In Texas, Rand Paul meets a Cruz and a Bush
February 7th, 2014
09:55 PM ET
8 months ago

In Texas, Rand Paul meets a Cruz and a Bush

Dallas, Texas (CNN) – Texas is a vast and diverse state with sprawling urban centers and wide open pastures, but sometimes the political universe here can feel pretty small.

Rand Paul, the Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential aspirant, was reminded of this on Friday.

Arriving in Dallas at the outset of a multi-day visit to the state, Paul spent Friday meeting with a handful of financial supporters and assorted Republican politicians. On leaving the office of one of the city’s GOP donors, Paul bumped into a familiar face: Ted Cruz, his fellow Senator from Texas and another ambitious Republican who is courting grassroots conservatives in advance of a possible presidential bid.

Cruz was walking in to meet with the very same donor. The two Senators, who have something of a chilly relationship, exchanged hellos before Paul went on to his next stop.

Though Paul crossed paths with one of his rivals, his visit to Texas was hardly a risky mission behind enemy lines. Paul grew up outside of Houston, attended Baylor University and pays frequent visits to his mother and father, the former congressman and libertarian icon Ron Paul.

As he put it on Friday, “I speak fluent Texan.”

Paul’s first public appearance here was on friendly political turf: He headlined a rally in Dallas for a Republican candidate named Don Huffines, a family friend and real estate developer who is mounting a primary challenge against an entrenched state Senate incumbent with appeals to the tea party, libertarians and evangelicals. They were joined at the event by author and radio host Glenn Beck, a Dallas resident who spent the afternoon with Paul.

Trying to stir a polite crowd of several hundred supporters inside the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field, the mild-mannered Huffines delivered a cascade of tea party bromides aimed squarely at the fiery conservative base that has come to dominate Republican politics in Texas.

“I will not compromise my faith in God,” Huffines said. “I will not compromise my Constitutional convictions. I will not compromise my core beliefs in liberty.”

Paul, in slacks and a blazer, spoke briefly, riffing in his low-key style about the dangers of government overreach and the inability of politicians in both parties to make tough decisions about spending. He criticized the federal budget deal put together by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray late last year, saying that “spending is now going up again” in Washington.

But Paul’s Texas tour was not all tea party fire and brimstone.

In an interview with CNN before the event, Paul revealed that he met with George P. Bush, a candidate for Texas Land Commissioner. Bush also happens to be the 37-year old son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose name continues to surface in discussions about the 2016 Republican presidential race.

The younger Bush and Paul hail from starkly different wings of their party: Bush is considered the political heir apparent in a family that helped construct the very Republican establishment that Paul and his father have been sniping at from the party’s fringes for decades.

Paul said he had no plans to endorse Bush in the Land Commissioner race, but he said they agreed on the need to expand the Republican Party’s appeal to Hispanic voters and working class Americans. Bush’s mother is originally from Mexico, and he speaks effortless Spanish.

“I think the fact that he is a fluent Spanish speaker and spoken to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, it’s good for our party,” Paul said of George P. Bush. “I think having people who are trying to make the party bigger is good. The party has to be bigger across the country, not only appealing to people of various ethnic background but various economic backgrounds.”

The private huddle with a scion of the Bush dynasty was the latest indicator that Paul is keen on making nice with establishment Republicans as he sketches out a possible presidential bid that can reach voters outside of his grassroots, small-government base.

But despite his courtship with the party’s civil country club set, he remained pugnacious when asked about his recent spate of comments about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Paul has invoked the former president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky as evidence of the Democratic Party’s hypocrisy on the issue of women’s' rights, going so far as to call Bill Clinton a “sexual predator.”

He echoed those remarks on Friday. He predicted that Hillary Clinton will have to answer questions her husband’s affair if she decides to run for president in 2016.

