Yesterday, August 10, 2015, Republican Party presidential candidate and Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul wrote an op-ed piece for IJ Review. In it, Paul takes down opponent Donald Trump for his liberal past and his inconsistent rhetoric during his brief run for president. Trump wasted little time responding, issuing on Twitter, “Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. He was terrible at DEBATE!” Paul and Trump, along with a long list of others, are seeking the Republican Party’s presidential nomination for the 2016 election. Whoever wins the Republican Party’s nomination will face the Democratic Party and Libertarian Party’s presidential nominees in the November 2016 general election.
Paul’s main complaint about Trump is that he feels Trump does not operate by a set of principles; however, he operates on what is most politically expedient or what will profit him the most. Paul also has called into question Trump’s conservative credentials. Paul writes, “I honestly have no idea what Mr. Trump’s real philosophy is. He was liberal before he was conservative, and has openly professed for decades that his views are those of a Democrat.”
Paul speaks to Trump’s crony-capitalistic method to advance his own wealth by donating to whoever is in power to gain favor of those politicians. Regarding the buying of politicians, Trump recently said, “I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them, and they are there for me.” This sounds like quid pro quo to most people, which is illegal, but we have not heard there are any investigations into his comments underway.
Shortly after his op-ed was published, Paul held a teleconference call with reporters where he said, “The despicable nature of selling access is equal whether you’re selling it or buying it.” Speaking of Trump, Paul added, “The truth-telling is bluster, the truth-telling is non-sequitur, it’s self-aggrandizement. Are we going to fix the country simply through bombast and empty blather?”
Although there have been some rumblings that Trump is beginning to lose some of his supporters due to his unapologetic lambasting of nearly everyone in sight, his poll numbers do not show it. Even after receiving much flack for what he has said about women and specifically Meghan Kelly, Trump is still commanding the lead over fellow Republicans. In a poll released yesterday, Iowa Republicans give Trump 19 percent of the vote while Scott Walker and Jeb Bush are a statistical tie for a distant second place. In that same poll, Paul was at a meager 3 percent alongside John Kasich.
One thing that has been clear about the phenomenon of Trump’s recent political success (outside of extensive media coverage) is his no-holds-barred speeches. When supporters are asked why they support Trump, the issues are rarely mentioned. Instead, it is about how he talks which has most enthralled with his campaign for president. Paul stated in his op-ed, “Voters are hungry for a plain-spoken critique of Washington. But I’m unsure how credible that voice is when it comes from the consummate insider, a man who buys and sells politicians like he does Lamborghinis.” The media attention the mainstream media has bestowed upon Trump doesn’t hurt either. It has been suggested that if Kim Kardashian entered the race she may top Trump in the polls because the media would be falling all over her. With the more media mentioning a candidate’s name, the better than candidate’s chances of winning an election.
Paul ended his op-ed stating:
“I will stand up to anyone, Republican or Democrat, who tries to use government as their own personal piggy bank and I won’t be bought or sold.
I will run this race on issues important to the American people. Unlike Trump, I have serious, specific proposals for the largest tax cut in American history and a five-year balanced budget. I offer real solutions to defeat the Washington Machine like ending corporate welfare, term limits and forcing Congress to read the bills.
We owe the American people substantive answers like that, not bluster and bombast. I plan to stand up to anyone who doesn’t have the temperament or ideas to be President. Maybe it’s time for the GOP voters to tell Mr. Trump he’s fired so we can find a serious candidate who will bring real change.”