Tag Archives: 2016

Sanders Surges Past Clinton In Iowa For First Time

IOWA, September 11, 2015– The latest polling out of Iowa spells bad news for Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton as U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) continues to surge and now leads in the crucial early state for the first time.

Released on Thursday, a Quinnipiac Poll shows Sanders taking 41 percent compared with Clinton’s 40 percent — and another 12 percent said they would support Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to declare his 2016 intentions. Meanwhile, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley picked up 3 percent, while no other candidate registered above that mark, and 3 percent were undecided. Sanders’ slight edge is within the polls margin of error.

This compares to the results of a July 2 survey by the independent Quinnipiac Poll that had shown Clinton at 52 percent, with 33 percent for Sanders and 7 percent for Biden.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 27-Sept. 8, surveying 832 likely Democratic caucus participants in Iowa by landlines and cellphones, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

The release of the poll comes on the heels of another poll showing Sanders strengthening his lead over Clinton in New Hampshire.

In an NBC/Marist poll published on September 5, 2015, Sanders jumped to a 9 point lead over Clinton, which was well outside of the poll’s 5.2 percent margin of error. While Sanders received 41 percent, Clinton took 32 percent and Biden took 16 percent. No other candidate registered more than 1 percent support.

Sanders first topped Clinton in New Hampshire during the first week of August.

According to the Real Clear Politics average, nationally, Clinton wins 46 percent, Sanders captures 23 percent, Biden takes 20 percent, and O’Malley and Webb both secure approximately 2 percent.

For more election coverage, click here.

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Latest Poll: Sanders Gains Strongest Lead Yet On Clinton In New Hampshire

NEW HAMPSHIRE, September 6, 2015– Democratic Socialist and United States Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has jumped to his strongest lead yet over Hillary Clinton in the key early state of New Hampshire for the 2016 Democratic nominee.

In an NBC/Marist poll published on September 5, 2015, Sanders jumped to a 9 point lead over Clinton, which is well outside of the poll’s 5.2 percent margin of error. While Sanders received 41 percent, Clinton took 32 percent and Biden, who has been exploring a run, took 16 percent. No other candidate registered more than 1 percent support.

Sanders first topped Clinton in New Hampshire during the first week of August.

When pollsters first began polling the 2016 race in New Hampshire, Clinton enjoyed support from about 64 percent of those polled. Since then, she has lost approximately half of her support.

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Bush Releases Attack Ad Exposing Trump’s Liberal Positions

WASHINGTON, September 1, 2015– Reality TV star and billionaire Donald Trump has been taking shots at former Florida Governor Jeb Bush on the social media app Instagram. Now, as he suffers in the polls, the embattled establishment pick is firing back.

On Monday, Trump posted the below clip which was intended to display Bush’s weak stance on illegal immigration:

This is no "act of love" as Jeb Bush said…

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

No less than 24 hours later, the Bush campaign slammed Trump with a video ad released this morning.

The Bush ad, titled “The Real Donald Trump”, called Trump out on every issue he has flip-flopped on since deciding to run for the White House as a Republican. Leaving no stone left unturned, Bush hit Trump on his support of abortion, socialized healthcare, Hillary Clinton, more taxes, etc.

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Bernie Packs The House: Draws Crowd of 7,500 in Town of 66,000 Residents

We told you weeks ago that Senator Bernie Sanders is the untold story of the Democratic Primary race.  While media has treated Hillary Clinton as the presumptive Democratic nominee, Sanders has been building a massive groundswell of support from grassroots Democratic supporters.

Sanders, is doing more than creating a buzz, he is filling stadiums across the northeast and is becoming the face of the anti-establishment movement.  So why is Sanders support growing, despite a media—including print, broadcast, cable and internet—that is so Clinton-centric? The answer may be pretty simple. Senator Sanders isn’t building his campaign based on Clinton’s weaknesses. Instead, he is focusing on issues that millions of Americans—many in the Democratic Party—are concerned over.

Take for instance his latest event in Portland, Maine Monday night.

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Sanders packed a stadium with 7,500 attendees for a massive rally.  What is more surprising is that Portland, Maine is a city of only 66,000 people.  That of course means more than 10% of the city’s population came out to hear Sanders speak.

