McConnell should play up influence angle, says freshman Senator who has developed influence

05/30/2014 05:29 PM

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has been warning voters about replacing the Senate Republican leader who has built up influence with a freshman Senator who would be sitting on the backbenches.

But McConnell’s Republican colleague, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, came into the U.S. Senate in January 2011 and pretty much refused to sit on the backbenches. He accumulated his own brand of influence through the media and with a marathon overnight speech in March 2013 over drone policies.

Still, Paul says McConnell should play up the influence factor because, as a senior member and leader of his party’s caucus, McConnell has accumulated the type of power that Paul hasn’t — and can’t — in his first three and a half years in the Senate.

Paul made a stop in Frankfort to speak to the Franklin County GOP Women’s Club on Friday and told Pure Politics why McConnell’s power can’t be duplicated by even the most ambitious of newcomers.

Paul has been making stops in the early presidential primary states over the past year, and on Friday he kept up speculations on a run with swipes at the likely Democratic front runner in 2016, Hillary Clinton.

In his speech Paul said the former U.S. secretary of state should be precluded from holding high office because of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the death of four Americans, including the ambassador.

Before the event, Paul was asked if he had decided which office he would seek in 2016 and if he will push state lawmakers in 2015 to clarify the law to allow candidates to be able to run for two federal offices — like U.S. Senate and president — in the same election.


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