April 25th, 2014
05:28 PM ET
4 months ago

Rand Paul on being ‘libertarian-ish’

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul hopes to infuse the Republican Party with some of his libertarian views, but the Kentucky Republican said Friday he’d still support the GOP presidential nominee in 2016 even if he didn’t entirely agree with that person.

“I think a libertarian twist or a libertarian influence in the Republican Party is good, but I’ve pretty much just stayed with the party and plan on doing so,” he said at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

Paul, who’s seriously thinking about a White House bid, had been asked by a student whether he would support a libertarian candidate in the next presidential election if Paul doesn’t become the nominee.

The first-term senator described himself as “libertarian-ish,” but said he’s never endorsed libertarian candidates.

He was corrected by the student, who pointed out that Paul supported his father, ex-Rep. Ron Paul, when he ran for president as a libertarian in 1988.

“You’re right. I did. I stand corrected,” Paul said, laughing.

“I did, and I hope I don't have to oppose him in anything,” he joked. “Somebody asked me the other day ‘What if your dad runs?’ And I was like ‘I’m not going there, alright?’”

Making the GOP slightly more libertarian is just part of Paul’s recent mission to broaden the Republican Party. The senator reiterated his message that it also needs to look different in terms of race and age.

“You go to a Republican event and it's all white people—not because we’re excluding anybody, but because we just haven’t done a good enough job encouraging people to come into our party,” he said at the event, which was hosted by his 2010 GOP primary rival, Trey Grayson. He’s now the institute’s director.

But Paul said he felt assured that other Republicans are starting to realize a need to expand the party, and that his efforts aren’t in vain.

“The Republican Party–I will tell you, from talking to whoever the establishment is–they are recognizing that they need to be bigger to win, and that they need to broaden their message.”

“I think a change will come about,” he added. “Or we’ll keep losing—one of the two.”

While Paul was in Boston, the senator brought the same message of expansion at a meeting with top donors to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.

He’s also scheduled to speak at an ophthalmologist conference later Friday, then heads to Bangor, Maine, to speak at the state’s Republican convention on Saturday.


Filed under: Rand Paul
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. NamejJK. SFL. VOTE THE GOP ANTI-HEALTHCARE PARTY OUT iN NOVEMBER

    OK GOP vOTERS, are you ACTUALLY going to vote for these GOP CURRUPT TEAPARY DARLINGS that are screwing up OUR goverment. If you are , consider YOURSELF ANTI – AMERICAN TRAITORS like BUNDY that ALL your GOP LEADERS supported UNTIL A COUPLE OF MINUTES AGO. Do the RIGHT THING AND GET RID OF this GOP garbage and SEWAGE of America , I know I WILL!!!!!!!

    April 25, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "He was corrected by the student, who pointed out that Paul supported his father, ex-Rep. Ron Paul, when he ran for president as a libertarian in 1988."

    What is with this guy Rand Paul? One minute he is saying "blah blah blah" and the next minute he's backtracking faster than Mitt Romney?

    Too much pandering ... too little time.

    April 25, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Rand can flip flop with the best of them. A few days ago, he claimed Bundy was a hero, and now he is running away like a scared rabbit.

    April 25, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Smitty

    Vote Paul, anything is better than what the dems have done the last 6 years. Obumbles daily failures continue to hurt the USA.

    April 25, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    --GOP is pretty much gone to dogs. Sin will never survive.

    April 25, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. HenryMiller

    We don't need two Big Government parties—we've had Democrat Lite and it was only slightly less of a disaster than full-strength Democrat.

    April 25, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Another day, another piece on this nobody. Snore...

    April 25, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. Winston Smith

    These smudges on the face of humanity have told so many lies, they wouldn't recognize the truth if it bit them. They just hope none of us have memories good enough to catch them in the next lie they tell.

    April 26, 2014 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  9. anAmerican1954

    There may be good precepts in all platforms. However, the baseline Republican platform is largely an anti-federalist confederate set of ideas.

    April 26, 2014 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  10. don in albuquerque

    Aqua Buddha, the best politician money can buy, and just crazy a a bedbug too boot. Except the big money doesn't want him either.

    April 26, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  11. Lizzie

    Come On Rand Say the GOP Prayer, and that from a liberal/democrat who is COMPASSIONATE, CARING, NURTURING, has not a bad bone in his body, pays for his neighbors mortgage and healthinsurance, because Pres.Obama told him so.
    When told to jump, he asks how high.

    April 26, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. smith1

    and mitt is backing this nut job? Does that tell you anything??? Racist ranchers love them old rockers and crazy ex Alaskan governors. The republican party. the Party of wackos, liers and clowns. They love the American people so much they screw them every chance they get. No ideas No heart No morals. Vote them out in November.

    April 26, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |