheading an effort to attach language defunding Obamacare to the CR. This would force President Obama, Harry Reid, and their statist cronies to choose between funding all their other big-spending schemes or defunding what they see as their signature ‘accomplishment.’”[53]

Tate offered harsh words for some of the GOP leadership in the Republican-controlled House. “Some Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, are heading for the tall grass, claiming it would be ‘irresponsible’ to force Obama to choose between admitting his health care plan is a disaster or funding his other favorite programs,” Tate insisted. “They would rather bask in the approval of the Beltway media than obey their promise to you to fight to repeal Obamacare.”[53]

The Campaign for Liberty ran a petition that called for the defunding of the health care law. Reclaim America, a PAC affiliated with Rubio, also ran its own petitions to defund the law.[53]

Immigration

Gang of Eight

See also: Gang of Eight

In May 2013, Paul said that he supports stronger border-security provisions and more work visas. He said he would not support immigration legislation without those provisions. "The main problem with illegal immigration is that we don't have enough legal immigration," Paul said.[54] In June 2013, Paul said he would support comprehensive immigration reform if his amendment increasing congressional oversight on border security is accepted. Paul's amendment, if approved, would require the Department of Homeland Security to implement border security measures such as additional fencing along the U.S-Mexico border. Congress would also be given a yearly report before voting whether the agency met its goals. The number of legal work visas approved would be tied to whether metrics are met.[55]

On June 23, 2013, Paul announced he will vote against the final Senate immigration reform bill because it does not guarantee border security.[56] “I’m all in favor of immigration reform but I’m like most conservatives in the country [in] that I think reform should be dependent on border security first,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union”.[57]

Paul went on to say that the bill could actually lead to higher future levels of illegal immigration because of caps on work visas for agricultural workers.[57] He previously introduced an amendment that would have required Congress to vote on whether border security goals have been met before granting legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. The Senate rejected Paul’s proposal at the end of June 2013.[57]

Social issues

Illegal substances

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) called for Paul to testify as a witness on a mandatory drug minimum panel on September 18, 2013. The hearings concerned the effectiveness of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders.[58]

Felons' voting rights

On September 16, 2013, Paul stated that he would work to reinstate voting rights of convicted felons who have completed their sentences.[59]

Second Amendment

Paul believes "gun control laws only restrict access to responsible gun ownership." He opposes "any proposed gun control law which would limit the right to gun ownership by those who are responsible, law-abiding citizens."[60]

Paul expanded his criticism of gun control laws to include the Patriot Act, which in his view "gives the government the right to search your home without a warrant, when you're not home, leave listening devices, and use any and all information to create a prosecution on any charge regardless of their original reason for the search." Paul believes that the Second Amendment is protected only as far as the Fourth Amendment is protected. He states that unless Americans are free from "unreasonable searches and seizures," their Second Amendment rights are not fully protected.[61]

Energy

On energy policy, Paul opposes government subsidies for solar and wind power, claiming such involvement destroys incentives for energy innovation and encourages more lobbying by companies "with the most political clout." Paul supports cutting taxes and eliminating regulations on those businesses involved with developing new sources of energy.[62]

Hemp legalization

Paul supports the legalization of hemp.[63][64]

Debt and spending

Paul has criticized Republicans who "dramatically increased federal spending" after lowering taxes during the Bush administration, leading to an unbalanced budget.[65]

Paul also introduced legislation in 2011 to cut the deficit by $500 billion within one year.[66][67] His budget plan, introduced in 2011, sought to balance the federal budget within 5 years.[68][69]

Political positions

Paul considers himself a "libertarian Republican."[70]

Presidential rumblings

Possible candidacy in 2016

See also: Rand Paul's possible candidacy

On November 18, 2013, Paul spoke of potential presidential candidates in 2016, saying, "I think they want someone outside of, you know, what’s been going on. For example, someone like myself who has been promoting term limits. Someone who says we shouldn’t have, you know, decade after decade longevity up here...And I think I’m, enough, new here to still be perceived as an outsider, should that be the choice at sometime in 2016."[71]

In an interview with a fourth grade student from Potter Gray Elementary School in January 2014, Paul said that odds are “probably 50-50” that he will run for president in 2016.[72]

“We are thinking about it, and sort of looking at what it would take to run. It’s a big job, but we probably won’t make our decision for about a year...It is a big job to do, to run for president. It would take traveling around the country, it would mean I’d be home less time, get to see my kids [for] less time. And the people in the media, they get meaner and meaner when you run for president because they pick you apart and say your clothes don’t look good, your hair looks bad, you need a haircut. You get all that kind of grief from the media when you run for president.”[72]

Potential Chris Christie run

See also: Chris Christie's possible candidacy

When asked on November 18, 2013, about a potential Gov. Chris Christie run, Paul responded that governors are not necessarily outsiders just because they are not stationed in the District of Columbia.[71]

“I don’t know that a governor is necessarily an outsider. A governor can be an insider as much as anybody else,” he said.[71]

