March 27th, 2014
10:10 AM ET
9 months ago

Inside Politics: Rand Paul’s 50-state network

Breaking Thursday morning: The Washington Post’s Robert Costa reports that Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has expanded his political network to all 50 states in an effort to broaden his base and lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign.

Costa joined CNN's "Inside Politics" to discuss his report that Paul’s nationwide team of 200 people blends traditional Republicans with the more libertarian-minded supporters of Paul’s father, Ron, who ran for president in 2008 and 2012.

Rand Paul’s challenge as a Republican, like his father’s, is to convince the national party that his views work with theirs. He opposes the war on drugs, for instance. He also opposes the use of drones to combat terrorism and the National Security Agency’s ability to collect phone and Internet data. Those are issues that draw support from national security hawks who have dominated the GOP for years.

Here's what Paul tweeted about President Obama's meeting today with Pope Francis:

Jeb Bush is a Vegas VIP: A more mainstream alternative for Republicans would be former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has quietly teased a potential run for president. Bush will be the guest of honor Thursday night at a dinner hosted by GOP super-donor Sheldon Adelson.
Adelson is hosting a week of events with the Republican Jewish Coalition and featuring a number of potential GOP candidates.

Potential candidates hoping to hit it big in Las Vegas

Santorum “open” to White House run: Not present at Adelson’s gathering in Las Vegas is Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania who mounted a spirited in 2012. Surprising no one, Santorum traveled to Iowa and said Wednesday that he might run again.

"I'm very open to taking on another run, and right now I'm just doing everything that I would be doing if I was going to run,” he said.

“The former senator from Pennsylvania and GOP presidential candidate who battled eventual nominee Mitt Romney deep into the 2012 Republican primary calendar has a jam-packed 24-hour visit to Iowa. Besides the ‘Iowa Press’ interview, Santorum was scheduled to speak with other Iowa media outlets and hold a press gaggle with local reporters,” writes CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser.

Hog-wild Iowa candidate vows to cut “pork”: On Wednesday, we covered Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley’s foot-in-mouth description of Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa as a “farmer” with no law degree and also mentioned Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican running in her party’s primary for the same seat, although using “farmer” as a badge of honor.

In what must be one of the most unconventional TV ads of 2014, Ernst says that castrating hogs during her childhood means she’s going to be effective at cutting a different kind of pork in Washington. “Let’s make ‘em squeal,” she says at the end of the ad.

It drew the attention of Sarah Palin, who endorsed Ernst in a Facebook post.

Open season on Obamacare: The other conservative video that has people talking is out of Alabama, where congressional candidate Will Brooke shoots a variety of guns at a paper copy of the Affordable Care Act. But the law is so long that his bullets don’t penetrate it. So he ends up throwing the law into a wood chipper.

Democrats don’t want to destroy the law like Brooke, but some are increasingly interested in tweaking it. The Wall Street Journal reports a group of moderate Senate Democrats facing tough re-election battles will unveil a new proposal to “fix” the law. Their proposals would include a new, cheaper level of coverage that would still be compliant with the law and a provision that would allow companies to sell insurance across state lines.

Pope and change: President Barack Obama was once a powerful new leader with transformative potential, but now Pope Francis is one to watch. The two men met for nearly an hour Thursday morning at the Vatican - their first in-person interaction.

The President has borrowed on the Pope’s egalitarian message to make political arguments about income equality.

For all their similarities on some economic ideas, the two men have little in common on social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, although the Pope has said the church needs to reassess some of its priorities.

Obama lauded the Pope in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera before the meeting.

“The Holy Father has been an inspiration to people around the world, including me, with his commitment to social justice and his message of love and compassion, especially for the poor and the vulnerable among us,” he said.
Popes and presidents: 5 important things to know

Obama on why Iraq's different from Crimea: Obama went out of his way Wednesday to say Russia’s move into Crimea is nothing like the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It was an odd situation for a president who as a candidate called American involvement in Iraq a “dumb war.”

