Rand Paul

Rand Paul: In The Final Pre-Iowa Debate, and Optimistic About Iowa

The Kentucky senator disses Ted Cruz, says he's the only fiscal conservative, worries about armed self-defense, and hopes for a youth surge to propel him in Iowa caucuses


It's official: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has qualified by his rising poll numbers to appear in this Thursday's Fox-sponsored Republican presidential candidate debate, the last before the first votes of election 2016 are cast in Iowa on Feb. 1.

While Paul is in, frontrunner Donald Trump is saying today that, because he feels Fox isn't treating him fairly, he will be out.

Paul hosted a telephone press conference this afternoon in which he talked about the debate and other things. Some highlights:

• Naturally, he still thinks he can do very well in Iowa. When the news he'd made the Fox debate was official, Paul says, in his Des Moines campaign office "100 young men and women making phone calls were jumping up and down and screaming, excited." He brags his operation has made around 750,000 calls for him so far, and he's got over 1,000 precinct chairman (who help gin up local get out the vote and speak for his candidacy at Iowa's strangely intimate caucus meetings where votes occur).

He is also bouyed by the idea that some polls show up to 39 percent still undecided, leaving everything way more up in the air, he believes, than straight poll reporting would indicate. Current dominant polls, he argues, are based on belief in a turnout nearly three times higher than typical, leading him to question their accuracy.

Paul also pointed out in answer to a question from me about how he expects to do with evangelicals—widely credited with causing the huge and unexpected Rick Santorum surge in 2012 that took him from zero to hero over the course of just about a week—that "one interesting thing, when most polling asks who you voted for in 2012, the last Des Moines Register poll did recently, had five percent estimated Ron Paul vote."

Since Ron Paul actually got nearly 22 percent in 2012, it could be that the "Paul vote" is being grossly underpolled. While Rand Paul treated the evangelical question as seemingly less important, he did say he thinks that because "I'm a big defender of religious liberty, conservative personally, I think we have a great chance of getting our share of the evangelical" vote.

Regarding getting back into the main debate, Paul says he always knew he was a top-tier candidate, and that his winning his way back shows the wisdom of his refusal to let himself be framed as an also-ran in the undercard debate last time. In the end, the bulk of his hopes for Iowa do rely on the young: "We are on the upswing with most polls in Iowa and that's a good place to be; we're rising at just the right time and we see if we motivate the youth vote, not counted in polling, we could be in for a surprise in Iowa."

• Paul believes he has a great chance to distinguish himself on the debate stage Thursday as the only true conservative. "The most important thing is I'm the only fiscal conservative on stage" because you "can't be conservative if you are liberal with military spending" and that he's the only one for holding the line on both military and domestic spending.

He pokes at fellow candidates and senators Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) for supporting $200 billion in military spending hikes with no offsets. Paul posits there could be as much as $100 billion in pure waste in current military spending, and "very few voices are talking about that." He believes that positioning himself as the only fiscal conservative on stage can work for him. 

• Paul thinks fellow senator Ted Cruz is a crummy liberty candidate, and is confident that that wing of the Party still belongs to him. Cruz, Paul says, will ultimately face the "authenticity" dilemma with the liberty Republican wing. "They are big supporters of Audit the Fed" and Cruz failed to show up for that vote. Cruz's response to Rubio in an earlier debate about wanting the National Security Agency to collect "100 percent of our cell phone data—most in the liberty movement are not interested in government collecting any cell phone data much less 100 percent." Paul thinks Cruz has equivocated too much on ethanol, being anti-mandate but willing to let it continue for a while longer. Paul thinks that current polling regarding the gap between him and Cruz (and Trump) might be "way off, not 5 percent off, but 10-15 percent.

• Paul is not worried about his just-announced Senate race challenge from Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and doesn't think that suddenly having competition for that re-election race means he has to give less attention to the presidential. He's satisfied he's held up his end as a senator for the people of Kentucky even while running for president, noting that he's in D.C. even as he spoke to us and "will be here to vote tomorrow" before leaving on a late flight tomorrow.

