Rand Paul

Rand Paul Will Answer Your Questions Tonight if You Turn Off the Debate He Was Excluded From

Decision to skip the undercard debate seems to have delivered more and better earned media than showing up would have.


Sen. Rand Paul chose to sit out the now-airing undercard debate on Fox Business News. Instead, he will tonight answer questions live on Twitter:

Tonight! #TurnOffYourTV Ask Rand Paul questions directly by tweeting at @RandPaul and using the hashtag #RandRally!

I speculated that he would have been better off swallowing his pride and just appearing on the debate.

But Dylan Byers at CNN thinks otherwise, noting the wave of high-profile press Paul has spun off being kicked out of the mainstage debate, concluding the move:

has resulted in far more airtime and significantly larger audiences than Paul could possibly have hoped for at the Fox Business Network debate.

Instead of flying to South Carolina for debate prep, Paul has been on a two-day media tour in New York City, after which he will head to New Hampshire and Iowa. In the last 48 hours, he has done interviews with "The Dr. Oz Show," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," and Fox News, as well as multiple interviews with CNN and MSNBC, that were all pegged to his decision to skip the debate.

Based on those show's averages, the Paul interviews have likely been watched by at least 7 million people total. The last Fox Business undercard debate, in November, averaged 4.7 million viewers….

The interviews, unlike the debates, have given Paul a free platform to advance his policy proposals and talking points—without having to endure attacks from the likes of Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, who will be on the undercard slate on Thursday. Paul's "Daily Show" interview on Wednesday night even took place at a lone podium, beneath a sign that read, "GOP Debate: Singles Night."

I think Byers seem to be right, and Paul was right, and I was mistaken in my original judgment.

Paul's official twitter feed.

NEXT: Good News: Man-Made Global Warming Delays New Ice Age for 100,000 Years

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. What if we never turned it on top begin with.

  2. Although my social media is quite biased, I think there’s a pretty large group of people who won’t be watching the debate. Where’s the best place to find the total views for the debate? Does fox publish those numbers, or is that a .gov site?

      1. Look, we’re already here and on the list, do we need to give them the red flag tonight?

        1. Umm…..yeah. And the finger.

      1. I suppose Google might know such things.

        1. It lies.

        2. All it asks for is a minute of your time to speak about your Lord and Savior.

  3. “Instead of flying to South Carolina for debate prep, Paul has been on a two-day media tour in New York City”

    Tell us about new York values, rand.

    1. How many people in greater NYC? 20 million? Finding even one libertarian in the city is probably going to be a challenge.

        1. Yeah, but can anyone *find* you?

      1. Rhywun, Gilmore, Restoras, JD the Elder, off the top of my head

  4. Been saying that Rand is doing the right thing. This will see a rise in his polling number. Not enough to win, but still something. They won’t give him any air time in the debates anyway, so why does it matter?

    1. Hmm. 1.5 minutes on stage, being berated by hosts and politicians alike. Gets asked one question about abortion or the Confederate flag. Or over an hour of genuine speaking time, with some attempts at gotcha questions maybe thrown around.

  5. I’m surprised he refused to do the other debate. That really sends the wrong message. Doing it would send the message: “I’m going to keep fighting for what I believe is best for America, no matter what!” Now he just seems petty.

    I’m not a political consultant, but I am regularly amazed at what looks to me like really bad messaging from candidates. Another example was Hillary talking about how all sexual assault victims should be believed. WTF? Was that a stroke-induced brain-fart? Are her advisors so in the tank that they didn’t know what the reaction would be? She tossed a slow ball to the other team, right over the plate.

    1. “Hillary talking about how all sexual assault victims should be believed. WTF? Was that a stroke-induced brain-fart?”

      Yes. Everything the woman says sounds like that to me.

  6. I told Rand the slogan ‘Make America Mediocre Good Again’ was a loser.

    Trump found le mot juste.

    1. Hey, you leave that gutter talk up north.

      1. Hey, if I have to put up with the lazy and horrific stereotypes about tuques and aboot and such you will put up with my shenanigans if but for a mere post. After all, we’re the same me and you:




        2. Was that filmed in July or August?

          1. July looks like.

  7. You’re a class act, Brian. Good on ya.

    1. Yes, publicly admitting you made a mistake speaks to good character, but I might be wrong.

      1. Consider that stolen. Or appropriated. Or whatever.
        Also, Swiss, we could use a ruling here.

        1. The word you are looking for, comrade, is “liberated”. As in, “The bank’s money has been liberated for the cause.”

  8. I have just discovered my new favorite tv show: Aquabats!

    1. Garth Marengi’s Darkplace

  9. I think Team Rand has fully realized that there’s zero downside to telling the media to fuck off. It of course also helps that Fox Business actually did screw him by not including that DMR poll that would have put him in. That and everyone paying attention knows its a gigantic joke to have Kaisch and even Jeb! on the stage and not Rand.

    1. I would agree. Even the people I work with who don’t like him were perplexed by the list of who made it over him.

    2. Maybe if The Independents had done better FB would be more kindly disposed to a libertarianish candidate.

    3. “…Kaisch…”



      Oh, that guy. He is still in the race? I had no idea. Really, I’m not kidding.