In his speech, Sanders pledged to address gaps in wealth and income inequality that are greater than at any time since the Great Depression. The big turnouts, he said, are sending a powerful message that Americans are tired of a system rigged to help the rich and powerful instead of working families.

“It is not acceptable that a handful of billionaires is now controlling our political process and the time is long overdue for the corporate media to start talking about the real issues,” Sanders said. “People are becoming involved in this campaign because they want change – real change – and that is what this campaign is about.”

This turn-out in Portland is one stop in what is a growing number of massive rallies.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.06.36 PMFor instance, a 10,000-seat arena in Madison, Wisconsin, was filled to capacity last Wednesday when more people turned out than for any presidential candidate anywhere so far this campaign.

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On the Friday night before the Fourth of July, more than 2,500 showed up at a convention center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the biggest Iowa audience for any candidate to date.

Rand Paul Unveils Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Transparency Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, [presidential candidate] U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), U.S. Representatives Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and former U.S. Senator Bob Graham (D-Fl.) stood today with family members of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to announce new bipartisan legislation, S.1471, known as the Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act of 2015.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), would require President Obama to declassify and make available to the public the redacted 28 pages from the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001, which have been obscured from the public for more than 13 years. Also participating in the press conference was Terry Strada, National Chair of the 9/11 Families and Survivors United For Justice Against Terrorism, her daughter Kaitlyn Strada, and Abraham Scott, husband of a victim of the 9/11 attacks.

I stand with my colleagues today to call for the release of the final 28 pages of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry. I firmly believe the family members of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have the right to know the details surrounding the tragedies that occurred on that sad day. The American people deserve a government that instills trust and a restoration of their sense of security, and I believe that the Transparency for the Families of the 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act is a step in the right direction,” Senator Paul said.

I introduced H. Res. 14 to urge President Obama to declassify the 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry report into 9/11 because the 9/11 families deserve peace and the American people deserve the truth,” said Representative Jones.  “Releasing these pages will enhance our national security, not harm it. I am pleased that Senator Paul, Senator Wyden, and Senator Gillibrand have introduced companion legislation in the Senate. I look forward to the day when the 28 pages are declassified, and I will not stop fighting until that happens. The American people deserve to know what led to the tragic attacks on September 11, 2001.

The 9/11 report was meant to shed light on the circumstances that led to that horrific day, and a lack of transparency undermines that intent at the expense of victims, their families and Americans. The declassification of these pages is long-overdue, and I am hopeful my colleagues in both the Senate and House will join in our fight for the transparency Americans deserve,” said Senator Gillibrand.

If the FBI wants to say publicly that they have investigated all of the leads identified in this report, they are free to do so,” Senator Wyden said. “But that doesn’t justify blacking out an entire section of the report. Information should only be classified to protect national security, not simply because it is inconvenient or dated.

Our nation suffered a tremendous loss on September 11th, 2001. The victims of the terrorist attacks, their families and our country as a whole deserve a full accounting of the circumstances surrounding those attacks. After careful review of the 28 pages, I believe the full bicameral, bipartisan congressional report should be made public. This will be an important step toward answering some of the questions that remain,” said Representative Lynch. “It may have been a matter of national security to classify these pages in 2002, but it is a now a matter of justice and responsible governance to make them public in 2015.”

If avoiding another 9/11 is going to be the justification for involving us in more wars in the Middle East, then the American people need a complete picture of what enabled 9/11. The declassification of these 28 pages will reshape our foreign policy in the Middle East. Based on my reading of the documents, I am confident that making these 28 pages public would enhance, not harm, national security. I look forward to continue this effort with Senator Paul, Representative Jones, and Representative Lynch and urge my colleagues to read the pages and cosponsor H. Res. 14 in the House and S. 1471 in the Senate,” Representative Massie said.

Click HERE for the Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act of 2015 in its entirety.

NC’s Walter Jones Endorses Rand Paul For President

North Carolina Representative Walter Jones announced that he is endorsing Kentucky Senator Rand Paul for President.

Appearing on NewsmaxTV, Jones said, “”He’s not talked to me and he doesn’t know it, but if he wants me, I’ll be out there pushing for him because I like his policy — not just on foreign policy, but how he thinks America should come back to its greatness.”