"People of Kentucky elected me because I'm conservative, I work hard on balancing the budget, I turned back $2 million from my own office budget to help the Treasury and give back to the taxpayer." Paul believes that it's good for Kentucky and its interests to have their senator be a live and active voice in the national presidential campaign.

• He's concerned, vis a vis D.C. and its carry laws, that if a Charlie Hebdo type terror event happens in D.C., that the citizenry won't necessarily be prepared for effective armed self defense, noting that even police often call for citizens to, if they see ongoing public gun chaos, to try to "take down" the bad guys. "Until we can make violence go away," something he hopes for but knows is unlikely, "we need to figure how to defend ourselves."

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  1. So much for the Great Reason Afternoon Siesta. There a quota or something?

  2. Shhh, everybody is sleeping….

  3. So, Trump out and Paul in? Now, that’s a libertarian moment!

    1. I might actually watch this one.

      Not saying I’m voting for anyone less evil than Cthulu. That’s crazy talk. Could be worth watching though.

      1. Seconded.

        It will actually be an opportunity to hear people say things that don’t involve having to out-bluster the grand poobah.

        1. “Senator Paul, why are you such a military-hating anarchist? Do you want the Ottoman Empire to invade the continental United States?”

        2. You’ve never seen a debate before, have you?

      2. Cthulhu is not evil, just amoral and indifferent to human suffering. Like politicians.

  4. So I guess I’m going to watch this debate. No Trump and Paul is a yes 🙂

  5. I will believe Trump is out when I see it.

    I think he really shot himself in the dick with this:


    While he gets amount of contempt that the spineless GOP squishes have earned from their base, he doesnt seem to understand the white-hot hatred the Dems have earned from those same people, many of whom are his supporters.

    1. I think he feels he has a great shot at the primaries and is now looking ahead to the general election. If he wants to appeal to independent voters, he needs to look more reasonable and less dictatorial. He might be able to get a little bit more traction with the Republican base by vowing to beat the Dems into helpless submission, but overall I think he’s looking to broaden his appeal. I don’t think the pen and phone approach is going to reach much of anybody at this point.

      1. That is exactly what he is doing, but the R base has been had with the ‘we will stop the dems’ bait and switch too many times. They want blood, not someone to go down on Nancy Pelosi.

        1. not someone to go down on Nancy Pelosi.

          Now I know I hate you.

          1. Could be worse, could be Hillary…

            Same aftertaste of sulfur I’m sure

        2. Was the thought of going down on 0b0z0 less shocking, or just less repulsive?
          from –Sick and useless ponderings.

      2. Except that pretty much destroys the motivation for Trumps supporters. “I’ll grease up and vote bend over for the Dems” is pretty much what Trump supporters accuse the GOP Establishment of doing. And “sticking it to the Establishment” is, as far as I can tell, the only motive people have ever offered up for backing him.

    2. Squishes = Swishes

  6. I think we have a great chance of getting our share of the evangelical vote.

    Suck it, cosmos.

    Here’s to Rand riding the evangelical wave to 3rd place or better in Iowa.

    1. Both you and Rand are on some hard Aqua Buddha shit if either of you think he can pull a significant amount of evangs from Cruz.

      1. His Dad got as many as Santorum did in Iowa, IIRC.

        1. Rand’s not Ron, and Santorum certainly isn’t Cruz. Cruz has strong SoCon bona fides and, like Ron but not Rand, is a Southern Baptist. He has their vote on lock.

          1. Not only that but Carson is angling for them too and both of those guys are going to appeal to the Evangelicals more than Paul.

            1. Totally right. Isn’t it sad?

      2. Cruz eats evangilicals’ shit.

    1. How about Bobarians’s “Marry a Hooker, get half her cash” proposal?

      1. I don’t think it works that way.

        1. If you beat her to death without getting caught, you’ll get all her cash.

          1. That kind of puts a crimp in future revenues, though.

      2. My bitch better have my money
        Through rain, sleet, or snow
        My whore better have my money
        Not half, not some, but all my cash
        ‘Cause if she don’t,
        I’m gonna put my foot in her ass.

        /Pimp of the Year

        1. I always wanted me some aquarium shoes.

      3. “Marry a Hooker, get half her cash”

        I don’t think that is how it works.

