May 11, 2013

Rand Paul ends Iowa tour with breakfast stop, urges GOP to be more inclusive

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul found an appreciate crowd Saturday morning at the North Liberty, Iowa, Community Center, the last stop on his whirlwind Iowa tour.

Paul told fellow Republicans to be inclusive and look beyond primary victories. "You have to be able to present what we stand for in a way to appeal to people who haven’t heard that message," he said.

He noted that "If you’re an evangelist or a pastor you don’t go beating people over the head to get into your’s the same way with a political party."

Paul, a first-term senator, concluded his trip to the state that traditionally holds the nation's first presidential caucus Saturday. Friday, he met with pastors, Republican women and the media, and spoke at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Cedar Rapids.

His 20 minute talk Saturday was wide ranging. One his biggest applause lines: "Not one penny more to countries that are burning our flag."

He segued into a critique of what he termed government waste. Look at the Commerce Department Paul advised. "You wouldn’t notice if you woke up tomorrow and it was gone," he said.

Paul also urged tax reform that cuts taxes, and spoke about his plan for a 17 percent corporate and income tax with few deductions.

If the nation adopted Reagan-era economic policies, he said, 12 to 13 million jobs could be created.

"It is not inherently unfair to pay the same rate. It would stimulate economy," Paul insisted.


April 04, 2013

Rand Paul adds New Hampshire to his May itinerary

Sen. Rand Paul may not be officially running for president, but he's sure going to the right places.

Paul will keynote the New Hampshire Republicans Liberty Dinner May 20, 10 days after he speaks to the Iowa Republicans' Lincoln Day dinner in Cedar Rapids. Iowa traditionally holds the nation's first presidential nominating caucus, and New Hampshire usually follows a few days later with the nation's first primary.

Paul, first elected to represent Kentucky in the U.S. Senate in 2010, will appear with Republican party Chairman Reince Priebus in New Hampshire.

“Senator Rand Paul has been a leader in the fight for smaller government, lower taxes and fiscal responsibility in Washington. He has taken a strong and principled stand against intrusive government and fought to preserve our constitutional liberties and personal freedoms. I am honored that Senator Paul has agreed to address our party and I look forward to welcoming him to the Granite State.” said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn.


March 16, 2013

Rand Paul wins conservatives' straw poll, Rubio second

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., won the CPAC-Washington Times straw poll of potential presidential hopefuls Saturday, signaling fresh momentum as Republicans look to 2016 for a new standard-bearer.

Paul's father, Texas Rep. Ron Paul,  had done well in previous straw polls, but was unable to win the party's presidential nomination.

This year's results of voters at the three-day Conservative Political Action Conference suggested the early frontrunners for the Republican nomination are Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Paul got 25 percen of the vote, while Rubio got 23 percent. Third was 2012 presidential contender Rick Santorum with  8 percent. Next was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was not invited to speak at the conference, at 7 percent, and 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan with 6 percent.

To read more:

August 27, 2012

RNC convention kicks off, no more storm delays expected

The Republican National Convention officially kicked off at 2 p.m. with hundreds of delegates milling about the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa.

Delegates wore red, white and blue hats, Ron Paul buttons and elephants pins and earrings. They watched as Republican chairman Reince Priebus unveiled a debt clock -- the second one -- and prayed for Tropical Storm Isaac victims.

The convention was recessed until Tuesday at which time party officials expect to begin three days of speeches with no further changes.

"We are in full speed planning ahead with our Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday schedule,'' said Russ Schriefer, a senior strategist for the Romney campaign. "Obviously we are monitoring the situation very closely with the weather, with the storm and we are monoitoring several times a day. If any changes occur we will let you guys know right away."

Check out the schedule below: 

Continue reading "RNC convention kicks off, no more storm delays expected" »

August 26, 2012

Paul's backers gather for big rally, urge a look at his foreign policy views

Thousands of Ron Paul supporters gathered in the University of South Florida's Sun Dome Sunday to remind Republicans they are still vocal and strong.

Paul, the Texas congressman, is unlikely to get far at the GOP convention--he has only about 160 of the 2,286 delegates. But Sunday was aimed at giving him a big reminder he has a constituency.

One of the most widely discussed topics was Paul's foreign policy.

“I can’t support anyone who supports a foreign policy that basically hasn’t changed
since World War II,” said Pierce Giboney, a Jacksonville railroad worker, of policies pushed by GOP presidential candidate as well as President Barack Obama.

Paul wants the U.S. to only send troops into conflict with a clear mission and avoid nation-building. He would not have troops go to war unless Congress declares war. At one point, the hall rocked to the song, “War, What is it good for?” by Edwin Starr.

Paul’s views appealed to Marine Cpl. Marcus Dandrea, who lost both his legs in combat. He’s served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recalled how, when he joined the military five years ago at age 17, “you don’t know a lot about politics.”

Now, he said, “I understand a lot more,” and appreciates Paul’s frankness. “Think about the power a president has,” Dandrea said. “He can send troops or bomb another country if he wants to. He should follow the Constitution. It was really meant to keep our nation safe.”

