With humor and criticism, Rand Paul courts New Hampshire voters
May 20th, 2013
09:49 PM ET
2 years ago

With humor and criticism, Rand Paul courts New Hampshire voters

Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul used humor to accompany biting criticism of President Barack Obama Monday on issues ranging from the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative organizations to the president’s health care law, as the Kentucky Republican made his formal introduction to influential New Hampshire voters.

Paul was well received by the 500 GOP activists at this sold out fundraiser for the state party, where he repeated his criticism of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the September terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

While Paul, using a folksy tone, did not break any new ground, he connected with these Republican primary voters who applauded him at times and gave a standing ovation at the conclusion of his remarks.

Paul’s appearance in New Hampshire has stoked speculation about his desire to run for president, a path blazed by his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, most recently in 2012. And Rand Paul, unlike many other Republicans being mentioned as potential White House contenders, openly acknowledges that he is looking at a White House run. His $10,000 donation to the New Hampshire Republican Party Monday is the latest move by Paul that demonstrates he is more than serious about a presidential campaign – the contribution follows a recent trip to Iowa, a visit to South Carolina and a return to Iowa.

But before his speech, Paul chose to publicly dial back his presidential ambitions and deflected a question about his visit to New Hampshire, only saying that “we are getting good outpour” of support.

“We’ve had a lot of friends up here for years, but the main thing right now is to not talk about me so much, but rather how to grow the party,” he said.

The friends he is referring to are likely the libertarian minded activists who backed his father’s campaign for president – many of whom attended the fundraiser. While Paul holds similar views to his father, he has also aligned himself closer to the GOP establishment and has endorsed his Kentucky colleague, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for re-election.

Earlier in the afternoon, Paul joined Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for a private listening session with GOP activists. After the meeting, and before his speech, Paul said that for the Republican Party to grow, it needs “to look like the rest of America.”

“We need to have black people, brown people, white people, we need to have people with tattoos, without tattoos, with long hair, with short hair, with beards, without beards,” he said. “We need to look more like America. We need to appeal to the working class; we need to appeal to all segments of the country. And I don’t think we have done a good enough job yet and that’s why I want to be saying this is how we become competitive again.”

Paul made similar remarks during his speech to the 500 activists.

The Kentucky Republican is the second Republican potentially looking at a White House bid to visit New Hampshire. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently headlined a fundraiser for state Senate Republicans.


Filed under: New Hampshire • Rand Paul
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Paul said that for the Republican Party to grow, it needs “to look like the rest of America.”
    “We need to have black people, brown people, white people, we need to have people with tattoos, without tattoos, with long hair, with short hair, with beards, without beards,” he said. “We need to look more like America.

    America Needs The Aqua Buddha !

    May 20, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Let's see how many months these gop loser delay disaster releaf for the mid west ,maybe 6 months like new jersey .this gop trash needs to be kick out of office,how long do you want to wait for help if your child is trapped under the ruble,while this gop garbage votes on helping your families. The gop,is the garbage of America !!!!

    May 20, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  3. Steven Zumbrun

    Please go away Rand Paul, you delusional self-righteous windbag. And stop doing your hair like Freida from "Peanuts".

    May 20, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  4. Jeff O'Dette

    He's gonna run for Pres? Of what!

    May 20, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  5. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Rand Paul IS a joke.

    May 20, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  6. picnick

    Rand Paul is the only candidate who will get me off my couch on the first Tuesday of November 2016.

    Rand Paul or none at all.

    May 21, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  7. DEBBIE FROM N.E. PA.

    The Republican party does NOT identify with the poor, the middle class or the working people. They ONLY identify with the rich because they are the rich. They are ONLY interested in taking care of themselves and their rich friends. HILLARY 2016!!

    May 21, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  8. Ego2gogo

    Hey. According to Ayn Rand and her namesake Wacky Rand Paul OKC residents can suck it. The Feds don't have the cash or the mandate to help out. Nice guy that Rand Paul.