He added, “You know, depends on how you define that; if you have a very loose definition, probably. If you look at a lot of issues like on whether or not we should accept Obamacare, bring it to our state, expand Medicaid: those would be, I think at best, moderate positions. But I think we have room for moderates in our party."[71]

Meetings with Murdoch and Ailes

In early November 2013, Paul reportedly met privately with both News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and Fox News head Roger Ailes.[73]

The individual meetings came as Paul had been working to smooth concerns among Republicans and others about whether he shares his famous libertarian father’s views on issues like national security.[73]

Bipartisan coffee talk

On October 4, 2013, the third day of the of the government shutdown, Paul invited Senate and House members to a “bipartisan coffee” on the steps of the Senate to “see if we can get along.”[74]

Only seven members of Congress, including a single Democratic member, showed up. Tom Carper (D-DE) was the only Democratic member to attend.[75] Other attendees included John Barrasso, Johnny Isakson, Susan Collins, Thomas Massie, Brett Guthrie and Mick Mulvaney. The informal gathering lasted a bit over half an hour.[75] John Boozman and Roger Wicker showed up a few minutes after the gathering broke up.[75]

Trip to South Carolina August 2013

On the eve of a trip to South Carolina, Rand Paul said in an interview on August 23, 2013, he is “unlikely” to get involved in the brewing Senate primary there between incumbent Lindsey Graham and several would-be conservative challengers.[76]

Paul will appear at a barbecue hosted by Jeff Duncan (R), reportedly a “friend from playing on the baseball team together,” Paul said, and plans to keep talking up his resistance to what he views as unnecessary overseas spending.[76]

Paul has clashed with Graham in recent months over Paul's support for reducing U.S. foreign aid, specifically to Egypt.[76] Paul proposed cutting off aid to the North African nation after the military seized power there, while Graham initially opposed that proposal.[76]

“The message I’ve been talking a lot about lately is we don’t have enough money to be sending it overseas and squandering it,” Paul said, suggesting military assistance to Egypt would be “counterproductive. If you’re an Egyptian and you’re protesting your government in the street and you’re facing down an American tank, it doesn’t give you a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart for America. I don’t know what more tanks are going to do for them, or more fighter jets or more tear gas.”[76]

Multiple Graham challengers have criticized his general support for foreign engagement: State senator Lee Bright blasted Graham as a “community organizer for the Muslim Brotherhood,” while Nancy Mace criticized the incumbent earlier this month for standing “with our president to support a failed foreign policy.”[76] Graham revised his views on Egypt in August 2013 in response to spiraling violence against protesters on the ground there and has called for a suspension of aid.

Without naming names, Paul said he’s not entirely convinced by his fellow Republicans who have shifted stances on aid to Egypt, questioning whether they’d seek to continue sending cash to Egypt by backdoor means. But, he said, “It’s a debate that ultimately is coming in our direction.”[76]

Of the South Carolina primary, Paul said: “I’ve met, I think, all three of the challengers, and like I said, I haven’t made a decision and I think it’s probably unlikely that I’ll get involved.”[76]

Paul has toured South Carolina and other early 2016 states — including New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada — throughout 2013, and has raised his national profile by speaking out in a series of Washington debates related to the size and national security powers of the federal government.[76] While Paul has spoken out against expansive government surveillance programs — and the hypothetical domestic use of drones — he declined to join his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, in praising military leaker Bradley Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for handing over secret documents to the website WikiLeaks.[76]

September 2013 NYC event

Six of the Republican Party’s leaders and potential 2016 nominees jointly headlined a fundraiser for the Republican National Committee (RNC) in New York in September 2013.

According to an invitation that went out August 26, 2013, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Jets owner Woody Johnson hosted the event September 23, 2013.[77] It was held at Johnson’s home.[77]

It was a dinner and reception with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Senators Marco Rubio and Paul and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as well as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Rep. Paul Ryan, who were listed as the “special guests.”[77]

It represents a major force of star power at a single event on behalf of the party and features some of the party’s brightest future talent, many of whom represent different wings of the GOP.[77]

Gov. Chris Christie

During a speaking engagement in Colorado in July 2013, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), controversially stated, "I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. … I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in." This was in reference to a growing number of conservative congressmen who have publicly denounced the recent news of NSA wiretapping. Paul is among these legislators. The next week, Paul responded by criticizing Christie, stating, "Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense."[78]

Iowa's GOP Lincoln Day Dinner 2013

Paul was the headliner of the annual Iowa Lincoln Day Dinner in June 2013. This year was the first time in recent years that it sold out almost two weeks in advance. The main topic of his speech was immigration reform, a hot topic due to the Gang of Eight legislation, where he outlined his own version of immigration reform which included allowing illegal immigrants to continue working in the country.[79]

Jack Hunter

In July 2013 it was revealed that an aide for Paul, Jack Hunter, who serves as Paul's media director and previously co-wrote Paul’s 2011 book, spent part of his 20s as a member of the League of the South.[80][81][82] In addition to his membership in the group, in the early 2000s Hunter began contributing anonymous political commentary to the South Carolina radio station 96 Wave, under the persona the “Southern Avenger.”[80] Hunter was the second Paul staffer to have his views on racial issues revealed publicly.[83]