"I happened to oppose our military intervention there, but even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system,” said Obama, speaking about the Ukraine crisis at a European Union-U.S. summit in Brussels, Belgium. “We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory, nor did we grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state could make decisions about its own future.”


Filed under: Iraq • Jeb Bush • Pope Francis • Rand Paul • Sheldon Adelson
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Rand Paul’s challenge as a Republican, like his father’s, is to convince the national party that his views work with theirs. He opposes the war on drugs, for instance. He also opposes the use of drones to combat terrorism and the National Security Agency’s ability to collect phone and Internet data.
    ----------------------–
    Your challenge is to figure out what Rand Paul isn't telling you that he supports/opposes. For starters, Paul claims that he feels that Title I of the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional. That would be the part that prohibits racial discrimination. Rand Paul is on record stating that if a store owner chooses not to serve certain people, then that is his right. Paul arges that the store owner's 1st Amendment rights are being violated. In other words, he feels that bigotry is a form of freedom of speech.

    It would seem that Rand Paul didn't fall far from the apple tree known as his father, who's racially charged newsletters helped to set his record straight.

    March 27, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. rs

    The biggest problems for Mr. Paul are:
    First his party is still purging members for not being pure enough, and the issue there is what defines "pure" is still shifting. The poor guy simply won't be radicalized enough to survive the primaries.
    Second, what Mr. Paul claims he stands for and what he votes for seem very different, and he' will get beat up in the debates for both.
    Lastly, there is way too much archived video demonstrating that Paul is simply another Right, partisan hack- one who supports discrimination and freedom for the rich (only).

    March 27, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. Winning

    Rand Paul is nothing like his father. He talks a good game, somewhat like a really slick salesman, but when you look at the details, he is a typical authoritarian conservative.

    March 27, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  4. Silence DoGood

    Rudy NYC
    Rand Paul’s challenge as a Republican, like his father’s, is to convince the national party that his views work with theirs. He opposes the war on drugs, for instance. He also opposes the use of drones to combat terrorism and the National Security Agency’s ability to collect phone and Internet data.
    --------–
    Your challenge is to figure out what Rand Paul isn't telling you that he supports/opposes. For starters, Paul claims that he feels that Title I of the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional. That would be the part that prohibits racial discrimination. Rand Paul is on record stating that if a store owner chooses not to serve certain people, then that is his right. Paul arges that the store owner's 1st Amendment rights are being violated. In other words, he feels that bigotry is a form of freedom of speech.
    --------
    "Rand Paul is on record stating that if a store owner chooses not to serve certain people"
    For all the phony righteousness of phony religious or "libertarian" grounds for denying people service, I would LOVE to see one of these places that tries to legislate discrimination turn the tables. Wouldn't it be a hoot to have a minority or gay or Muslim store owner look at a customer's Rolex (rich) or skin color (white) or cross pin (christian) or spouse (hetero) and deny them service based on that? You would hear the conservative pig squeal a mile away.

    March 27, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Hector Slagg

    Aw, Well,
    You better look carefully. After 8 Years of More Liberal Politics I suspect another run of Republicans in the White House as well as the Congress. Take a look back. After the Liberals managed to get Richard Nixon they thought they were home free. That didn't last long as the people didn't like Liberal Politics. We had 12 Years of Reagan and Bush. I suspect this time the Republicans will take the Congress and the White House for at least 12 years and maybe more. I doubt if Rand Paul will be President but you never know. Hope you have a good retirement plan.

    March 27, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Rand Paul's Campaign song, "I like big bucks so I'm sure to lie?"

    March 27, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    Why not we as a nation, kick all these Republicans out to benefit this nation? Or we can castrate all these republicans because they are doing to Animals.

    March 27, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Pat

    Rand Paul opposes this, Rand Paul opposes that.

    Exactly what is Rand Paul for?

    March 27, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Ron L

    Senator Paul does not walk his talk. He will fool some Republicans and very few Independents. Becoming President?? about the odds of winning the lottery.

    March 27, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Paul l the CNN presidential candidate, should be attached to all of the CNN politicalticker mentioning his name.

    March 27, 2014 11:40 am at 11:40 am |