Jones explained that Rand Paul could help change the face of the Republican Party, which is largely becoming the party of war.

He added that the Afghanistan war is a waste of money that is have detrimental effects at home and abroad.

“”We’ve worn out our military, we’re trying to police the world. It makes no sense, and that’s just one reason, but not the only reason, why I like Sen. Rand Paul.”

Jones has long supported the release of the censored 28-page 9/11 report that could prove the Saudi Arabia had a hand in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Rand Paul, according to Jones, has liberals scared: “”The liberals understand that a Rand Paul would be the type of person that could defeat Hillary Clinton, and the liberals are trying to tear him down right now as much as they can. Paul brings to the debate a different look at the future of America.”

BenSwann.com’s Joshua Cook interviewed Congressman Jones about the 28 classified pages in the 9/11 report.

Rep. Jones encouraged Sen. Rand Paul to offer up a companion resolution for H. Res. 428 and encouraged Paul to make releasing the 28-pages a campaign promise if he decides to run for President in 2016.

Listen to Joshua Cook’s entire interview with Congressman Walter Jones below:

RLC Chairman Discusses Rand Paul, Liberty

On Tuesday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced his candidacy for president. On that same day, the attack ads began.

A particularly deplorable ad ran in several battleground states from Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America. The spot ends with a mushroom cloud and this message: “Rand Paul is wrong, and dangerous. Tell him stop siding with Obama, because even one Iranian bomb would be a disaster.”

According to the national chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, Matt Nye, the ad is good news.

“From a political perspective, it’s really good news, because for them to go after Rand on the very first day that he announces with a campaign like that, it just goes to show that they’re very concerned about his candidacy,” he explained in an exclusive interview with BenSwann.com’s Joshua Cook.

“Obviously, the ad is pretty ugly. The takeaway though is he is clearly being perceived as a threat by the establishment, and they’re going to stop at nothing to take him out,” he said.

Nye said that it’s an exciting time to be part of the liberty movement. He cites the rise in grassroots activism and growth within the Republican Liberty Caucus, as well.

“You’ve got all of these different grassroots organizations that have really only come into existence in the last 6 to 7 years,” he said.

Nye explained that there is a wave of excitement and interest within the liberty movement, and that should be encouraging.

“Part of my words of encouragement to people who are getting discouraged and are ready to give up is that Washington, D.C. is the ultimate lagging indicator,” he said. “That’s the very, very, very last thing that’s going to change in terms of the political discourse of this country and the candidates that we get elected.”

He said that liberty lovers should be excited for the opportunity to pick between Texas Senator Ted Cruz, another candidate for president, and Rand Paul.

“When was the last time we actually had two good candidates that you had to think about,” he said.

According to Nye, Rand Paul has a leg up on Cruz.

“Rand Paul has been laying the groundwork for this for quite some time,” he said. Paul has been doing outreach to groups Republicans usually don’t, and that has helped his candidacy.

Click here to listen to Joshua Cook’s entire interview with Matt Nye where he talks more about Rand Paul and the presidential election.

 

VIDEO: Rand Paul’s 2016 Presidential Campaign Officially Begins with Speech at KY Rally

“I have a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: we have come to take our country back,” said Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday while speaking at a rally to launch his 2016 presidential campaign. The line was an allusion to a speech he gave in Bowling Green, KY five years earlier, moments after he won the Republican nomination in the 2010 Kentucky senate race.

“Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I’m putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America,” announced Paul at Tuesday’s speech, seen in the above-embedded video player. According to CNN, the senator was joined by KY State Senator Ralph Alvarado, pastor and ex-Democrat Jerry Stephenson, University of Kentucky student Lauren Bosler, and former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts, all of whom spoke on Paul’s behalf.

Stephenson, who is African-American, said, “He goes everywhere. It doesn’t matter what color you are. Rand Paul will be there.”

Paul blamed special interest groups and both major political parties for the country’s woes as he laid out his vision for America, which includes reforms such as terms limits for Congress, a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced federal budget, and a requirement that members of Congress read bills before voting on them.

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are the only candidates so far to officially launch runs for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. Senator Cruz said of Paul’s announcement, “His entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition.”