Endorsements

Mitch McConnell

See also: United States Senate elections in Kentucky, 2014

Senator Paul declared his support for incumbent Mitch McConnell in his primary battle against challenger Matt Bevin.[84] In response to Bevin's decision to challenge McConnell he said, “I’m not giving him encouragement or discouragement. It’s a free country and anyone who wants to run can. I have endorsed Sen. McConnell.”[84] As the 2014 election progresses Paul increasingly must perform a careful balancing act: Show complete support for McConnell, while avoiding alienating the same tea party supporters who helped him in 2010 and whom he’ll need in 2016.[84]

Steve Lonegan

See also: United States Senate special election in New Jersey, 2013

Paul said on August 21, 2013 that he has met with Steve Lonegan and is planning to help him in his special election campaign.[85] “We’re considering trying to help him out,” Paul said. “In all likelihood, we’ll go in and either financially or try to help him through an endorsement or something,” Paul said.[85]

Lonegan’s campaign announced on September 3, 2013, that Paul will join him in Clark, New Jersey, on September 13, 2013 for an afternoon “Liberty and Victory Rally.”[86]

Mocking of Cory Booker

As part of his reasoning behind his decision to campaign for Republican nominee Steve Lonegan, Paul made jabs at Cory Booker as a politician with “an imaginary friend with imaginary problems” on September 6, 2013. The statement is in reference to reports about the Newark drug lord named “T-Bone,” whom Booker has said he befriended.[87]

“If Cory will introduce me to T-Bone when I get there, I’d love to meet T-Bone. If T-Bone’s not real, maybe we need to get Mr. Booker to talk about real problems,” Paul said in an interview.[87]

Paul also described Lonegan as a solid conservative and “defender of the Fourth Amendment” who impressed him during a visit to Washington over the summer.[87]

Booker spokesman Kevin Griffis responded to Paul’s comments by saying that the former Bogota mayor would “raise taxes on the working and middle classes and privatize Social Security, and he even opposed Hurricane Sandy aid."[87]

“As mayor and as a leader of the Tea Party in New Jersey, Mr. Lonegan has only proven that he cares about the plight of the ultra-wealthy and big corporations,” Griffis said.[87]

Controversy

Plagiarism

Washington Times ends column

The Washington Times announced it was ending Paul's column on November 5, 2013, after it was discovered that a portion of his column was plagiarized.[88]

Washington Times article

In a September 2013 article Paul wrote for The Washington Times, he allegedly copied the work of another essay that previously appeared in The Week magazine, written by Dan Stewart, an editor for The Week.[89]

In an interview on "This Week" on November 3, 2013, Paul acknowledged previous allegations of plagiarism, saying that he had been “sloppy,” but also claimed he had been unfairly "targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters."[89]

Heritage Foundation case study

Reports circulated on November 2, 2013, that an entire section, 1,318 words, of Paul's August 2013 book Government Bullies was taken from a 2003 case study by the Heritage Foundation.[90][91] The accusation comes after repeated reports that Paul had plagiarized speeches either from Wikipedia or news reports.[90] In the footnotes of the text, Paul included a link to the Heritage case study but failed to indicate the entire passage, not just the source, had been taken from the Heritage Foundation.[90]

An aide for Paul defended him, saying he makes clear in the book that he did not individually research each case.[90]

“In the book Government Bullies all the information… was sourced by end notes. In the two cases described, the end notes clearly define the sourcing for the book. In no case has the senator used information without attribution,” said Doug Stafford, an advisor to Sen. Paul who co-wrote the book. “There were 150 endnotes and cites including The Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute. This is a witch hunt and grasping at straws.”[90]

Speech information from Wikipedia

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said on October 30, 2013, that she uncovered a second speech in which Paul took material from Wikipedia to describe a movie.[92]

On October 28, 2013, Maddow compared Paul’s speech at Liberty University to the Wikipedia entry on “Gattaca” and found several nearly verbatim passages. On her show on October 29, 2013, she drew attention to a March 19, 2013, speech that Paul gave at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in which he talked about the movie “Stand and Deliver.”[92]

Maddow reportedly found the March 19, 2013, speech video after Buzzfeed reported about a similar reference to “Stand and Deliver” in a June 12, 2013, speech Paul gave at an immigration forum.[92]

Yellen's nomination for Federal Reserve

In a statement released on October 30, 2013, Paul said he would put a “hold” on Janet Yellen’s nomination as the next chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, in an attempt promote his call for legislation that would require audits and other public scrutiny of the Federal Reserve System.[93]

“The American people have a right to know what this institution is doing with the nation’s money supply,” Paul said in the statement. “The Federal Reserve does not need prolonged secrecy—it needs to be audited, and my bipartisan Federal Reserve Transparency Act will do just that.”[93]

