Politics & Policy

Paul’s Message: I’m the Same Old Rand And I Can Win

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) released a video montage previewing his expected Tuesday presidential announcement with a simple message: I’m the same Rand Paul I’ve always been and I can win.

The video opens with CNN’s Candy Crowley talking to Newt Gingrich. “There [are] probably few candidates for 2016 that are more interesting than Rand Paul,” said Crowley. “Rand Paul has been the most consistently principled person talking about issues,” Gingrich replied.

Taken together, the statements testify to Paul’s electability while also rebutting the suggestion that he has strayed from his libertarian roots in an attempt to garner establishment support. And it’s notable that, after days of pundits (and Paul) speculating that Tea Party rival Ted Cruz lacks “winnability,” preview emphasizes Paul’s electability by featuring complimentary statements from a broad spectrum of media personalities: MSNBC host Chris Matthews says Paul might win the nomination; former RNC chairman Michael Steele touts his organization an prospects for gaining support among black Americans; Fox News’ Sean Hannity and The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart are the commentators featured when the video highlights Rand Paul’s filibuster against President Obama’s drone program.

The montage shows how times have changed for Paul since he took office. “Today’s Tea Partiers are typically not accorded the same respect by our mainstream political and media establishment, even as they protest a government arguably more arrogant than that of eighteenth-century England,” as Paul wrote in his 2011 book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington.

Paul also featured snippets from his rousing CPAC 2015 speech, to make the point that if the media has changed it’s view of him, that doesn’t mean that Paul has shed his outsider views. 

“If [Congress] won’t listen, we should limit all their terms and send the career politicians packing,” the video shows him saying. “We need to return to our founding principles; stand up for the entire bill of rights.”

The speech echoes points made in his 2011 book. “From the Founding Fathers to Barry Goldwater to my father, Ron Paul, today, conservatives have always pointed out that the primary purpose of government is to protect our liberties,” Paul wrote in the book. “Unquestionably, we must be practical and humane in returning to a more limited, constitutional government, but make no mistake —return we must. We can’t afford not to.”

Paul isn’t comparing himself to Goldwater, who only carried six states in the 1964 presidential election, anymore. “I think at this point you have to consider him a front-runner and I think it says something profound about the Republican party,” the video spotlights Douglas Schoen saying.

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