First on CNN: Paul laying 2016 groundwork in South Carolina
April 29th, 2013
04:56 PM ET
12 months ago

First on CNN: Paul laying 2016 groundwork in South Carolina

(CNN) – To say Rand Paul is testing the 2016 waters would be an amusing understatement. With trips to Iowa and New Hampshire lined up in May, the Kentucky senator is diving in head first.

Next up on his early state roadshow: South Carolina.

Paul is organizing a series of public and private appearances across the first-in-the-South primary state in June, GOP sources with knowledge with the plans told CNN. The trip is "an effort to get to know Republicans across the state," as one person involved in the event-planning described it.

He's also set to endorse Republican Mark Sanford in the special election in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, two sources familiar with the race said. The endorsement could come as soon as Tuesday.

Paul's political organization will donate money to the South Carolina Republican Party for its get-out-the-vote effort in Sanford's race against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, one source said. That election will be held on May 7.

Paul's father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, was a conservative ally of Sanford's when the two served in the House together in the 1990s.

Paul has no plans to campaign with Sanford in South Carolina.

Instead, Paul will visit the state on June 28. On his agenda are a lunch in Greenville and a barbecue dinner in Columbia, both designed to raise money for the South Carolina Republican Party.

But the libertarian-leaning Paul isn't just targeting rank-and-file Republican voters: he's also organizing a pair of "invitation-only liberty events" to court the conservative activists who were loyal to his father's two presidential campaigns – the same activists who have been a thorn in the side of the state's GOP establishment for years.

Since his 2010 Senate race, Paul has positioned himself as a libertarian who can be more palatable to the Republican mainstream than his father, but he has chafed some libertarian activists in the process.

Paul's trip will come on the heels of another South Carolina appearance tinged with 2016 implications: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is headlining a major fundraiser for the South Carolina GOP in May.


Filed under: 2016 • Mark Sanford • Rand Paul • South Carolina
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Castles made of sand...

    April 29, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    There's NOT enough $$$$$ in the world for you to be elected our president. Even the twit with all his millions and those of edelson, Koch and others didn't make it.
    One thing you will be is a joke. We need a good laugh.

    April 29, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Meanwhile, his father went straight back to his racist roots. Just look at who he's hob-knobbing around with now. Racist pigs.

    April 29, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Kevin1

    Rand Paul Elected as The President Of The United State of America.

    Wow, I can't believe it. This is the Greatest Joke
    ever TOLD.

    April 29, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    It won't be long before Sen Paul's loose lips and shoot from the hip tendencies turn off voters. His libertarian positions do not have broad acceptance or appeal to most Americans.

    April 29, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. ST

    It is genetic. Father & Son, never realise where they intend to go is not reachable.

    April 29, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Keynes

    Keynes failed and it is self evident to see. end keynsianism,save the usa! Rand Paul 2016

    April 29, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Tom

    Endorsing Mark Sanford? Even for a right-wing wacko that seems like a bad idea. Surely there's some other South Carolina Republican he could align with to build support for 2016.

    April 29, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Data Driven

    According to Senator Paul, restaurateurs can deny service to individuals for any reason including ethnicity; last week he suggested we can drone to death petty liquor store thieves. Some libertarian.

    I actually don't think he'll be the eventual nominee. Too much tape on this guy.

    April 29, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Oscra

    Believes in cutting corporate welfare, defederalizing education, due process, executive restraint, farmers' rights, decriminalizing hemp, common-sense immigration reform... yeah, a crazy like that could never be elected president.

    April 29, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    Bland Paul, the squirrel-haired filibuster dude is a Romney clone. He sticks his foot in his mouth repeatedly and then campaigns like there's no tomorrow. I'm betting he'll be the top guy for the GOP.

    April 29, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. Bill

    Run, Aqua Buddha, run! Clearly, the GOP has learned not learned anything over the last 8 years about putting up a candidate who can actually win a presidential election.

    April 29, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    Dude looks so clueless he makes George Bush look like Einstein.

    April 29, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. gahh

    When BP'S oil leak ruined the Gulf coast, Paul wanted BP to pay 75 million dollars on clean up, and the American taxpayers pay the rest. That would have cost taxpayers billions. Another Bush, put it all on the taxpayers.

    April 29, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. An objective observer

    He is an idiot... And he is a medical doctor!... wonder what type of advise he give to his clients!

    April 29, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. Larry L

    Paul was very quiet about the Boston bombers. Would he have used a drone to stop them if no other option seemed viable? Would water-board the remaining suspect? Would he recommend stricter laws to regulate fertilizers in Texas? Why is our racist/anarchist so quiet about those issues?

    April 29, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Jay

    I guess the liberal posters are OK with the Commander in golf and drones that sits in office.

    April 29, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. Donkey Party

    Contrary to the GOP false narrative (lie), America is center-left, not center-right, and no amount of money (or lies) is going to get a radical extremist fundamentalist right-winger like Paul elected President.

    April 29, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    i feel sorry for u guys, these are the guys u need as your president. they wont be puppets for the banks. The media sure does a number on you

    April 29, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. DemFromSC

    Cruz vs. Paul – it's impossible to decide which one would be worse for the country. If this is all the GOP has to offer, they are well on their way to total irrelevancy! I just wish that we could get rid of the gerrymandered House districts so that House Republicans could also be defeated.

    April 29, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. Ghostwriter

    Data, you are forgetting that the republicans have a learning curve that is more like an exponential curve approaching zero. They have not learned that the person who can scream I hate Obama the loudest...with nothing else to say....makes for a lousy candidate.

    April 29, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. rs

    Well the good news for the GOP that is Rand Paul would make G.W. Bush look like a frickin' genius as President, removing that stain (worst, most ill-informed President ever) from Bush. The bad news is he doesn't stand a chance at all. He is simply too radical, and totally lacking in any sort of social conscience.

    April 29, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  23. B.

    What a joke this character is,totally out of touch with reality concerning 21st century thinking and demographics
    His dad was unelectable and not as extreme as this nut-job..

    Let-um run, people like him are the Democrats guarantee to hold on to the White House for a very long time.

    April 29, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. sassysticks53

    Rand Paul for President? Ha-ha! I have a better shot at the Presidency than this narrow-minded man, lol!

    April 29, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. YUCK

    Something is telling that he's up too a very bad agenda along with his gang...when a person with high power is in office he or she can oraganized crime just to satisfied a group of Haters......

    April 29, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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