Aide's pro-secessionist history

Jack Hunter, an aide for Paul, who served as Paul's media director and previously co-wrote Paul’s 2011 book, spent part of his 20s as a member of the League of the South, a group which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”[80][81][94] In 1999, Hunter was listed as chairman of the group’s Charleston, S.C., chapter.[81]

In a statement Hunter said, “When I was part of it, they were very explicit that’s not what they were about. I was a young person, it was a fairly radical group - the same way a person on the left might be attracted in college to some left-wing radical groups.”[80]

In addition to his membership in the group, in the early 2000s Hunter began contributing anonymous political commentary to the South Carolina radio station 96 Wave, under the persona the “Southern Avenger.”[80] As the “Southern Avenger,” Hunter would wear a mask printed with a Confederate flag to public appearances.[80]

Hunter was the second Paul staffer to have his views on racial issues revealed publicly.[95]

Aide resigns from campaign

On July 22, 2013, it was announced that Hunter resigned his position as an aide for Paul's campaign, and will resume his career as a pundit, saying that he did not want to be a distraction for the Senator, who is considered a top potential 2016 presidential candidate.[96][97][98][99][100][101]

In a statement regarding the matter Hunter wrote, “I’ve long been a conservative, and years ago, a much more politically incorrect (and campy) one. But there’s a significant difference between being politically incorrect and racist. I’ve also become far more Libertarian over the years, a philosophy that encourages a more tolerant worldview, through the lens of which I now look back on some of my older comments with embarrassment.”[96]

Paul stood by Hunter when the story initially broke, saying Hunter's past comments were “absolutely stupid,” but that he didn’t think he held any racist views.[96]

Presidential preference

2012

See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Rand Paul endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [102]

Elections

2016

On December 8, 2013, Paul stated his family will determine whether or not he will run for president, claiming, "The thought has crossed my mind ... I'm not ready to make a decision yet."[103] There have been 16 senators elected to the presidency, including Barack Obama.[104] Paul's father, former Representative Ron Paul, ran for the presidency three times, including once as a Libertarian in 1988.[105] He was endorsed by fellow Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell (R) upon McConnell's retention of his Senate race in 2014. McConnell, who had been supported by Paul's endorsement in his Senate race, stated on Paul's possible candidacy, "I don't think he's made a final decision on that. But he'll be able to count on me."[106]

Preparations

Paul's chief of staff, Doug Stafford--who is widely seen as Paul’s closest adviser--announced plans to resign in order to manage Paul’s national political operation, according to reports from May 2, 2013.[107] Stafford's role would be focused on directing the senator’s organization in early-primary states, his calendar, and his communications.[107] He will also run Paul’s political-action committees — RAND PAC and Rand Paul for U.S. Senate — which are expected to grow and are the financial and political foundation for Paul’s likely presidential campaign if he chooses to run for President in 2016.[107]

In May and June 2013, Paul planned trips to several states for the beginning of a presidential exploration tour. States Paul planned to visit on the trip include California, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.[108][109] During Paul's visit to Iowa on May 11, 2013, he criticized Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack.[110][111] During Paul's trip to the Granite State, New Hampshire state house representative Phil Straight (R) called Paul a "contender" for the 2016 presidential race.[112] He was also one of six Republicans headlining a major fundraising event in New York City on September 23, 2013.[113]

Paul headlined a September 20, 2014 California Republican Convention, attacking Hillary Clinton's foreign policy record, particularly the 2012 attack in Benghazi which he argued should "preclude her from being [president]." He also focused his message that the Republican Party needed to change in some ways in order to bring in voters who may have been polarized by recent Republican stances.[114] He also told the San Francisco Chronicle that his team was "in the process" of opening an office in San Francisco, where he has wealthy supporters.[115]

Time editorial

Paul wrote an editorial for Time magazine in which he called out the militarization of local police departments as well as race relations between law enforcement and minorities. Paul argued that the federal government was encouraging the local departments to create "small armies" through a program with the Defense Department. Coming on the heels of the police shooting and public rioting in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, he claimed, "Washington has incentivized the militarization of local police precincts by using federal dollars to help municipal governments build what are essentially small armies — where police departments compete to acquire military gear that goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement." In discussing race relations, he wrote, "Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention." He continued, pointing out that "it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them."[116]

Campaign issues

Executive orders

Paul announced on September 12, 2014, that if he were to be elected president, his first executive order would be to repeal all previous executive orders from past presidents. He stated, "We’ve done way too many things [the wrong way]: Signing statements, altering legislation by the president, are wrong and unconstitutional and shouldn’t happen. Executive orders shouldn’t either." A spokesperson explained further, "Senator Paul's statement was meant to emphasize this president's overt and unconstitutional executive orders, it was not meant to be taken literally."[117]

Public statements about possible run

  • In an interview in April 2013, Paul answered when asked whether he'll run for president, “We are considering it. You know, I want to be part of the national debate. So whether I run or not, being considered is something that allows me to have a larger microphone.”[107]
  • On December 8, 2013, Paul said the life of a national politician can be an “ordeal,” and the impact of uncivil treatment on his family could nix any 2016 presidential run. “It really is an ordeal to be part of public life. ... I also hate it when family is attacked, and they get into the news,” he said.[103]
  • Paul criticized potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in an August 24, 2014 interview, calling her a "war hawk." He stated, "I think that’s what scares the Democrats the most is that in a general election, were I to run, there’s going to be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say we are tired of war, we’re worried that Hillary Clinton is going to get us into another Middle Eastern war because she’s so gung ho. If you want to see a transformational election in our country, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton and you’ll see a transformation like you’ve never seen."[118]

Comments on possible campaign

  • When asked whether Paul would run, Paul's father, former Representative Ron Paul, stated, "I think he probably will. I mean he’s been on TV hinting that he very well might. I think he is handling himself quite well."[119]
  • Bill Maher, liberal host of Real Time on HBO, spoke with interest about Paul on September 10, 2014, suggesting, "Rand Paul is an interesting candidate to me. Rand Paul could possibly get my vote. As I always used to say about his father, I love half of him. I love the half of him that has the guts to say we should end the American empire, pull the troops home, stop getting involved in every foreign entanglement… He’s way less of a hawk than Hillary, and that appeals to me a lot because I’m not crazy about how warlike she is."[120]
  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) expressed his growing support for Paul in a September 29, 2014 interview, stating, "I know that if he were president or a nominee I could influence him, particularly some of his views and positions on national security. He trusts me particularly on the military side of things, so I could easily work with him. It wouldn’t be a problem."[121]

Issues

  • Paul took issue with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's use of federal disaster relief funding to pay for a tourism marketing campaign following Hurricane Sandy. Of the use of $25 million on the campaign, Paul stated, "In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office. Do you think there might be a conflict of interest there?"[122]
  • Paul faced strong criticism in 2013 for plagiarism in his speeches, newspaper articles and even his book "Government Bullies." He announced plans to change the way his office works in guarding against plagiarism, stating, "We’re now going to footnote everything and make sure it has a reference because I do take this personally, and I don’t want to be accused of misrepresenting myself." After it was discovered speeches in Joe Biden's 1988 presidential campaign were plagiarised, he dropped out of the race and didn't run again until 2008.[123]

Public opinion polls

  • A July 2013 poll conducted by Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling found that Paul led other possible Republican presidential candidates by a margin of 16%. The other politicians in the poll included (in order of results) Jeb Bush, Gov. Chris Christie (NJ), Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio.[124]
  • A December 11, 2013, poll conducted by Quinnipiac showed Paul losing a hypothetical election against Hillary Clinton, with Paul receiving 41% to Clinton's 48%.[125]
  • A McClatchy-Marist poll released December 11, 2013, showed Paul losing to likely Republican challenger Chris Christie 12% to 18%.[125]
  • A March 2014 survey conducted by CNN showed Paul leading the GOP field for presidential hopefuls, edging out Paul Ryan by one point. With 16% support, Paul also polled much better than Chris Christie who only garnered 8%.[126]

2010

On November 2, 2010, Paul won election to the United States Senate. The race attracted more than $8.5 million dollars in outside spending.[127]

Paul was a surprising victor over the favorite, former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, in the primary election.[128][129][130]

Paul defeated Jack Conway (D) and Billy Ray Wilson (Write-In) in the general election.[131]

U.S. Senate, Kentucky General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRand Paul 55.7% 755,706
     Democratic Jack Conway 44.2% 600,052
     Independent Billy Ray Wilson 0% 338
Total Votes 1,356,096
U.S. Senate, Kentucky Republican Primary, 2010
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRand Paul 58.8% 206,986
Trey Grayson 35.4% 124,864
Bill Johnson 2.2% 7,861
John Stephenson 2% 6,885
Gurley L. Martin 0.8% 2,850
Jon Scribner 0.8% 2,829
Total Votes 352,275

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Paul is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Paul raised a total of $7,809,324 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[132]

Rand Paul's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (Kentucky) Won $7,809,324
Grand Total Raised $7,809,324

2013

Lobbyist contributions

In an analysis by Open Secrets of the Top 10 Recipients of Contributions from Lobbyists in 2013, Paul was 1 of 115 members of Congress who did not report any contributions from lobbyists in 2013 as of July 3, 2013.[133]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Paul's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $231,006 and $565,000. That averages to $398,003, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2012 of $6,956,438.47. Paul ranked as the 86th most wealthy senator in 2012.[134] Between 2009 and 2012, Paul's calculated net worth[135] decreased by an average of 18 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[136]

Rand Paul Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2009$863,652
2012$398,003
Growth from 2009 to 2012:-54%
Average annual growth:-18%[137]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[138]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Paul is a "rank-and-file Republican," as of July 23, 2014. This was the same rating Paul received in June 2013.[139]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[140]

Paul most often votes with:

Paul least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Paul missed 39 of 1,016 roll call votes from January 2011 to July 2014. This amounts to 3.8 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.0% among currently serving senators as of July 2014.[141]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Paul paid his congressional staff a total of $1,454,975 in 2011. He ranked fifth on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranked fifth overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Kentucky ranked 40th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[142]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year.