Fox News notes that Paul’s family was in attendance at Tuesday’s rally, including his father, former Congressman Ron Paul, who ran for president in 1988, 2008, and 2012. Rand Paul’s wife Kelley also spoke at the event.

While Paul made his announcement, a neoconservative group called The Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America simultaneously readied a TV commercial against him, bolstered by a seven-figure ad buy funded by anonymous donors, which implies that a Rand Paul presidency would result in a nuclear attack by Iran. The Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America was started by a campaign operative who previously worked for US Senator Lindsey Graham.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz commented on Paul’s announcement and said, “Rand Paul says he wants to unleash the American Dream, but the only thing a Paul presidential candidacy unleashes is a massive lurch backwards to failed policies and narrow-minded extremism.”

“This message of liberty is for all Americans,” said Rand Paul as he outlined his plan to “defeat the Washington machine” and “unleash the American dream.” Paul will begin campaigning immediately with upcoming stops in Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

Students Seen Wearing “Stand with Rand” Shirts in TV Footage of Ted Cruz Campaign Kickoff

Following Senator Ted Cruz’ recent announcement that he is running for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, the 2016 presidential race is officially underway. Though Cruz is the first major candidate to formally announce his candidacy, US Senator Rand Paul is also expected to launch a campaign for president in the near future.

At Cruz’ speech on Monday at Liberty University, he declared his candidacy and said, “I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America and that is why, today, I am announcing that I’m running for president of the United States.” However, Business Insider notes that the photo op sent mixed signals, as many students seen in the background of the above-embedded ABC News broadcast of Cruz’ announcement were wearing bright red “Stand with Rand” T-shirts, signaling their support for Cruz’ likely GOP primary opponent US Senator Rand Paul.

Reason pointed out the fact that Liberty University students were required to attend the speech or face punishment, causing supporters of Senator Paul to wear the shirts in protest.

The shirts were first noticed by The Washington Post‘s Robert Costa who tweeted an image of Cruz surrounded by Paul supporters.

Culture jamming” was a tactic widely used by supporters of Rand Paul’s father Ron Paul during the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns in an effort to get the word out despite what was widely perceived as a mainstream media blackout of the libertarian-leaning ex-Congressman’s views. Paul’s supporters were often seen in the backgrounds of TV appearances of other candidates carrying campaign signs or wearing campaign apparel.

Update: Rand Paul’s Filing For Presidency A Hoax?

Update #2, March 19th, 7:15 p.m. Eastern: The Washington Examiner’s updated report has removed Paul’s office’s statement suggesting that the FEC page was a hoax, and now states that the FEC page is a “common bureaucratic procedure”: “The mix-up appears to have occurred from a common bureaucratic procedure. In 2013, the Human Actions super PAC had reported independent expenditures supporting Paul for President. Since the FEC can’t link transactions to a candidate that doesn’t exist, the agency set up an ID page that seemed to note Paul was filing to be president. The FEC has done this before, but it has never caused such confusion, the spokesperson told the Examiner. The page was not readily available on the FEC’s website and the agency doesn’t know how the ID page was discovered.”

Update #1, March 19th, 2:40 p.m. Eastern: There have been conflicting statements regarding this filing, which had been reported by BenSwann.com as well as the Washington Examiner and Mediaite. Paul’s office told the Washington Examiner that he “hasn’t filed anything and the page appears to be a hoax,” while an FEC spokesman told CNBC that the circulated filing is an “old ID page created in 2013 after a Super PAC filed an independent report saying was supporting Paul for a 2016 bid.”

Original post:

United States Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has filed with the Federal Election Commission as a presidential candidate:

rand-paul-files

Reuters had reported on Wednesday that Paul would announce his candidacy on April 7th, according to an unnamed source close to Paul.

Paul’s office was unable to be reached for comment on the filing. This would make Sen. Rand Paul the first candidate on either the Republican or Democratic side to file for the Presidency.

CPAC Straw Poll Winner Rand Paul Battles The Bush Machine—Goldwater Style

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2015—As the winner of the past three Conservative Political Action Committee’s (CPAC) Straw Polls, Senator Rand Paul excels at generating meaningful political and economic discussions among college students and young professionals. The same generation that is known for speaking in bewildering acronyms continues to gather in force to ask and to answer difficult questions that are essential to the life and liberty of all Americans. Their answers will ultimately determine the future of the nation.

The Senator’s most recent economic stand will endear him to anyone who has ever interfaced with the Internal Revenue Service. He promised to introduce the largest tax cut in American history. In his speech to attendees of CPAC, he mentioned that he is poised to propose a tax plan “that would get the IRS out of our lives.” He indicated his intention to cut taxes “for everyone from the richest to the poorest.”

“It’s time for a new way predicated on opportunity and freedom!” said Paul to a wildly supportive crowd. The Senator attacked America’s indiscriminate foreign aid policies, especially the large sums of money sent without the permission of taxpayers to countries that consider The United States an enemy. “Not one penny more to these haters of America!” said Paul.

His speech had the tenor of a well-run, focused campaign and was eerily similar to comments made by Senator Barry Goldwater exactly 50 years ago on the campaign trail leading up to his landmark GOP presidential nomination. “You cannot stop a man who has vowed to bury you by handing him a shovel,” said Goldwater, “By feeding and clothing his friends, while denying your friends the means to help protect you!” Goldwater believed that removing foreign aid would ultimately prevent wars.

Several members of the Young Jewish Conservatives attending CPAC this year specifically mentioned the foreign aid issue as a driving force behind their support for Rand Paul for president. Paul’s straight talk appeals to countless concerned Americans who are fed up with politics as usual, feel betrayed by the Party Machine, and fear that the United States is on an irreversible course similar to that of the Titanic—or Greece.

Two weeks prior to CPAC, the Students for Liberty (SFL) held its national conference in Washington, D.C. More than 1,700 students from across the world attended. The group was largely inspired by the ideas presented to them by Senator Paul’s father, Congressman Ron Paul. Now it is the fastest-growing political group on college campuses globally, and is surpassing both the College Democrats and College Republicans groups on American campuses.

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) is another group inspired by the Paul family’s articulation of limited government principles. Many YAL members were active in the GOP for years before they understood the liberty message, realized how well it resonates, and committed to passionately fight to preserve it. The large presence of both SFL and YAL at CPAC is telling, and has seemingly eliminated the establishment hostilities doled out to them by fellow attendees when they were the minority at previous conferences. The young libertarians gladly swap testimonies of political enlightenment with a fervor nostalgic of a tent revival meeting. They are also getting elected to offices across the land, a clear sign that they are not going away anytime soon.

Freedom is popular, it seems, and the Bill of Rights is back en vogue with a new generation of American rebels. This energy threatens to change the go-along-to-get-along, aging Republican establishment, which is why the party profiteers are so quick to strike back at the resurgence of old school conservatism.

The same Rockefeller Republicans who sandbagged Goldwater after he won the GOP nomination from the floor are currently working financial and legal channels on behalf of Jeb Bush. The 2016 Republican nomination is seemingly fixed for the top fundraiser and his delegate-donors, a complete violation of the nominating process. Sources say Jeb Bush bussed hundreds of people to CPAC from their Washington offices just to fill seats during his speech and to presumably raise his standing in the straw poll. This effort did not succeed in preventing him from being handily booed every time his name was mentioned, including while he addressed the attendees who remained after a protest/walkout. His temporary seat-filling strategy was met with disdain by attendees who saved and spent their own money to attend the duration of the event and cast their ballots.

One of Paul’s leading critics is fellow Senator and former GOP nominee John McCain, a man who praises Goldwater with his lips while shunning everything he stood for by his actions.  Just two years ago, the 80-year-old McCain called Senators Paul and Cruz, as well as Congressman Justin Amash, “wacko birds.” He called their supporters, the Under 40 crowd that supports Paul’s limited government principles, “impressionable libertarian kids.”

Yet, the vibrant, liberty-leaning younger crowd that has wrestled its way into the GOP is the only fresh blood coursing through the Party’s very old veins. Perhaps the current Republican Party leadership is not the right body from which to expect kind words of “big tent” gratitude. The crowds who now stand with Rand don’t seem to care. Their vision is clear, and they know they will eventually outlive the generation that got the country into this mess in the first place. They seem to be ready to get to work.

South Carolina Tea Party Convention Fires Up Base

Follow me on Twitter at @RealJoshuaCook for live coverage.

 

For the first time ever, the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention is sold out,  and attendees are getting fired up for 2016, with speeches from potential Presidential candidates.

The group told Breitbart news that they’ve been overwhelmed by an unexpectedly high level of interest among activists statewide.

The event, which is taking place at a resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C., includes overflow areas that will show videos of the speeches since the main ballroom only holds 700 people.

An estimated crowd of about 1,100 to 1,200 will hear speeches from Texas Senator and Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz.

Other speakers include real estate magnate Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Other speakers include Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Tom Rice (R-SC), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) and Cruz’s father Rafael Cruz and other Conservative leaders.

In previous years, the convention was limited to members of the grassroots Tea Party movement. This year they wanted a wider reach:

“This year, we decided that it’s not enough to just go out and vote. Americans need to take a more active role in their government. Therefore, we are providing a dozen training classes and opening up admission to the general public because they also need to hear the message we’ve been sending out for the past three years which is the reality and truth about what’s happening in America. All we hear is lies, deception and deceit from Washington, and we need to tear away the curtain of secrecy and let the American people know what’s really happening,” said Joe Dugan, the convention’s executive producer to Breitbart.

Ted Cruz responds to Romney’s 2016 plans

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2015– Last week, failed 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney publicly told major donors that he was ready for another shot at the White House in 2016.

United States Senator Ted Cruz (R- Texas) has been flirting with the idea of mounting a 2016 run for the White House. On Monday, Cruz responded to reporters regarding the idea of Romney 2016.

“There are some who believe that a path to Republican victory is to run to the mushy middle, is to blur distinctions,” Cruz said. “I think recent history has shown us, that’s not a path to success. It doesn’t work. It’s a failed electoral strategy. I very much agree with President Ronald Reagan that the way we win is by painting with bold colors and not pale pastels and I think that’s gonna be a debate Republicans are gonna have over the next two years.”

“It is certainly a debate that I intend to participate in vigorously,” Cruz added.

On Sunday, Senator Rand Paul (R- Ky.) delivered his own remarks regarding Romney’s 2016 declaration.

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Rand Paul Responds To Romney 2016

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2015– Last week, failed 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney publicly told major donors that he was ready for another shot at the White House in 2016. Promising to endorse the GOP nominee, in 2012, United States Senator Rand Paul (R- Ky.) endorsed Romney for the White House as promised. However, 4 years has passed and many believe Paul has White House plans of his own.

Strategists and pundits are suggesting that Romney’s 2016 strategy is to “run to the right of Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.”

On Sunday, Paul was questioned about Romney’s 2016 aspirations and “running to the right” strategy on Fox News’ John Gibson’s podcast.  “If Mitt runs to the right of Jeb Bush he will still be to the left of the party, and that would a difficult spot to be in,” responded Paul. 

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Christie’s Cronyism? NJ Governor Gave Sweetheart Deal to Firm Owned by Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones

Dallas Cowboys fan and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was seen in sports news highlight reels hugging and celebrating in a luxury box with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones last Sunday as the Texas team defeated the Detroit Lions in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Jones has been treating Christie as his personal good luck charm, flying the governor down to experience a Cowboys playoff game on Jones’ dime, and has even suggested that, if his team keeps winning, he might endorse Christie for president in 2016.

However, Chris Christie, who snubbed his own state’s football teams in order to continue rooting for his childhood favorite, is facing new corruption allegations over his lucrative friendship with Jerry Jones. The rumored 2016 presidential candidate’s reputation recently took a hit when he was accused of closing lanes on the George Washington bridge to create traffic problems in an alleged attempt to punish a political rival. Now, according to International Business Times, Governor Christie is facing additional allegations that, two years ago, he personally pushed for a firm owned by Jerry Jones to receive a lucrative Port Authority contract.

Democratic New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the lawmaker who first investigated the George Washington bridge scandal, is considering launching an additional investigation into Christie’s relationship with Jones. Wisniewski told ABC News, “The governor of the state of New Jersey should be above being influenced by that type of gratuity: air fare for his entire family and self and tickets to a game… It certainly looks really bad…. I’m not going to argue the fact that the rules he is obliged to follow may in fact create a personal exception, but what I will argue is he should not have availed himself of that because it looks bad. It set a bad precedent.”

