Why Rand Paul's headed to Vegas
July 12th, 2013
08:40 AM ET
10 months ago

Why Rand Paul's headed to Vegas

Washington (CNN) - Rand Paul's headed to Las Vegas Friday, but gambling is not on his agenda.

The Republican senator from Kentucky and possible 2016 GOP presidential contender has a full schedule for his weekend visit to the first western state to vote in the primary and caucus calendar.

According to a top Paul political aide, the first term senator will headline a fundraiser for Nevada Republicans, address a meeting of grassroots activists, meet with donors at a reception and dinner, and speak at FreedomFest, an annual gathering of libertarians and conservatives that touts itself as "the world's largest gathering of free minds."

Nevada becomes the fourth of the early primary and caucus voting states that Paul has visited so far this year. He's mingled with donors and supporters, reached out to grassroots activists, and helped raise money for the state GOP in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. It appears to be part of his strategy to build stronger bonds with establishment Republicans in the crucial early voting states, while at the same time staying close with the grassroots, tea party, and libertarian crowds, which helped put ophthalmologist in the Senate in 2010.

"Senator Paul looks forward to his first trip this year to Nevada. He is thrilled to accept the invitation to help the Nevada GOP, as he has in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina also this year," Doug Stafford, a top Paul political adviser, tells CNN.

Starting late last year, soon after the 2012 presidential election, Paul has been very open about the possibility of running for the White House. He told CNN last November that "I won't deny I'm interested."

And in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun earlier this week, he added that "I am thinking about whether or not I will run for president at that time. I haven't made my mind up yet."

Paul has said in numerous interviews that he expects he'll decide next year.

Paul's father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, ran for president as a libertarian in 1988 and made bids in 2008 and 2012 for the GOP nomination. Last year, the elder Paul came in third in the Nevada caucuses, just behind Newt Gingrich. Eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney easily won the caucuses, carrying around half the vote.


Filed under: 2016 • Nevada • Rand Paul
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Warren

    Doesn't the "The Republican senator from Kentucky" have more important things to do. Like his JOB.. He has to know he doesn't stand a snowballs change in hell of ever becoming the President.

    July 12, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. Richard Long

    Was an ambassador attacked and killed? Las Vegas seems like the place to go when that happens.

    July 12, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. Lathrope

    The property values in Nevada, have suffered enough. His presence will not have a positive effect on any subject matter. If he ever makes one of the final two spots in any presidential election, we're in deep do do.

    July 12, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  4. Dallas

    He is never going to be POTUS. Why doesn't he stay in Washington and do the job he was elected to do and encourage his fellow tea baggers to do the same instead of sitting on their butts, drawing these big salaries and DOING NOTHING! It's no wonder the American people have lost faith with our government.

    July 12, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    Does Curley Top EVER work??? No wonder republikkkans are doing everything in their power to get into office. Once they get in they do nothing but obstruct and campaign. I need to be in Politics.

    July 12, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  6. bcw

    I can't wait till the GOP primary season. Watching the GOP candidates stabbing each other in the debates is the best reality show on earth. Please run Ran Paul, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin and other GOP nut cases.

    July 12, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    In case you missed it.........
    ------------
    FreedomFest will have Rand Paul as keynote speaker. He will be sharing those duties with one the nation's leading birther theorists. Most of the speakers at this year's event are also birther theiorists. Figured you'd want to know.

    July 12, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. Loops

    How did this cretin gain popularity, and enough votes to become a representative of the people? Answer: Think of the area he comes from, and the mindset of the people existing in that area. Please note (the words living in that area omitted for reason), no one actually lives there. They just exist.

    July 12, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Dallas wrote:

    He is never going to be POTUS. Why doesn't he stay in Washington and do the job he was elected to do and encourage his fellow tea baggers to do the same instead of sitting on their butts, drawing these big salaries and DOING NOTHING!
    ------------
    Unfortunately for the country, most tea party types in Congress actually are doing exactly what they were elected to do.

    July 12, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  10. Data Driven

    "FreedomFest, an annual gathering of libertarians and conservatives that touts itself as "the world's largest gathering of free minds."

    "FreedomFest". LOL. That's s nice, lunatic-sounding name. It's a FEST of Freedom! Sheesh. As for the the largest gathering of free minds - unbalanced minds, maybe. Nothing weirder than the modern "libertarian". Did you know that they believe roads - to take one example - should be privatized?

    July 12, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  11. Peoples State of Illinois

    @Rudy NYC

    Dallas wrote:

    He is never going to be POTUS. Why doesn't he stay in Washington and do the job he was elected to do and encourage his fellow tea baggers to do the same instead of sitting on their butts, drawing these big salaries and DOING NOTHING!
    ----
    Unfortunately for the country, most tea party types in Congress actually are doing exactly what they were elected to do.
    ---–
    Hmmm, call the pope, the rabi,,,has hell frozen over? Rudy got one right, except for the word "unfortunately." They are doing exactly what they were elected by their constituents to do.

    July 12, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I am thinking about whether or not I will run for president at that time. I haven't made my mind up yet." Paul has said in numerous interviews that he expects he'll decide next year."

    I expect we will be hearing quite a lot from Rand Paul about whether or not he has made up his mind yet. Making his mind up and sticking to whatever he has made his mind up to ... seems to be a problem for Mr. Paul. But, hey. Paul's teasers are almost as newsworthy as Palin's teasers. Almost.

    That they are both made from the same cloth of unrealistic expectations of their own self worth - including, but certainly not limited to - their attention grabbing narcissistic personality disorders ... goes without saying.

    July 12, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    "... that touts itself as "the world's largest gathering of free minds."

    I missed that part. Probably because I only glanced through the article (which is my bad). Nevertheless, "free minds" is an apt expression, and I would imagine quite appealing to the tin-foil crowd. Lucky for them Mr. Paul is so willing and so able to take time out of his so busy schedule and address their "free minds festivities" as their keynote speaker. Rand Paul is becoming a really hot commodity for the Grand Old Party. I suspect these appearances only enhances his appeal nationally. In his mind anyway.

    July 12, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Steveo

    @Lynda/Minnesota
    That they are both made from the same cloth of unrealistic expectations of their own self worth – including, but certainly not limited to – their attention grabbing narcissistic personality disorders ... goes without saying.
    ---------
    You just described MOST politicians regardless of party!

    July 12, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    Vegas odds of this loon ever getting close to the White House....except on a tour....1,000,000,000 to 1. Who's gonna cover?

    July 12, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. Kathy

    Reading these moronic comments leads me to believe they are all Hillary supporters. lets talk about her screwup "Benghazi"..oh nothing to say then?

    July 12, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Data Driven

    LOL, not me, Al. Momma didn't raise a sucker.

    Open another story for comments, Ticker. I live in San Diego and had something to contribute on the Filner story.

    July 12, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Borderless

    Why Rand Paul is heading to Vegas..,
    I'm hoping it's because he found a better barber there.

    July 12, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. S.B. Stein

    Rand Paul, like his father, needs to understand the real world. If everyone was honest, rational, moral (or at least shared the same basic ones) and looked forward to the betterment of the whole population, then there would be less of a need for rules. That hasn't happened yet and likely won't in the next 50 years at least.

    July 12, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  20. rs

    Mr. Paul will be at two (count 'em) two nitjob Republican Anti-Government, Birther conferences. The problem with the GOP today? They don't have Bill Buckley telling them that if they ever want to be taken seriously, they have to keep the nut (in Buckley's day, the John Birch Society, to day, the legion kooks-TEA Parties, Birthers, etc.) out of their ranks.

    Who would vote for people who say they believe what the GOP says? From the "legitimate" rapers, to their idioctic and fact free reproduction facts to notions about other nations or what drives the economy, America would do better electing 5 year olds than the GOP.

    July 12, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You just described MOST politicians regardless of party!"

    Indeed, Steveo. Unfortunately for GOPerville, these two have it really, really bad and are unable to correct themselves (or comport themselves) when necessary.

    July 12, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. rs

    Wake up People!

    Does Curley Top EVER work??? No wonder republikkkans are doing everything in their power to get into office. Once they get in they do nothing but obstruct and campaign. I need to be in Politics.
    __________________________
    No Republican works- they just obstruct. That's why they are known as the American Taliban- they hate the government and they hate Americans.

    July 12, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Sniffit

    ""... that touts itself as "the world's largest gathering of free minds.""

    What a lovely euphemism for "untethered to reality."

    July 12, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    DD wrote:

    "FreedomFest". LOL. That's s nice, lunatic-sounding name. It's a FEST of Freedom! Sheesh. As for the the largest gathering of free minds – unbalanced minds, maybe. Nothing weirder than the modern "libertarian". Did you know that they believe roads – to take one example – should be privatized?
    ------------------
    Exactly. Modern Libertarians. For folks out there want to know what a neo-libertarian is, then look and listen to this crowd.

    July 12, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Data Driven

    @Rudy,

    Neo-libertarian - an apt appellation. These folks are hardly in the tradition of Paine, or even Burke (the younger version) - those guys believed in a social contract.

    July 12, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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