2013

Paul ranked 19th in the conservative rankings in 2013.[143]

2012

Paul ranked 6th in the conservative rankings in 2012.[144]

2011

Paul ranked 32nd in the conservative rankings in 2011.[145]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.

2014

Paul voted with the Republican Party 83.0 percent of the time, which ranked 35th among the 45 Senate Republican members as of July 2014.[146]

2013

Paul voted with the Republican Party 83.6 percent of the time, which ranked 38th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[147]

Personal

Paul has been married to his wife Kelley (nee Ashby) since 1993. They live in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and have three sons: William, Duncan, and Robert.[8]

Paul is the first Senator to have served simultaneously with a parent, Ron Paul (R), in the United States House of Representatives.[148][149]

Strategy Group for Media

In July 2013, it was announced that Kelley Paul was no longer a staff member of Strategy Group for Media, a conservative consulting firm. The firm has previously worked on Sen. Paul's television ads in his 2010 race, Senate candidate Todd Akin's campaign and Michele Bachmann's 2012 presidential bid, among other campaigns.[150]

Pro bono eye surgeries

During his recess from Congress in August 2013 Paul performed pro-bono eye surgeries.[151][152] “Because of Senate rules [Paul] wasn’t able to keep his practice for profit but … to keep his skills honed and well as to be able to continue to practice, the only way he’s able to do that is if he does it as pro bono work,” said Paul’s communication director, Moira Bagley.[151] “So there are various eye clinics around the state that will donate their facilities, and their nurses, and their follow-up appointments, their equipment for Dr. Paul to come and perform surgeries on pre-screened candidates.”[151]

According to Bagley, the senator views it as a way to give back to Kentucky and tries to do the pro bono surgeries about four or five times each year on about four or five patients.[151]

“Most of these surgeries are for cataracts, and these are people that don’t have insurance, that are low-income cases. … I’d say a lot of them are elderly but he’s been doing this since he came to Congress as a way to continue to practice and to … give back to the state,” she said, adding that Paul has done surgeries from Pikeville to Paducah and places in between.[151]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References