“It isn’t her fault the way her husband’s behaved,” Paul told CNN. “But at the same time, I think that they are a fundraising team. He does a lot of fundraising for candidates. I think if they want to beat up on Republicans and say Republicans don’t like women, I think that one of the big things that we advanced in the last several decades is that women are protected in the workplace.”

“I’m sure Don would tell you he would fire anybody that took advantage of a 20 years old girl,” Paul said, referring to Hoffines. “If one of his managers had the same kind of problems that Bill Clinton had with a 20-year old girl, he wouldn’t work for him anymore. It’s not acceptable behavior, and yet they are out there saying they are the great crusaders for women’s rights. I think that’s some hypocrisy that they will have to explain.”


Filed under: George P. Bush • Rand Paul • Ted Cruz • Texas
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Gary

    Here's an idea. While they are all there, lets build a fence around Texas. Then Gov " I can't remember the third" can start his sussesion proceedures.

    February 8, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. Silence DoGood

    @Tony Sarris
    If the Republican party wonders why it has trouble with women voters, it need look no further than the quote from Sen. Paul in this article. A 20 year-old female is a WOMAN, not a GIRL.
    ---------–
    He was doing her a favor. According to current Tea Party / GOP thinking, she is nothing more than a libido driven sinful baby machine and needs to be told who is forbidden to marry. And women who are on the fence about GOP views should google "slap hillary game" to see what they really think of outspoken women.

    February 8, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. DJ Reality

    So Moe, Larry and Curly met in Texas. Did they meet with I can't remember the third thing Shemp?

    February 8, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. Tony

    Senator Paul, if you hate the government, don't run for president or any political office.

    February 8, 2014 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. freedom

    A strong trifecta. All brilliant, all freedom fighters, all patriots. George P. Bush is a rising star – not quite yet visible to the public. But he will be.

    February 8, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. BB4683

    @Gary
    Best idea I've heard all year!

    February 8, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. tom l

    Tampa,
    Lorne Michaels was right. Liberals don't know how to laugh at themselves.

    February 8, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. dojo8181

    Protest this ineffective congress, next vote, vote filibusterers out of office. It does nothing to help this nation.
    Here a list of the filibusterers that just helped block emergency aid for 1.7 million US unemployed citizens:
    Alexander (R-TN)
    Ayotte (R-NH)
    Barrasso (R-WY)
    Blunt (R-MO)
    Boozman (R-AR)
    Burr (R-NC)
    Chambliss (R-GA)
    Coats (R-IN)
    Coburn (R-OK)
    Cochran (R-MS)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Corker (R-TN)
    Cornyn (R-TX)
    Crapo (R-ID)
    Cruz (R-TX)
    Enzi (R-WY)
    Fischer (R-NE)
    Flake (R-AZ)
    Graham (R-SC)
    Grassley (R-IA)
    Hatch (R-UT)
    Hoeven (R-ND)
    Inhofe (R-OK)
    Isakson (R-GA)
    Johanns (R-NE)
    Johnson (R-WI)
    Kirk (R-IL)
    Lee (R-UT)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    McConnell (R-KY)
    Murkowski (R-AK)
    Paul (R-KY)
    Portman (R-OH)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Risch (R-ID)
    Rubio (R-FL)
    Scott (R-SC)
    Sessions (R-AL)
    Shelby (R-AL)
    Thune (R-SD)
    Toomey (R-PA)
    Vitter (R-LA)
    Wicker (R-MS)
    Use your power of the vote to rid the government of those trying to muck it up for their political agenda at the expense of struggling citizens. These are fascist maneuvers and not what this country is about.

    February 8, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. MTATL67

    Headline sounds like the beginng of a bad joke or the first line in a Stephan King book

    February 8, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    Whoever the repugs put up for election in 2016, they will have a hard time matching the bunch from 2012. Their debates should get an Emmy for Best Comedy Tour broadcast on television. I'm probably not the only one who looked forward to each debate, at a time when we needed more humor in our lives.

    Thank you, guys and gals, for all the laughs.