        1. Look at you and HM, experts on this shit.

          1. A friend told me.

            *averts gaze*

        2. Actually, wouldn’t that be exactly how it works based on communal property laws…

  7. My advice to Rand is to attack Cruz relentlessly on the ethanol mandate. Anyone who doesn’t demand an immediate end to this travesty of man and nature is a yellow bellied liberal. Evangelicals will love that. Also remind us that we’ve lost our way and need to find our moral bearings. And of course say some nasty things about Trump and how he buys and sells politicians because you know that libertarians oppose such shenanigans on principle. I’m not worried, I think he’ll do great. This is his chance, he just needs to come out swinging.

    1. “My advice to Rand is to attack Cruz relentlessly on the ethanol mandate.'”

      I heard Cruz saying he opposed the renewable fuel mandate just over the weekend. while trump was saying he was all for it. Did i miss some switch on Cruz part?

      1. Cruz wants to phase it out, not cut it off immediately.

        1. i think the dude is trolling

    2. Focusing on the ethanol mandate while campaigning in Iowa may not make for the best strategy.

      1. Its a YUGE differentiator.

        No seriously = not everyone in the state is in the pocket of Big Corn. And if you want to prove to *the rest of the country* that you’re a “real conservative”, telling the corn-state that you don’t believe in bribing them anymore is a big and ballsy way to show it.

        1. It’s a lot harder these days to pander to one group without the others knowing nothing about it. That doesn’t stop some from trying.

      2. You aren’t sugarcoating that are you Just the Tip?

        1. Fuck those corn farmers. Send it to Japan instead of wasting it.

        2. In the Two Hole, sans lube

    3. And you think Cruz , who has come out strongly against ethanol subsidies, will be harmed by a Libertarian who is also against ethanol subsidies and who agrees with Cruz that ehtanol subsidies are bad, will be harmed if that libertarian attacks cruz on his position of ethanol subsidies.

      Very fucking interesting.

      Are you a real idiot or do you just play one on the internet ?

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      It is Trump who came oout in favor of ethanol subsidies just in case you would like to adjust your next post in order to make your self look less stupid.

  8. Speaking of Marco Rubio and prostitution: is there anything to the “rumors” his trespassing in a park arrest was actually for homosexual prostitution?

    53rd and 3rd

    1. Oh i thought he was drinking beer and engaged in satanic rituals? the things you hear.

    2. maybe you should aske Jesse.

      His gaydar is more highly tunes than mine.

      But yes. there is something there. Not many people know what it is that is there though.

      1. He sets mine off but I’ve been fooled before.

    3. Within half a second of hearing that story I thought “Cruising? Or Dope?”

      1. Why not both? Miami vice.

  9. “Until we can make violence go away,” something he hopes for but knows is unlikely

    Make “violence go away”? What’s with this hippie-utopian prog shit ? How the fuck are “we” going to do such a thing?

    1. By staring at beautiful women all day. Tits have the power to bring peace.

      1. And know you know why they invented burkas.

        1. With all their would-be jihadists too busy glaring at pretty faces and boobs, there’d be nobody to instigate holy war.

          I must do my part, as a responsible citizen, to combat the jihadist threat by contributing to our collective exposure to hot chicks.


            1. You’re a saboteur. IT’S A TRAP.

              1. He shuffles planet shells. That, sir, is an astral Super jester you trade letters with.

                1. He samples the heavenly goodness of white powders exotic and pricey.

    2. Make “violence go away”? What’s with this hippie-utopian prog shit ? How the fuck are “we” going to do such a thing?

      Nuke everybody. Not the best plan, but it’s a plan.

    3. Why would you want to do that? Violence is fun and it makes the establishment mope.

  10. Rand can’t catch a break. He makes the new debate and Trump goes Galt.

    1. Fox News is partnering with Google to incorporate real-time Google trends and data to determine questions for the candidates. Additionally, several YouTube stars will have the opportunity to pose video questions.