    May 21, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  9. Tampa Tim

    What is more folksy than Rand's home spun stupidity? I am sure his ignorance was greeted warmly by the uniformed Fox viewership.

    May 21, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Rand's ability to interchange reality and dreams gives him a good chance of replacing Glenn Beck.

    May 21, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Yes, it's a laugh a minute coming from the racist who would NOT have voted for the civil rights act, has publicly said that if you have a business and you don't want to serve blacks you shouldn't be made to do so and stands by while his goons take down a woman.
    Just what we need for president. A bully!
    The rest of America might or might not look like him but we are smarter than to allow paul lite to get anywhere near the WH.

    May 21, 2013 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  12. Name lynn

    Rand paul president obama dont have time for you jokes, the white house leaders is bad enough they jokes around when the president is trying to help the people, the president still going to help the people.

    May 21, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  13. Wake up People!

    I could have sworn the Presidential election isn't for another 3 years. Is THIS what this dork that doesn't believe in civil rights is going to be doing until then? I know Congress rarely works, but wasn't he hired to do an actual job??

    May 21, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    “We need to have black people, brown people, white people, we need to have people with tattoos, without tattoos, with long hair, with short hair, with beards, without beards,” he said. “We need to look more like America. We need to appeal to the working class; we need to appeal to all segments of the country."

    Yeah, well. Talking about the black people, the brown people, the white people, the tattoos, the beards ... is all very funny, Mr. Rand Paul. And all very immature. Not to mention quite condescending. Especially from a freshman senator who is running on his daddy's name recognition.

    May 21, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  15. TomInRochNY

    You want to appeal to a greater swath of American voters? Change your policies.

    May 21, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  16. T

    ............and last week,.....Obama's approval rating ticks .............................UP !!!!!

    May 21, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Run Rand Run!!!

    May 21, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    I wonder if Aqua Buddha will filibuster aid for the Oklahoma tornado victims-what am I saying, of course he will.

    May 21, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  19. BCW

    Paul said that for the Republican Party to grow, it needs “to look like the rest of America.”
    “We need to have black people, brown people, white people, we need to have people with tattoos, without tattoos, with long hair, with short hair, with beards, without beards,” he said. “We need to look more like America.

    He totally forgot that it is not the physical look of the people, it is the outlook of the people. The GOP social agenda is very disconnected with the majority of the Americans. The GOTP is so out-of-touch to the needs of the Americans; they will not win them over unless they can compromise. Wait! GOTP is the party of NO. Oops! They are the true belivevers of MY WAY or the HIGHWAY group. Sad and disturbing.

    May 21, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  20. g

    growing up he remembers seeing some middle class folks on a trip to the zoo

    May 21, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    Boy I pray they nominate this fool. Even trying to be funny, he's condescending and insulting

    May 21, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  22. Scott

    I don't need Rand Paul. And I won't vote for him either since I don't view him as worthy of my vote. He lacks experience and he also lacks vision. I don't trust him. And I dislike his smear campaign against Hillary Clinton and women in general. Obama may have lacked experience, but he had a vision and goals to lead the country, which got him elected.

    May 21, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. Liberty&Freedom

    Rand Paul is the last in Washington with the spirit of the founding fathers. Everyone else is a sell out. Rand Paul-Hero.

    May 21, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. Liberty&Freedom

    90% of Americans don't even qualify for credit cards. 1 out of 1000 people earn more than $10 and hour. 15 million sick and on disability, 50 million on food stamps. Yet AP bragged credit cards getting paid off from Christmas. If I were president I would lock the borders and send every foreign worker home and excommunicate all industries off American soil. All troops would come home to.

    May 21, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. Dan5404

    Rand Paul lives in a weird fantasy world somewhere between being totally crazy and the related ultra right-wing extremists of the fringe that seems to control the half of Congress that has failed to do any real work for 4 1./2 years. To even entertain the idea that he could win a presidential race shows his connection with the real world is lost in hallucination.

    May 21, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |