Rand Paul: Six things to know about the Republican presidential candidate

Rand Paul announced Tuesday that he is running for president in 2016

Payton Guion
Tuesday 07 April 2015 16:21
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Rand Paul on Tuesday became the second person to throw his name into the 2016 US presidential race, following fellow Republican Ted Cruz, who announced his intentions last month.

Mr Paul will excite a certain portion of the Republican voting base, but questions already have arisen about his ability to gain mainstream support within the party.

With several Republicans and at least a few Democrats also expected to enter the race, here are six things that set Mr Paul apart from other potential candidates.

You may know about his father, but Rand is not Ron

Rand’s father, Ron Paul, is the famous libertarian who ran for president in 2008 and 2012, gathering support on college campuses and in the far right wing of the conservative party. And while Rand also is libertarian, he has tried to distance himself a bit from his father’s politics.

The elder Paul has been vocal that the US should not have intervened in the Russian annexation of Crimea, while Rand was among those who voiced opposition of the annexation, Politico reported, also saying that Rand is willing to compromise where his father is not.

Yes, that was his filibuster

Mr Paul came to the attention to many during his 13-hour filibuster against President Barack Obama’s drone program and the nomination of John Brennan as the director of the CIA.

He’s not exactly anti-interventionist

While Mr Paul tends to err of the side of staying out of conflicts he sees no reason for which the US to be involved, he has shown that he’s willing to intervene in special circumstances. Last year he called for the US to destroy Isis.

But he does want to control military spending

The following quote sums up Mr Paul’s view on military spending:

“I believe national defence is the most important thing we do, but it isn't a blank check,” he said last year. “Some conservatives think, 'Oh, give them whatever they want and that everything is for our soldiers' and they play up this patriotism that, 'Oh, we don't have to control defence spending’.

”We can't be a trillion dollars in the hole every year.”

He supports the flat tax

Mr Paul has said that he is in favour of a flat-tax policy if he is elected president. The flat tax is seen as a way to simplify the tax code, charging a uniform tax for all income levels and businesses.

He does not have an undergraduate degree

This is not to say Mr Paul is uneducated. He actually is quite intelligent. Mr Paul got his medical degree from Duke University after high MCAT scores meant he did not have to get his undergraduate degree from Baylor University, according to the Washington Post. Duke no longer has this policy.

Follow @PaytonGuion on Twitter.

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