    4. I think Team Rand has fully realized that there’s zero downside to telling the media to fuck off.

      He’s just imitating what John’s been preaching this entire time!

  10. Mr. Paul, why did Alan Rickman have to die?

    1. He wouldn’t have if he had only lived another few years when Joe Biden’s campaign to cure cancer will materialize.

    2. Well you see, MJ, when mommy and daddy want the Elder Wand very much…

      1. Huh huh, huh-huh, Elder Wand.

    3. Alan Rickman is not dead. He and David Bowie went to a Velvet Underground concert. Thats all.

      1. Nice. His death throws as Sheriff of Nottingham were the best ever.

  11. The only way to win is not to play.

    1. +1 would you like to play a game.

    2. Not true for the Powerball, bucko.

      1. Actually, it is. You win by not giving the state any more of your money.

        1. And how does your inane strategy help me with buying binders full of hookers and blow?

          1. I would hope that you get your moneys worth from the hookers and blow. What do you get from buying a lotto ticket?
            BTW, for the last few months, I’ve been working on a song, Hookers and Blow. So far I have nothing but the phrase ” Hookers and blow, hookers and blow, I’m gonna get me some hookers and blow!” To the tune of “Kibbles and Bits”.

            1. Well, what do you think *is* in Kibbles and Bits to make dogs so excited?

            2. I would hope that you get your moneys worth from the hookers and blow. What do you get from buying a lotto ticket?

              $4. I won $4. Got the Powerball and one number. That’s not even 2 gallons of gas here in sunny SoCal. I can’t help you with the song. As I millennial, I say you just EDM it to death.

            3. What else does it need? Its already got hookers and blow.

            4. What do you get from buying a lotto ticket?


              I had a nice time imagining what I’d do with $1.5B. Worth every penny.

              1. It’s money porn, plain and simple.

  12. I think Byers seem to be right, and Paul was right, and I was mistaken in my original judgment

    Honesty? I don’t care for it.

  13. No thank you. He’s a sore loser. What a disappointment. He is getting terrible advice. It’s like that commercial by his father that appeared a few months ago and the sound was out of sync making him look like even more of a nut than usual. Someone is messing with them.

    1. At least wait until we see how this plays out.

      The contest which he needs to win is the contest of public opinion, not the contests staged by particular news outlets.

      So wait a bit, then take a look at the *real* contest and see how he’s doing there, then we’ll know whether he’s getting good advice or not.

      1. Nah. FBN is the most libertarian friendly channel out there. He thinks that being libertarian just means trying to make even the most conservative look like liberals. He’s flailing and will fail miserably. Again.

        1. Maybe he will.

          But maybe he’ll fail miserably at the kids’ table, too.

  14. Mr. Paul, what are you going to do to stop the war on cash?

  15. Interesting…this confirms what another commenter said was his experience w/evangelicals, but I doubted him!

    1. Sorry, not reading that. I got as far as ‘sexual purity’ and it creeped me right the fuck out.

      Care to summarize?

      1. That the approach *turns off* boys.

        Look, it’s *critical* of the “sexual purity movement,” though not of sexual morality.

        1. The focus is on discouraging premarital sex by discouraging dating itself, even handholding, and saying you should wait for the One Special Person God will send, so if there’s problems in the marriage later you can say that they must not be the Special Person, etc.

          So the guys just go down to the club and pick up some Goth chicks.

          OK, I made up that last part.

          1. Context: Why young men drop out of church once they come of age.

          2. Goth chicks have spiked vaginas. This is well-documented.

            1. Every time I hear a joke about chickens like that it reminds me of my brother’s neighbor in Hope, Arkansas.

              The guy was a chicken farmer. He had lost one of his arms. One night, sitting around a bonfire, after a few beers, I asked him “Do you mind if I ask, how did you lost your arm?”

              He was gazing into the fire, didn’t flinch at all. He slowly swigged in his beer, spit into the fire and said in a slow southern drawl “Jealous rooster”.

              I nearly pissed my pants laughing.

              *His arm was shot off in Afghanistan

              1. Jesus. I hope you asked to see the stump.

        2. I gathered that, its just that hearing people use that kind of language makes my skin crawl. I have no doubt that given the access to information today that asceticism would be a poor sell for modern, informed westerners.

          1. I think that’s the point the guy is moving, though substitute “evangelical ‘sexual-purity’ lessons” for “asceticism,” which many informed westerners still choose.

            1. Just not the guys the author is talking about.

              1. The whole Web site is worth a browse…it’s about how churches drive away many men.

    2. And you’ve been so good for months.


      1. I post a link *criticizing* the sexual purity movement, and you gripe about it?

        It seems there’s no pleasing some people.

        Oh, and…

        I see you, baby, shaking that asterisk

        1. I wasn’t criticizing you Eddie. I just find that topic a bit tiresome as I grew up in a place which was, at the time, infested with religious fanatics.

          Asceticism was everywhere. Hell, if people caught you listening to music while you were working you would be chastised at the least, or gotten your ass whipped at the worst. Kids now have no idea how things were just a generation ago, thankfully.