      For one brief moment I had a hope that with Trump off pouting in the corner about what a bunch of big meanies Fox is we might actually get a more substantive debate focused on which of the GOP candidates is most serious about fighting terrorism by depriving Americans of their liberty, fighting government bloat by giving more money to the Pentagon, minimizing the excesses of the Obama administration by creating even bigger and bolder excesses, achieving peace in the Middle East by going to war in the most places with the most enemies, etc., and now I see we’re going to get a TV reality-show version of a debate. First damn question’s going to be about who they’re rooting for in the Superbowl, ain’t it?

      1. Carolina or Denver?

        Cruz: I’ve always been an Argonauts fan myself, but hockey’s a much better game anyway, eh?

        Christie: J E T S!

        Rubio: I really like Peyton Manning in this one, but I really like Cam Newton. And Denver has a really good defense but Carolina has a really good defense. I think it’s going to come down to whichever team scores the most points.

        Jeb!: I’ve always been a Florida Dolphins fan. That Michael Jordan fellow’s some player, isn’t he?

        Carson: I … would …. say…. that … if ….. if …. you …. look …. at ….. all … all …. of …. the … things …. than …. you …. would …. you…. would …..have … to …. say…. that …. this …. is …… is …. definitely ….. true.

        Rand: I don’t watch football, but I think it should be up to the states to decide if they want to watch football or not.

        Kasich: Who gives a shit what I think?

  11. What reason exists for morbid Sunday-grinning fucks to vote for gentle bright Paul when these freedom-pillaging shits can vote for a multi-billionaire Christian-dabbling jabberer or a sharp-tongued walking pulpit with pithy visions spitting from his eyeballs like Lord lightning? Plus, they have that fucking lethargic black squinter who throws knife parties in craniums under the watchful angels and the heavenly disco lights of Christ.

    Fucking evangelicals. Jesus fucking Christ!

    1. Plus, they have that fucking lethargic black squinter who throws knife parties in craniums under the watchful angels and the heavenly disco lights of Christ.

      Carson’s foreign policy is pretty straightforward…

      if Input = foreignwords:
      print x
      puppetmaster$: “DID I MENTION I CAN SURGICALLY STRIKE!?!?”

      Maybe drop memory dump in there somewhere to make it more ‘real.’

  12. Jeb! is gonna be lively without Trump to take his lunch money.

    1. With Trump not around to hold Jeb back this debate will be epic.

    2. Yes you are right.

      Jeb! will be so happy if Trump is not there to point out that Jeb! is standing on his tip toes for the picture of all the candidates.

    3. Now he can stomp his feet screaming, “It’s my turn!!!”

  13. Apologies if posted earlier today. Sanders’ supporter(s)and the blizzard.

  14. The important thing is for Rand not to cater to the God-bothering fundy Sky-Daddy worshipping crypto-Nazis.

    Rand, here’s what you do. Say you *proud* to support Planned Parenthood’s valuable work and you’re glad that they’re putting their critics in prison. Say that you never meant all that stuff about innocent human life.

    Wear a leather suit and a metal-studded collar. Insist that “YMCA” be played at all your campaign appearances.

    That will boost your credibility among the common-sense rationalists who say in their hearts there is no god, and maintain a necessary distance from those retards who suffer under the superstitous delusion that All Human Lives Matter and that marriage is a pre-state institution which the state tampers with at its peril.

    1. that marriage is a pre-state institution

      Says who? Not my Lord and Savior!

      1. Some marriages are sacramental, some are not. None of them were created by the state.

        1. Marriage as we know it in the Western world is a creation of Roman Civil Law. All the benefits of marriage than distinguish it from mere partnership are state-derived. If a particular religion hung its hat on a particular historical state’s understanding of the institution, that’s its problem. And it’s kind of cheeky to claim that a particular institution pre-dates the state when the head of the religion claims the title, and all the powers and privileges thereof, of one of the highest governmental positions in that particular historical state.

          1. “A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until…” etc.

            I can safely stop reading the entry at this point, the author might as well be carrying a placard reading, “I’m stoopid.”

            To an ancient Roman, presuming separate religious and political worlds, where never the twain shall meet, would be basically unintelligible.

