Hours after Senator Ted Cruz formally announced that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for President in 2016 at Liberty Univeristy in Lynchburg, VA, Senator Rand Paul who is also a likely candidate went on Fox News’ The Kelly File to discuss the race.
The main focus of Senator Paul’s interview is the importance of winnability. While he openly admits that he and Sen. Cruz agree on most issues, they have a “different approach” to growing the Republican party which Paul believes will be a big factor in 2016. For the past two years, Sen. Paul has spent a large amount of time focusing on uniting the GOP and reaching out to groups that are typically ignored by Republicans.
“…I’m able to take the message of liberty and of the Bill of Rights, and take it to Howard University, to the Urban League, the NAACP, to Ferguson, to Berkley, and try to bring new people into the party,” Paul explained.
The Kentucky Senator believes that his focus on minority outreach and growing the GOP will help him gain the support of Independents if he does in fact decide to run for President. Paul emphasized the need for candidates to be “intellectually enticing” rather than simply regurgitating the same old talking points by “throwing out red meat”– arguably a jab at Cruz.
It appears Rand’s outreach efforts are working. Senator Paul cited a recent nationwide poll by CNN in which the Kentucky Senator is tied for first place with fellow GOP favorites Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. Just last month, Sen. Paul won the CPAC Presidential Straw Poll for the third year in a row, and as Paul mentions, he is the only candidate beating or close to beating Hillary Clinton in the polls.
As Megyn Kelly pointed out in the interview, Sen. Paul has a major announcement schedule in his home state of Kentucky for Tuesday, April 7th which is a mere two weeks away. Although Paul played coy when directly asked “Why weren’t you the first to announce?” by Kelly, he admitted that he is “close to a decision.” Whatever direction he takes, we’ll find out April 7th.
Follow Julia Porterfield on Twitter at @JK_Porterfield.