President 2016: WINK News in-depth with Sen. Rand Paul
FORT MYERS, Fla.- A possible candidate for President is making bold moves. Senator Rand Paul, R-KY, wants to win over conservative voters in Southwest Florida, despite its consideration by many to be home turf to former Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio.
Senator Paul finds himself in an interesting position balancing his loyalty to Libertarian-leaning Republicans and attracting traditional conservatives.
While speaking with Republicans in Naples Saturday, Paul touted himself as a “different kind of Republican.”
“I think it’s important that we are boldly for what we are for. I think we need somebody who actually believes as Reagan did in peace through strength, but someone who also believes that the federal government needs to be smaller,” said Paul.
Paul tells WINK News, he wants to separate himself from the rest of the possible presidential nominees, but admits he hasn’t decided if he’ll run.
Senator Paul is against the standards championed by Jeb Bush.
“We want that power to go back to the states and the localities, so we’re opposed to common core. We’re opposed to a national curriculum, and I think that will differentiate some of the candidates,” said Paul.
Senator Paul says he has his own plan to combat ISIS. He introduced a measure in December which would declare war on ISIS and allow limited use of ground forces in special cases.
“I do think though that the boots on the ground that will be necessary should be Arab boots on the ground,” said Paul.
“There needs to be 10,000 Saudi Arabians at the front of every Battalion. Saudi Arabians, people who live there need to fight.”
On likely democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Senator Paul says she’s vulnerable on foreign policy.
“I think that her war in Libya has turned out to be a disaster for our country. Frankly, I think she bears responsibility for not providing adequate defense for the ambassador.”
Whether or not Senator Paul can beat her is something he says he’s still testing.
“I don’t want to do it just on a lark. I want to do it because we really think that the message is such that we could win.”
Recent polls by Quinnipiac University show Sen. Paul in a statistical tie with likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in both Colorado and Virginia.
Paul says he will make a decision this Spring. The New York Times reports an announcement is scheduled for April 7th in Paul’s home state of Kentucky.