Earlier today, May 27, 2015, Republican Senator Rand Paul sat down with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss his recent “filibuster” of the Patriot Act and his presidential campaign for the 2016 Republican Party’s presidential primary. Paul is now facing these candidates for the Republican primary: Skip Andrews, Michael Brickelmeyer, Kerry Bowers, Dr. Ben Carson, Dale Christensen, Ted Cruz, John Dummett, Jr., Mark Emerson, Carly Fiorina, Chris Hill, Mike Huckleberry, Michael Kinlaw, Michael Petyo, Marco Rubio, Brian Russell and Rick Santorum.
During the interview, Paul said, “I have to present the message the way I think it’s best to present the message, and there are some differences in the presentation.” Paul was talking about the differences between his father, Ron Paul, who spent multiple terms in Congress and also ran for President of the United States, with a large surge of support. He went on to say, “But I found things that really, really need to be addressed, it just happens to be the time to address them.”
Rand Paul stood up on the Senate floor last week offering a long speech about why sections of the Patriot Act should sunset on June 1, 2015 as he feels it is a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of American’s privacy. There was some quibbling over whether it was a speech or an actual filibuster; regardless, Paul was successful in getting his message out to the public. It even reached the liberal viewers of the Jon Stewart Daily Show.
Paul has also been courting black voters by denouncing America’s War on Drugs and how this 40-year war has been discriminatory against blacks. He said during the interview, “People are angry about being rounded up and incarcerated for nonviolent things — the War on Drugs.”
Speaking about the Republican Party in general, Paul said, “The only way we become a dominant party, win national again, is we have to become more diverse, we have to get more African-American vote, more Hispanic vote. So, if you ask young people, under 40 let’s say, do you think government should collect all your phone records with a single warrant that says Verizon on it, 83 percent of them say ‘NO’. I’m the only one out there saying the Patriot Act went too far; that the bulk collection of our records went too far.”
Paul is working to bring the Republican Party to be more libertarian-leaning. Paul is not a Libertarian and should not be confused with whoever end up being the Libertarian Party presidential nominee. Paul’s main challenge in this vein is stopping the false narrative put out by Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham, that Paul is an isolationist. Paul is the opposite of an isolationist, Graham and McCain often purposefully distort and interchange the words isolationist and interventionist. Graham and McCain are interventionists quickly desiring to go to war on the slightest provocation while Paul is interested in formalizing trade with other nations rather than standing in the way of trade as many in the Republican Party seem to prefer.
Whereas, most Libertarians supported Paul’s recent “filibuster” it may not be enough to sway them away from the Libertarian Party. Recently, Paul called for adding billions of dollars more to the military budget while Libertarians would like to see a dramatic reduction in all federal programs. He lost many Libertarians when he endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for president in 2012, even though Romney was the farthest one could imagine to having libertarian leanings. Paul’s signing of Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran supported additional sanctions against the country lost him even more Libertarian support.