(CNN) – The son of former Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul said Monday that he is primed to mount a bid for the Kentucky Senate seat currently occupied by GOP Sen. Jim Bunning.
"I am very serious about running for Sen. Bunning's seat if he decides not to run," 46-year-old Rand Paul told CNN.
"Until he makes a final pronouncement, I'm trying not to do anything formally but I'm very close to making a decision."
The younger Paul's views closely resemble those of his conservative father.
"I think the bank bailout was a huge mistake," Rand Paul said Monday. "We should not have the U.S. government buying stock in American industries – the financial industry or any other industry. Most of that money could have probably been burned in a furnace for all the good it's done." The Bowling Green, Kentucky ophthalmologist pointed to the federal government's support of embattled global insurance giant AIG, calling the company's "worthless" despite the billions in aid given to it since last fall.
Like his father, the son also favors notions of limited government. "Libertarian would be a good description," Rand Paul told CNN, "because libertarians believe in freedom in all aspects of your life – your economic life as well as your social life as well as your personal life."
The younger Paul also joked about growing up immersed in his father's political career. "I think I've heard about 10,000 of his speeches. I think he needs some help up there, ya know."
Should he decide to run, Rand Paul said he intends to tap the vast network of loyal supporters that backed his father's 2008 presidential bid.
Bunning spokesman Mike Reynard tells CNN that the Kentucky senator is planning to seek re-election in 2010.