            “All this entrail-casting, all these sacrifices on behalf of the city, etc., they were all going fine but then it got all *political!*”

            Even the Middle Ages had more separation of Church and State than this, because Pope and Emperor were not only separate offices but held by separate *people.* Unlike with the priest-emperors of old Rome.

            And I’m not sure how the Pope borrowing the title “Pontifex” means that the state can suddenly it can join Lucius and Brutus in marriage.

              1. I can safely stop reading the entry at this point, the author might as well be carrying a placard reading, “I’m stoopid.”

                We still read your posts.

    2. Wear a leather suit

      He’s slim enough to make it work. The boots, though, ugh.

      1. Hit and Run fundraising campaign to get Welch to wear that.

        1. Seconded, No wellies, though.

      2. Those boots do suck. I’m terrible at choosing footwear, though, so I feel his pain.

    3. Or the guy could just be a swell Liberty-embracing bro who kicks it with the man upstairs like always and be accepted for his religious propensities by altered-states heathenistic atheist types such as myself who thinks God is nothing more than an imagination cord for connecting the brain to that perplexing drapery of mysterious stars and neon whorls out there.

      Paul can’t fucking do more Jesus better than his counterparts because his goddamn reasonable stature pales him organically in comparison to walking pulpits and piehole tsunamis.

    4. thanks Eddie. Now I am confused. How would I, a straight, antiabortionist, atheist who believes in the sanctity of marriage vote? I don’t know what to do.

      1. Write in your own name.

  15. http://www.worldstarhiphop.com…..rh73T6sweQ

    Sheriff caught betwixt the law and empathy…

  16. Like it really matters since they won’t actually let him talk.

  17. Rand doesn’t do anger well. Look at Trump, Hillary and The Bern. They are gonna GIT your enemies. I mean, c’mon Rand, get pissed. Your dad did it and blasted a path for you.

    “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” ?Winston Churchill

  18. In the end, just why was the Paul campaign so unsuccessful?

    Even the end game didn’t go to plan. At this point last year, I am guessing that most people who held a “realistic | pessimistic” assumption about the GOP campaign would have guessed that the Paul faction would fighting a bloody long fought (if perhaps ultimately losing) battle against some Establishment figure.

    But that he would have at least set the parameters of the debate. It might be a replay of the the 2000 McCain campaign that was their imagined outcome.

    But he is barely an afterthought.

    Is he not somewhat damaged going back into the Senate? Has he not in fact damaged himself most severely in the eyes of some libertarians?

    I am not entirely certain that he is fact a particularly good politician or at least a natural one.

    I think the idea of Senator Rand Paul might be more appealing than the actual senator himself.

    1. I think it was a combination of him pandering to SoCons while not really giving the SoCons anything that the other, more “sincere” candidates weren’t. Basically, he abandoned his smaller base in an attempt to a secure a larger base that just wasn’t that into him, leaving him with very few of either.

    2. It ain’t over til it’s over. Rand will do better than predicted.

      But his campaign went nowhere because there were a few actual terrorist attacks and Republicans are the party of fear — afraid of their own shadows. They want to kill the enemy. All of them. Oh, and because all the crazies who inflated Ron Paul’s libertarian base are supporting Trump this time, and the libertarian base is pouting that Rand is an actual constitutional conservative.

      Democrats are the party of greed — greedy to spend other people’s money.

    3. Trump/Carson/Fiorina sucked up the “outsider” air.

      Rand’s a sitting senator. He’s sort-of part of the problem in many eyes.

  19. Right on, good to see that Rand made it back in. Hopefully this will mark the beginning of the end for Trump.

  20. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $100 per hour. I work through this link

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  21. I wrote off Rand when he signed the Tom Cotton letter. Ron never would have done that. Now it turns out AIPAC/Netenyahu paid Cotton $1m.

    1. Linnk or you’re just trollin’….fuck off.

  22. Conservative, n.: Someone who *says* government is too big, but who actually wants to make it bigger.

    1. You are talking about the compassionate conservative.

  23. Paul is the best Liberty candidate. Cruz is, however, the second best. I vote Paul, but find Cruz acceptable.

  24. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
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  25. My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years Iearned so very much. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me.
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