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  27. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named votes
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 CBS News, "Senate Rejects Paul Ryan Budget," accessed March 22, 2013
  29. Washington Post, "10 House Republicans Vote Against Ryan Budget," accessed March 22, 2013
  30. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  31. 31.0 31.1 On The Issues, "Rand Paul Vote Match," accessed June 24, 2014
  32. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 [http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/08/28/rand-paul-urges-caution-on-syria-we-should-ascertain-who-used-the-weapons/?wprss=rss_politics&clsrd Washington Post, "Rand Paul urges caution on Syria: ‘We should ascertain who used the weapons’," accessed August 28, 2013]
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 Politico, "Rand Paul plan binds Hill approval, Syria," accessed September 4, 2013
  35. Politico, "Libertarians, liberals unite against Syria strike," accessed September 4, 2013
  36. Washington Post, "Rand Paul denies plans to filibuster Syria resolution," accessed September 4, 2013
  37. CNN.com, "Obama, don't rush into war in Syria," accessed August 29, 2013
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 Politico, "Rand Paul: Syria ‘objective is stalemate'," accessed August 30, 2013
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 Politico, "Rand Paul introduces legislation to stop Egypt aid," accessed July 12, 2013
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Washington Post, "Peter King: Rand Paul is the GOP’s George McGovern," accessed July 31, 2013
  41. Politico, "Peter King: Rand Paul ‘perpetuating this big lie’," accessed August 5, 2013
  42. 42.0 42.1 Real Clear Politics, "Peter King: Rand Paul's Views On Foreign Policy Make "America The Enemy"," accessed August 5, 2013
  43. Huffington Post, "Rand Paul: NSA Surveillance Programs Warrant Supreme Court Challenge," accessed June 9, 2013
  44. Daily Caller, "Rand Paul threatens to challenge NSA at Supreme Court," accessed June 9, 2013
  45. WDRB, "U.S. Senator Rand Paul threatens legal action," accessed June 9, 2013
  46. The Hill, "Rand Paul: NSA phone spying an 'astounding assault on Constitution'," accessed June 6, 2013
  47. Washington Post, "Dick Cheney: Rand Paul is wrong on government surveillance," accessed June 16, 2013
  48. Huffington Post, "Rand Paul Attacks Dick Cheney, Bush Administration For Pre-9/11 Security Failures ," accessed June 19, 2013
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Politico, "Rand Paul, Mike Crapo to oppose budget deal," accessed December 11, 2013
  50. 50.0 50.1 Politico, "Rand Paul: 'Goons' blocked WWII Memorial," accessed October 2, 2013
  51. 51.0 51.1 Politico, "Rand Paul: GOP ‘probably can’t defeat’ Obamacare," accessed September 23, 2013
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 52.4 Politico, "Rand Paul, Ted Cruz plan anti-Obamacare rally," accessed August 27, 2013
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 53.4 53.5 Sunshine State News, "Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ron Paul Join Forces to Defeat Obamacare," accessed August 26, 2013
  54. Wall Street Journal, "Sen. Paul Calls for Tougher Borders, More Work Visas," accessed May 26, 2013
  55. Washington Post, "Sen. Rand Paul offers border security amendment to Senate immigration bill," accessed June 12, 2013
  56. The Hill, "Rand Paul to oppose immigration bill," accessed June 24, 2013
  57. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named gang
  58. Politico, "Patrick Leahy taps Rand Paul to fight drug sentences," accessed September 13, 2013
  59. The Washington Post, "Rand Paul wants to restore felons’ voting rights," accessed September 16, 2013
  60. Official Senate website, "Issues: Second Amendment," accessed June 24, 2013
  61. Official Senate website, "Issues: Second Amendment," accessed June 24, 2013
  62. Official Senate website, "Issues: Energy," accessed June 24, 2013
  63. Huffington Post, " Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Push For Hemp Legalization In Senate Fight," accessed May 20, 2013
  64. Courier-Journal, "With support from Sen. Rand Paul, hemp bill clears Kentucky Senate committee unanimously," accessed February 11, 2013
  65. Official Senate website, "Issues: Debt & Spending," accessed June 24, 2013
  66. Official Senate website, "Sen. Paul Introduces $500 Billion in Spending Cuts," accessed January 25, 2011
  67. Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul unveils $500 billion in federal budget cuts," accessed January 25, 2011
  68. Official Senate website, "Issues: Budget," accessed June 24, 2013
  69. ABC News, "Sen. Paul Unveils 5-Year Budget Plan: Eliminates Four Federal Agencies," accessed March 17, 2011
  70. Washington Post, "Sen. Rand Paul aggressively courting evangelicals to win over GOP establishment," accessed May 12, 2013
  71. 71.0 71.1 71.2 71.3 Politico, "Rand Paul ‘16 pick: ‘Someone like myself’," accessed November 19, 2013
  72. 72.0 72.1 Politico, "Rand Paul: ‘50-50’ shot he’ll run for president," accessed February 4, 2014
  73. 73.0 73.1 Politico, "Rand Paul meets with Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes," accessed November 11, 2013
  74. Buzz Feed, "Small Turnout For Rand Paul’s Coffee Talk," accessed October 4, 2013
  75. 75.0 75.1 75.2 Politico, "Rand Paul’s barely bipartisan coffee," accessed October 4, 2013
  76. 76.0 76.1 76.2 76.3 76.4 76.5 76.6 76.7 76.8 76.9 Politico, "Rand Paul, heading to South Carolina, talks Lindsey Graham, Egypt," accessed August 26, 2013
  77. 77.0 77.1 77.2 77.3 Politico, "GOP 2016 hopefuls slated for NYC event," accessed August 28, 2013
  78. NJ.com, "Chris Christie calls Rand Paul another 'Washington politician,'" accessed July 30, 2013
  79. The New Republic, "President Rand Paul, Watch out, he's becoming a better politician every day," accessed June 17, 2013
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  81. 81.0 81.1 81.2 Free Beacon, "Rand Paul aide has history of neo-Confederate sympathies, inflammatory statements," accessed July 11, 2013
  82. Slate, "Crawling Out From Under the Rubble of Jack Hunter-gate," accessed July 11, 2013
  83. Yahoo, "Rand Paul's troubling ties to racists," accessed July 11, 2013