    February 8, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Bill from GA

    From the article: "...20 years old girl,” Paul said"

    She was born in 1973, hired by WH in 1995.
    Gee, Rand, not too good with math, are ya??

    Or is it just the truth you have a problem with?

    February 8, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Bill from GA

    Tampa Tim – "It appears Rand is running against Bill Clinton"

    Not totally improper. Without Bill Clinton being President, we likely would never have heard of Hillary.

    She was certainly a smart woman, and an accomplished lawyer, but that doesn't make the news.
    She was also on the board at Walmart; but surely that was before Walmart became the ultra-left's 'Evil Empire'.

    February 8, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Simplefaith

    Rand Paul wants to expand his base with Hispanic voters? He has got to be kidding! The Republicans want to stop the immigration deal in Congress, and Rand Paul wants to cater to Hispanics. This guy is losing even before he starts. Rand Paul brings up Bill Clinton's trisks of the 1990a as a liability to the Democrats. What about Bush's wars on Iraq that lasted more than a decade and cost Americans billions of dollars. I think Rand Paul is living in a world of his own.

    February 8, 2014 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Ken

    Why Bush was so bad at the end of his term.
    January 3rd, 2007 was the day the democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate. At the time the DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77, the GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%, and the Unemployment rate was 4.6%
    George Bush's Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB GROWTH
    January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.
    The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES. 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans were dumped on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!
    Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie – starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy.
    OBAMA and the Democrat Congress fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie?
    So when someone tries to blame Bush. REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007.... THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!"
    Budgets come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democrat Party. Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 & 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.
    For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budgets.
    And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009.
    If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.
    If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself. In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.

    February 8, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    What a creepy, little man.

    February 8, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Rob Some

    Stop worrying about the Clinton's and do something about extending the Unemployment Insurance Benefits. News says unemployment dropped to less than 7%, but that's just all of the people that rolled off..... With nothing now.. Haves against the Have Nots

    February 8, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Rob Some

    Funny that a republican would throw stones at a Democrat over morals.. That has always been the GOP's platform... LOOK in your own party and clean it out before you cast the first stone. I am from Ky. and Mr. Paul worries me and scares the jeepers out of me. The world has heard rhetoric like he spews out of his mouth before... SCARY

    February 8, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. torchie4269

    Wait, since when do Cruz and Paul have a "chilly" relationship??? During Paul's filibuster last year, Cruz was probably his biggest support on the Senate floor, taking for multiple stretches to give Paul a rest.

    Also, I find it hard to understand how my comment above, which I posted before any other comments were shown, and am now attempting to repost, didn't show up in the comments, but a slew of personal insults towards Senator Paul, Senator Cruz, and others made it past moderation.

    February 8, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. don in albuquerque

    Ya know, freedom....it was just a few months ago that Cruz said in a speech that we needed 100 more just like Jesse Helms in the senate. Undoubtedly one of the biggest racist in recent American history. A brilliant trifecta? Be careful the company you keep. Two of these brilliant guys have already shown were they stand with the people, and you want to be part of that. You'll need to change your posting name.

    February 8, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. S. B. Stein

    I don't trust Paul very much because he thinks people can automatically pull themselves up by the boot straps when they don't have any.

    February 8, 2014 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. t

    .....Why is it that..............when I see these 3 names in the same sentence...............I have to change my underwear...?

    February 8, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  22. wanda jones

    Ted Cruz for President! Rand Paul for VP! Last night I had a nightmare; scary one. I dreamed I was a Progressive Fascist!

    February 9, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  23. wanda jones

    I love a U.S Senator w/ some backbone. It's rare today in our Politically Correct country.

    February 9, 2014 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  24. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Can't wait to see the GOBP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea potty's throats 2012 Mitt the twit style. Huckabee,Rapheal Cruz and dopey Rant Paul will be long gone by then.

    February 9, 2014 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
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