August 25, 2012

Republicans make it official: It's really a 3 day convention

As Tropical Storm Isaac heads for Florida, Republican officials explained in a conference call Saturday evening that the party convention had cancelled its Monday program and is aiming to start its major business Tuesday.

A Tropical Storm Watch was posted for the Tampa Bay area. That means winds of up to 73 miles an hour can be expected within 48 hours. Florida Gov.  Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Saturday throughout Florida, as 50,000 delegates, media and others began pouring into the region.

The convention was supposed to open at 2 P.M. Monday, about the time the storm’s fury is expected to be near its peak.

Instead, the convention will quickly convene and then recess Monday, and try to come back Tuesday, though Isaac’s rain and winds could still pose problems.

A new schedule is likely to be announced Sunday, and the roll call of the states to nominate Mitt
Romney for president and Paul Ryan for vice president is expected to occur Tuesday afternoon.

After that, “We’re hoping we’ll be able to get as many of the speakers we’ve been announcing over the last several days packed into three days instead of four,” said Republican
Party Chairman Reince Priebus.

The main Monday attraction, a speech by Mitt Romney’s wife Ann, had already been moved to
Tuesday night so that broadcast networks would televise it. Those networks had scheduled no coverage Monday. Other Monday speakers were to include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Convention officials said Saturday that alternative housing for delegates was being considered, as
well as different transportation arrangements. Many delegates are staying near
beaches, and many have to cross low-lying bridges to reach the Tampa Bay Times
Forum, the convention site in downtown Tampa.

Officials were confident the convention would proceed later in the week. “We are operationally ready to run this convention in every respect,” said William Harris, convention president and chief executive officer.

July 30, 2012

Romney in Gdansk: Big crowds, but support for Ron Paul, Obama

Mitt Romney got a welcome sight, and a not so welcome sight, as he entered Gdansk, the Poland city where the Solidarity movement helped lead the nation to freedom from Soviet domiation.

According to media pool reports, he found big crowds--though some were apparently there for an arts festival.

But he also was greeted by a huge banner saying, "Polish Choice-R.Paul," a reference to his Republican presidential primary rival Ron Paul. And some in the crowd were chanting "O-bam-a"

May 15, 2012

Ron Paul campaign looks ahead, hopes for influence at convention

Ron Paul's presidential campaign is not over, his chief strategist said in a memo Tuesday. But he's also conceding that Mitt Romney will be the Republican presidential nominee.

"Dr. Paul is NOT ending his campaign," wrote Jesse Benton to the Texas Republican congressman's supporters, and is "in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention...."

Paul is the last major Republican to effectively end his nomination bid. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum dropped out previously.

The Paul campaign said it will no longer "invest" in upcoming primary states, but will "continue to run strong programs" at local GOP conventions. It hopes to win several more states, move into local leadership positions and head to the convention with "a solid group of delgates."

But, Benton said, "unfortunately, barring something very unforeseen, our delegate total will not be strong enough to win the nomination." 1,144 delegates are needed to nomiination, and Romney is close.

Benton noted that delegates can still hope to have influence on party rules and the party's future.

"Our campaign is presently working to get several items up for consideration," he said, "including monetary policy reform, prohibitions on indefinite detention and Internet freedom."

May 02, 2012

Romney, Paul praise Gingrich's spirit

Newt Gingrich's presidential rivals praised the former House Speaker Wednesday after he suspended his campaign, recalling his spirit and his energy.

“Newt Gingrich has brought creativity and intellectual vitality to American political life. During the course of this campaign," said presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in a statement. Gingrich did not formally endorse Romney Wednesday, but is expected to do so soon.

Romney had praise for Gingrich. "Newt demonstrated both eloquence and fearlessness in advancing conservative ideas," Romney said. "Although he long ago created an enduring place for himself in American history, I am confident that he will continue to make important contributions to our party and to the life of the nation. Ann and I are proud to call Newt and Callista friends and we look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead as we fight to restore America’s promise.”

Texas Rep. Ron Paul also had kind words.

"As he exits the race for the Republican nomination, I'd like to acknowledge my former colleague in the House Newt Gingrich for running a spirited campaign," said Paul, who remains in the GOP race.


"In particular, I want to thank the former Speaker for echoing my calls for monetary policy reform including a full audit of the Federal Reserve, steps that will bring America closer to lasting economic prosperity for middle-class Americans who bear the brunt of the dangerous and unjust inflation tax."

April 24, 2012

Romney easily wins five primaries; Santorum lags far behind in Pa.

Rick Santorum proved to be no threat to Mitt Romney in Tuesday's Republican presidential primary.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, Romney had 57 percent to 19 percent for Santorum, who represented the state in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007.

Romney swept all five primaries Tuesday and was expected to get more than 200 Republican National Convention delegates. He began the day with 698, according to the Associated Press. 1,144 are needed for nomination.

Santorum left the race two weeks ago. Still running are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose best showing was a distant second in Delaware, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Paul's best result came in Rhode Island, where he got 24 percent.

But Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, topped 56 percent in all five states.


"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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