  84. 84.0 84.1 84.2 Politico, "Rand Paul in tough spot in 2014 Kentucky Senate race," accessed July 25, 2013
  85. 85.0 85.1 Politico, "Rand Paul mulling Steve Lonegan endorsement," accessed August 28, 2013
  86. Roll Call, "Rand Paul to Stump for Republican in New Jersey Special #NJSEN," accessed September 4, 2013
  87. 87.0 87.1 87.2 87.3 87.4 Politico, "Rand Paul mocks Cory Booker," accessed September 12, 2013
  88. Buzz Feed, "Washington Times Ends Rand Paul’s Column After Plagiarism," accessed November 5, 2013
  89. 89.0 89.1 NY Times, "Senator Rand Paul Faces New Charges of Plagiarism," accessed November 5, 2013
  90. 90.0 90.1 90.2 90.3 90.4 BuzzFeed, "Three Pages Of Rand Paul’s Book Were Plagiarized From Think Tanks," accessed November 4, 2013
  91. ABC News, "Sen. Rand Paul Wishes He Could Challenge Plagiarism Critics to a ‘Duel’; Calls Them ‘Hacks and Haters’," accessed November 4, 2013
  92. 92.0 92.1 92.2 Politico, "Rachel Maddow: Second Wikipedia ripoff by Rand Paul," accessed October 30, 2013
  93. 93.0 93.1 Washington Post, "Sen. Rand Paul will block Yellen’s nomination," accessed October 30, 2013
  94. Slate, "Crawling Out From Under the Rubble of Jack Hunter-gate," accessed July 11, 2013
  95. Yahoo, "Rand Paul's troubling ties to racists," accessed July 11, 2013
  96. 96.0 96.1 96.2 Washington Post, "Controversial Rand Paul aide resigns," accessed July 22, 2013
  97. Washington Post, "Controversial Rand Paul aide resigns," accessed July 22, 2013
  98. Daily Caller, "Southern Avenger no more: Rand Paul aide Jack Hunter leaves staff, returns to punditry," accessed July 22, 2013
  99. USA Today, "Controversial aide to Sen. Rand Paul steps aside," accessed July 22, 2013
  100. Huffington Post, "Rand Paul Aide Resigns After Confederate Views Stir Controversy," accessed July 22, 2013
  101. The Hill, "Paul aide with pro-Confederate past resigns," accessed July 22, 2013
  102. Washington Post, "Rand Paul endorses Mitt Romney," accessed June 7, 2012
  103. 103.0 103.1 The Hill, "Rand Paul: 'Ordeal' of public office, family treatment may nix 2016 White House run," accessed December 9, 2013
  104. United States Senate, "Senators Who Became President," accessed October 16, 2013
  105. National Journal, "Ron Paul Steps Toward Third Presidential Race," April 25, 2011
  106. National Journal, "Mitch McConnell Backs Rand Paul in 2016, Giving Him the Kind of Endorsement His Father Never Won," November 7, 2014
  107. 107.0 107.1 107.2 107.3 National Review "The Rand Machine Ramps Up" accessed May 3, 2013
  108. 9News "GOP's Rand Paul raises profile with eye on 2016," May 10, 2013
  109. Washington Post "Sen. Rand Paul explores 2016 presidential road with Iowa GOP trip as Gov. Jindal visits NH," May 10, 2013
  110. NBC Politics "Rand Paul challenges Hillary Clinton in key Iowa speech," May 11, 2013
  111. WJLA "Rand Paul in Iowa today amid 2016 chatter," May 10, 2013
  112. Courier-Journal "Kentucky Senator Rand Paul seen as 'contender' in New Hampshire," May 27, 2013
  113. Politico, "GOP 2016 hopefuls slated for NYC event," August 26, 2013
  114. {http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/218427-rand-paul-sharpens-2016-pitch The Hill, "Rand Paul sharpens 2016 pitch," September 20, 2016]
  115. San Francisco Chronicle, "Eye on presidency? Sen. Rand Paul to open office in Bay Area," September 20, 2014
  116. Politico, "Rand Paul's race moment," August 15, 2014
  117. The Hill, "Rand Paul says as president he would repeal all executive orders," September 12, 2014
  118. The Hill, "Paul: Clinton too much of a ‘war hawk’," August 24, 2014
  119. Politico, "Ron Paul: Rand Paul will likely run in 2016," December 10, 2013
  120. The Hill, "'Real Times Maher 'could' vote for Paul," September 10, 2014
  121. The New Yorker, "The Revenge of Rand Paul," September 28, 2014
  122. Asbury Park Press, "Rand Paul bashes Chris Christie again on 'Stronger than the Storm' ads," November 15, 2013
  123. Courier-Journal, "Plagiarism issue puts focus on Rand Paul," November 9, 2013
  124. Politico, "Rand Paul leads GOP 2016 primary poll," accessed July 25, 2013
  125. 125.0 125.1 Politico, "2016 poll: Chris Christie 42%, Hillary Clinton 41%," December 11, 2013
  126. CNN, "CNN Poll: Rand Paul goes where his father never went," March 16, 2014
  127. Courier-Journal, "Outside groups spend big in U.S. Senate race," accessed October 29, 2010
  128. Kentucky Elections, "Primary Election Results," accessed May 18, 2010
  129. Bluegrass Politics, "Some conservatives wary of Grayson," accessed June 28, 2009
  130. WDRB, "Rand Paul defeats Trey Grayson," accessed May 18, 2010
  131. U.S. Congress House Clerkm "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed 2012
  132. Open Secrets, "Rand Paul," accessed April 3, 2013
  133. Open Secrets, "Top Recipients of Lobbyists Cash in 2013," accessed July 3, 2013
  134. OpenSecrets, "Rand Paul (R-KY), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  135. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  136. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  137. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  138. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
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  140. OpenCongress, "Rep. Rand Paul," accessed July 23, 2014
  141. GovTrack, "Rand Paul," accessed July 23, 2014
  142. LegiStorm, "Rand Paul" accessed 2012
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  144. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed February 28, 2013
  145. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," accessed February 23, 2012
  146. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  147. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  148. McClatchy DC, "Father watches with pride as Rand Paul becomes U.S. senator," accessed July 22, 2013
  149. White House 16, "Kentucky Senator Rand Paul," accessed July 22, 2013
  150. Politico, "Rand Paul’s wife leaves GOP consulting firm," accessed July 15, 2013
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  152. Red Alert Politics, "Sen. Rand Paul’s summer break includes performing free eye surgery," accessed August 22, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Jim Bunning
U.S. Senate - Kentucky
2011-Present
Succeeded by
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