          1. Also, I just remembered an interesting statistic. In the puritan colonies in America, basically theocracies , more than half of the children born were born to what we consider to be underage girls who were not married.

            My personal theory is that if you turn out the lights monsters come out.

            1. I don’t have the exact statistics on me, but IIRC there were a large number of children *conceived* out of wedlock (judging from the time between the marriage and the birth), but ultimately they got married. Maybe I got the figures wrong.

              Of course, I don’t exactly hold a brief for the Calvinists, as such.

              1. And this information is mandatory to be mentioned here:

                “When one member of the First Church of Boston refused to have conjugal relations with his wife two years running, he was expelled. Cotton Mather, the celebrated Puritan minister, condemned a married couple who had abstained from sex in order to achieve a higher spirituality. They were the victims, he wrote, of a”blind zeal.””

          2. I had no idea how serious the situation was in your hometown. It sounds like an example of bending over backwards to avoid worldliness, with the perverse result of making it all the more attractive.

            Interesting…I think you might find David Murrow’s blog interesting…and he has a book, too! Of course, he’s a Protestant.

            (oh, and the post immediately above yours was replying to F d’A, not you)

            1. “…bending over backwards to avoid worldliness, with the perverse result of making it all the more attractive.”


              A lifetime ago my grandfather was partners with a guy in a dozen oil wells. A well’s production is piped into a still and the oil is separated from the salt water, the water is pumped back into the ground and the oil into storage tanks. The tanks have a levee around them in case the tanks rupture to prevent the oil from running all over the place. One of the wells developed a leak in the line between the separator (still) and the storage tanks. Of course the damned leak was inside the levee. It couldn’t be easy.

              The partner’s son and I went to repair it. While we were digging away at the rock hard levee in the blazing sun the guy asked if I minded if he turned the radio on in his truck. Of course I didn’t mind. While we were working the guy’s father, my grandfather’s partner, showed up to check on us. He heard the radio playing.

              He whipped that kid’s ass like he was a rented mule. I mean he really beat his ass bloody.

              When that old piece of shit died a few years later I did not shed a tear. I don’t think his son did either. That kid moved to Panama city, florida with his inheritance and from what I heard became a real poon hound. I was happy for him.

                1. My grandfather’s generation – “Life is hard and unfair. Root hog or die.”

                  Me – “Maybe you could stop making it harder and more unfair. Just a thought.”

  16. Rand who? /Most people

    1. “Oh, isn’t he that guy from Tennessee that doesn’t support gay marriage?”
      – Progressive voter

      “No, he’s that terrorist sympathizer who wants to eliminate the military.”
      – King/Christie/Bush Republican voter

  17. Just made a soul-crushing error and tuned-in to MSNBC b/c Rand Paul was preparing to be interviewed. Bottom screen was Ted Cruz photo with Canadian flag and the 15-sec of discussion I was able to tolerate before self-immolating was about “litigation” related to Cruz’s citizenship…

  18. I just watched the Rand Paul interview with Trevor Noah.

    Trevor Noah seems very unfunny. Why did he include awkward props? He did have Rand on and allowed him to make his points, though, and that is very rare, so he deserves credit for that.

    That audience had no idea what to do, which was fantastic. I think I hate those people.

    1. Trevor Noah seems to be continuing the Daily Show’s proud tradition of trying to appeal to coastal urban hipsters by making fun of everyone not from LA, DC, or NYC. He did a bit on a Texas PSA about the new open carry law that amounted to, “Listen to that accent! Isn’t it hilarious?” Maybe I was particularly sensitive as I’d just gotten back from spending an awesome week over the holidays with my in-laws in east Texas frying catfish, shooting ARs in the backyard, listening to steel guitar, and generally being American.

      It just seems like he tries way too hard to ingratiate himself with his hipster idiot audience. All I can think when he does those little routines is, “Do you get that way, way more people in this country identify with the people you’re belittling than with you or your audience?”

      1. They talked a lot about guns. Noah just doesn’t understand why Americans want them, which is fine, but then he should shut up about it. Guns and gay bakers. What a useless set of ideas to get behind.

        “Give up your guns.” – No
        “You do not own your business.” – That is not going to have unintended consequences.

        “Do you get that way, way more people in this country identify with the people you’re belittling than with you or your audience?”

        Now he alienated the people that like him by having a libertarian-minded person arguing for smaller government on his show.

      2. Trevor Noah seems to be continuing the Daily Show’s proud tradition of trying to appeal to coastal urban hipsters by making fun of everyone not from LA, DC, or NYC

        For the record, I get made fun of EVERYDAY here for being from LA. So hmph.

  19. Rand didn’t show up for the undercard because he knows he’s not as good a speaker as any of the other candidates. Thus, he made a strategic move and removed himself from superior competition. He did the right thing, not that it will help him …. he’s all over the place with his brand of libtarianism.

  20. http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/…..republican
    AIPAC/Kristol/Netenyahu gave Tom Cotton $1m for that letter, Rand. Why did you sign it?

  21. Rand supporters were the ones who interrupted Neil Cavuto chanting “we want Rand.”

  22. Why engage in an election when you know it is a complete farce ?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.