Rand Paul files to run for U.S. Senate and KY GOP presidential caucus
11/30/2015 06:02 PM
LOUISVILLE — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, made his dual candidacy official on Monday filing his paperwork to run for re-election and for Kentucky’s GOP presidential caucus.
Kentucky’s presidential caucus comes as a route around state statute which prohibits a candidate from appearing on the ballot twice in the same election. The Kentucky GOP will hold the caucus on March 5 in an effort to keep Paul’s name on the May primary ballot for re-election.
“I think what it reflects is that people see my voice as a unique voice in the U.S. Senate and they want my voice still to be heard nationally,” Paul said when asked whether running for two offices reflects a lack of confidence in his presidential campaign. “While I am an optimist everybody knows there is 10 – 15 other men and women running.”
Paul said his two office strategy is similar to what other politicians seeking the White House have done including — House Speaker Paul Ryan’s 2012 bid for re-election and as Mitt Romney’s running mate.
Flanked by Gov.-elect Matt Bevin, Lt. Gov-elect Jenean Hampton, U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, Agriculture Commissioner-elect Ryan Quarles, and State Auditor-elect Mike Harmon, Paul spoke about the work he’s done in office, and the work left to do.
“I think we still are the party of civil rights, we are still the party of equal opportunity, we are still the party of emancipation,” Paul said. “But now we want to be the party of opportunity, so it is my goal in running for the presidency and running for re-election to talk a lot about our ideas, and how we overcome poverty are different from the other party.”
Paul again pushed his idea of economic freedom zones – essentially lower taxes and fewer regulations in areas of economic-endangerment.
Calling the rate the United States borrows money “out-of-control,” Paul said the debt is one of the main reasons he is running for president. But, he said both Democrats and Republicans are at fault.
“I’m here as a Republican, at Republican headquarters, but I’m not afraid to say ‘look, sometimes Republicans have been part of the problem,’” Paul said. “Why? Because we all have our sacred cows — we want money spent for one reason or another.”
One area Paul is drawing contrast from his Republican presidential primary opponents is on the point of military spending. Calling national defense the number one priority, Paul said that “you can’t have a blank check.”
“We need to put it in perspective. We spend over $600 billion on the military — that is more than the next ten countries combined. … I think we can continue to be a leader in the world. I think we can continue to defend our country,” Paul said.
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