October 13th, 2013
11:14 AM ET
6 months ago

Rand Paul not eager to agree Cruz is GOP leader

Washington (CNN) - Following Sen. Ted Cruz's rock star weekend at a social conservative gathering – in which he won a presidential straw poll and was met with great fanfare during his speech – Sen. Rand Paul isn't buying the idea that any one person could be considered the unofficial leader of the Republican Party right now.

"I think that (Cruz has) done a good job drawing attention to Obamacare...For that I think he's done a great service in bringing attention to something that's really going to be bad for a lot of Americans," Paul said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Pressed on whether Cruz, a senator from Texas, could be considered a de facto leader of the GOP–as Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told CNN last week– Paul said that's a title no one can claim quite yet.

"We all have a little bit of ego, so I think most of us kind of think, 'Oh, we're one of the leaders.' … But I don't think any of us are ready to say, 'Oh, my fellow senator, he's my leader and I'd follow him off the edge of the cliff.' There is no one leader, other than our official leadership that we have," he told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

Conservatives defiant in the face of GOP troubles

Both Paul and Cruz are considered potential contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Cruz won the straw poll on Saturday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, and brought the conservative attendees to their feet during his speech Friday about holding firm in the current standoff with Senate Democrats and the White House over fiscal issues.

Paul also spoke at the event on Friday and came in with 6% in the straw poll.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: 2016 • Rand Paul • Ted Cruz • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Rand has been shunned by the crazies who fell in love with the Canadian born Cuban. While Rand is nuts, he does not rise to the level as the crazy POS Cruz.

    October 13, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Don in albuquerque

    Both Tea Baggers. Trying to decide which one is a bigger pile of trash.

    October 13, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. GOP = Greed Over People

    Aqua Buddha says the President "lies" and Canuck Cruz says the polls are "skewd".

    And why was there an autopsy on why there is NOT a President Mitt the Twit? One of the outcomes was Gallop over sampled us white folks and that was why the polls were "skewed".

    I am looking forward to the 2014 "autopsy" that will be done after the GOP loses the House majority.

    First on the list, Canuck Cruz's dismissal of statistical polls, and saying "that is not where America is today".

    Of course, after the GOP House causes a default, perhaps the trials for sedition against the TP terrorists will also be a clue. For you debt deniers, I Googled the big word for you "insurrection against the established order"

    There will be ample video of the TP terrorists advocating sedition, so much so, that we may have to move the trial to The Hague!

    October 13, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Rand has been rejected by the prom goers of the extreme bagger right. He probably had his corsage, but no one was interested.

    October 13, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Mary Ann

    Rand Paul will come around to Ted Cruz...unites the party

    October 13, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Rand has been rejected because he is not crazy enough. Crazy, but baggers want someone who is certifiable.

    October 13, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    Today message from republican pundits is “republican governors are doing a good job” that mean they want to dump Ted Cruz and Tea party

    October 13, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Just saying...

    Ok, so let's wait to see what is the next crazy think Mr. Paul will do to catch the stage spotlight (it will be followed by Mr. Cruz in perfect upmanship)!

    October 13, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Cruz, the GOP dufus only represents a tiny portion of the shrinking Republican Party who can't win a national election and will be lucky to keep their seats after screwing their own red state voters with this shutdown they THEY caused. Their idiot third world voters can stave for all we care,and get no healthcare insurance!!!!

    October 13, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Cruz is the biggest loser in the GOP and will drag the rest of the GOP down the tiolet with him unless they dump the loser!!!!

    October 13, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Jeff

    Door to door panhandling....coming soon.

    October 13, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. Scott

    Rand Paul has some jealousy issues to deal with. The angry Republican mob that Paul and Cruz are a part of shut down the government. The GOP lets all the dumb and crazy people such as Paul and Cruz speak for them at the moment.

    October 13, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. FlyOnTheWall

    GOP: Nominate Cruz........please oh please oh please!!! your alread irrelevant....why not go over the cliff?

    October 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. GonzoinHouston

    "No, no, I am! I am! Me! Me! ME! ME! Sorry, sonny, you've been passed in the right lane. Cruz is now the de facto leading politician and Rush is still the philosophical and intellectual leader of what's left of the GOP. I hear the Koch brothers are hiring minions these days. With your experience you could even start as a henchman.

    October 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  15. JDL

    Raphael Cruz and Runt Paul and associates are driving this country to the brink of destruction, either one can be the leader but the end result will be the same.
    Hopefully in 2014 this country can purge these radicals from our political system, the Tea-taliban is only a small amount of voters , so neither of these two will ever occupy the oval office!

    October 13, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Scott
    Rand Paul has some jealousy issues to deal with. The angry Republican mob that Paul and Cruz are a part of shut down the government. The GOP lets all the dumb and crazy people such as Paul and Cruz speak for them at the moment.

    =====

    Your right on !
    The two freshmen grandstanders are out of touch with reality , big egos . Both are from districts that are oblivious to the whole of the country . Unfortunately, they look at government as a game show and there sponsors will continue to sell deodorant .

    October 13, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. SA in OO

    Sorry Rand, as right wind ideologues go, it appears you're old news. It's so hard for Republicans right now, because to get any traction on the far right, you have to be more outrageous and outspoken than is politically defensible to the real center of the party.

    But here's the bigger problem the party faces. When you are running candidates and running on platforms that virtually guarantee you will not be able to attract the growing minority population, or even the current "independent" voters, you are also guaranteeing you will continue to be the minority in congress. So, if as a party, you have decided that ideology is more important than trying to build a majority, you are in effect saying we're OK to relegating the party to being a vocal minority with less and less actual power.

    But as with ideologues the world over, some in your party have decided that political terror tactics are an acceptable alternative to democracy as we know it. Forget the majority who voted for the current senate members and for the President, you guys can take great comfort in knowing you are the true light and the way. If all of this sounds a little like religion – well it is. Figuring out the right course of action for the complex issue we face in the world is much easier if you don't have to think about it too much.

    October 13, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Dennis Freeman

    Ted Cruz, Rand Paul – Rand Paul, Ted Cruz. What's the difference and how many people really care...

    October 13, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. domjactay

    The only people who shut down the gov't is the Dems and President they were sent bills to sign to keep federal employees working and parks and small independent businesses opened they choose not to and blame the GOP instead. I guess they can sleep well at night? Pelosi can, she is ok with opening the gov't to illegal immigrant and thanked the president for allowing them to march right next door while WORLD WAR II VETS WERE DENIED to see their outside memorial I call that fair.......don't you

    October 13, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Rant, Cruz, nothing more than the latest dweebs to exit the GOP clown car on the road to defeat in the 2016 election.

    October 13, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  21. Jim Oliver

    With Cruz, Paul,Russ and the Tea Party I see the biggest political win for the Democrats in history in 2014.

    October 13, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. Outlier25

    Cruz as the Republican Presidential Candidate would make Sarah Palin look like Ronald Reagan. Just because 40% of a select group of your party thinks your great does not mean the country likes you. This would be a disastrous move by the Republicans and a free bee for Democrats.

    October 13, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Fight! Fight! Fight!

    October 13, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Michael Benjamin

    Two nuts fall out of a tree which one would you choose?

    October 13, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. wendel

    So who is the leader? these clowns will be re elected, they come from districts that are full of crazies. And they will continue to do damage to the American people until the republican party grows a backbone and say's enough. It's is all about winning their districts and we the public pay their salaries for two more years. They keep hollering for the president to lead. Lead what these crazy clowns ?. You can't lead them . Their own party has tried. Can you see either one as leader of the country???

    October 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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