Republican Senator Rand Paul announced on April 7 he would run for president in 2016.
“I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government,” Paul said in a statement on his website. He also announced it at a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, which will be followed by stops in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada.
Paul is the second declared candidate for the GOP nomination — joining Sen. Ted Cruz, who recently announced his bid for the Oval Office. Paul, a Kentucky native and the son of three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul, has made a name for himself in the political world as a nontraditional Republican — bringing a unique brand of libertarianism to Washington in 2010. Paul’s views range from completely opposite from his Republican colleagues to right in line with traditional GOP policy.
Just two months ago, he alarmed Republicans, and supporters of his father, after making a statement on foreign policy while speaking in Iowa. “I can tell you there will be one loud voice in our party saying, think of the unintended consequence,” he said. “Think about what we're going to accomplish and whether it will work before we go to war. I promise you that will always be something I take very, very seriously."
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Paul’s cautious approach to foreign policy garnered criticism from fellow Republicans who feared that as commander in chief, he wouldn’t go far enough in taking action overseas when necessary. Democrats have also criticized Paul for pandering to donors and flip-flopping on certain issues.
The 52-year-old senator and Cruz will likely be joined in the months ahead by other powerhouse Republicans eying the presidency, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio is expected to announce his candidacy next week.
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