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Rand Paul Announces Presidential Campaign

Rand paul Presidential Campaign Logo

 

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is poised to officially join the 2016 presidential race today. Paul is scheduled to declare his candidacy at a rally at the Grand Ball Room of the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY that will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. today, April 7, 2015.

Senator Paul has been long anticipated to get in the 2016 Republican presidential race and has spent much of the five years of his Senate term defining a new conservative – libertarian coalition that could be a potent force in the upcoming Republican primaries.

"It's a positive thing that so many potential candidates do support our values," said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots. "It shows our values are once again front and center in the political discussion in America."

A video released by Senator Paul on Sunday night brands him as a "different kind of Republican leader" "It's time for a new way, a new set of ideas, a new leader — one you can trust, one who works for you," Paul says in the video. "Above all, it's time for a new president."

The video, says the Washington Examiner’s Kelly Cohen, splices footage together from his 2015 Conservative Political Action Committee speech, as well as clips of praise from political journalists and talking heads such as CNN's Candy Crowley and MSNBC's Michael Steele.

"On April 7, one leader will stand up to defeat the Washington machine and unleash the American Dream. Join the movement," text reads at the end of the video.

But Senator Paul’s claim to be a "different kind of Republican leader" is one that isn’t mere campaign rhetoric – unlike those of Jeb Bush, it actually passes the red face test.

Like his father, Rand Paul is an iconoclast in a Republican Party. He hews the conservative line with attacks on excessive spending and big government, while crusading against government spying. Paul often says the GOP brand "sucks," and has spoken at historically black colleges to broaden the GOP's base.

"I'm a big believer that you should stand on principle and be true to your principles, but I also think we should take those principles and try to bring in new people with them," Paul said recently on Fox News.

And Rand Paul has.

Senator Paul led an old-fashioned, talking filibuster in 2013 of John Brennan’s nomination to lead the CIA. He was taking issue with the Obama administration’s policy on the use of drones. Paul only yielded the floor after 12 hours and 52 minutes.

Senator Paul has also teamed up with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., on a bill to revamp the criminal justice system, which they say is unfair in its treatment of blacks. Paul, Booker and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have introduced a bill that would prevent the federal government from prosecuting medical marijuana users in states where it is legal.

Paul sees these moves as not only good policy, but good politics that could make inroads with minorities and young people and broaden the Republican Party.

While Paul is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, according to USAToday’s Catalina Camia, he is also keeping his options open at home in Kentucky. He announced in December that he'll run for a second Senate term.

To get past a state law that forbids candidates from running for two offices at the same time, Camia reports Paul has proposed a presidential caucus in 2016 that he would help fund instead of a primary. That would allow the state to record its presidential preference, without Paul appearing on the same ballot twice.

After today’s Louisville speech, Paul will travel to New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada for rallies.

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