Chris Christie’s office claims that, though his state’s ethics rules bar officials from accepting gifts from persons or organizations receiving contracts from the state, an executive order exempts gifts from personal friends of the governor from that ban. Christie argues that Jones is a personal friend and, as such, it is legal for the two to exchange gifts. Wisniewski said of the exemption, “They are friends because he happens to be the governor and therein lies the problem.”

In April of 2013, Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a deal between Jones’ firm Legends Hospitality LLC and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, granting the company a lucrative contract to run an observation deck at the top of One World Trade. The Washington Post notes that the deal is expected to earn the Port Authority $875 million over 15 years. Legends Hospitality LLC is co-owned by the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, and Checketts Partners Investment Fund. Chris Christie also gave $18 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies to the National Football League prior to receiving the free airfare and playoff tickets.

In an effort to estimate the value of Jones’ gift to Christie, USC Marshall Sports Business Institute executive director David M. Carter told NJ.com, “For games such as Sunday’s, and extending further into the playoffs, the value of any suite ticket could easily be deemed priceless by many fans for whom that game day experience would likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Rand Paul Calls Marco Rubio an ‘Isolationist’

Senator Marco Rubio appearing on Fox News on Thursday night said Senator Rand Paul is off base with his view on opening relations with Cuba.

“And I’ll tell you why; number one, the embargo on Cuba is an embargo that frankly has a bunch of holes in it. To give you an example, the United States is still one of Cuba’s largest trading partners, even now with the embargo,” Rubio said.

“What’s hurting the Cuban people is not the embargo. What’s hurting the Cuban people is the Cuban government,” he added.

And then Paul fired back on Facebook. He wrote:

“Senator Marco Rubio believes the embargo against Cuba has been ineffective, yet he wants to continue perpetuating failed policies. After 50 years of conflict, why not try a new approach? The United States trades and engages with other communist nations, such as China and Vietnam. Why not Cuba? I am a proponent of peace through commerce, and I believe engaging Cuba can lead to positive change.

“Seems to me, Senator Rubio is acting like an isolationist who wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat. I reject this isolationism. Finally, let’s be clear that Senator Rubio does not speak for the majority of Cuban-Americans. A recent poll demonstrates that a large majority of Cuban-Americans actually support normalizing relations between our countries,” he wrote.

Did Mitch McConnell Just Endorse Rand Paul For President?

Coming off a landslide Election Day victory, winning his sixth term and an expected appointment as majority leader, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is soaking it all it, and apparently endorsing fellow Kentucky Senator Rand Paul for president in 2016.

Here is what McConnell told the Lexington Herald-Leader:

“Obviously, I’m a big supporter of Rand Paul. We’ve developed a very tight relationship, and I’m for him,” he said.

But for president, right?

“Whatever he decides to do,” McConnell said. “I don’t think he’s made a final decision on that. But he’ll be able to count on me.”

In addition to throwing his support for Paul, McConnell also told the newspaper how committed he was to help to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions at coal-burning power plants, especially after he won many of the Kentucky coal-producing counties for the first time ever.

He explained that coal has a future all over the world, but our coal future is being hindered by regulation.

“It makes me very angry, and I’m going to do everything I can to try to stop them,” he added.

Many libertarians and limited-government voters were upset when Paul endorsed McConnell over his Tea Party challenger, but it’s clear that Paul and McConnell have a good relationship. Having McConnell on his side, who is now the Senate majority leader, gives Paul a huge advantage in 2016.

Ex-RNC Chair Michael Steele Calls Rand Paul 2016 GOP Presidential Frontrunner

The 2014 midterm elections are underway today, which means that the 2016 presidential contest unofficially begins tomorrow. While most political strategists say that the 2016 Democratic primary is Hillary Clinton’s to lose, the GOP side is competitive and packed with rising stars. One such star, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, was just named Time‘s most interesting person of 2014.

On the November 2, 2014 episode of NBC‘s Meet the Presshost Chuck Todd, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, and former Obama administration press secretary Robert Gibbs participated in a round-table discussion on the 2016 presidential race. In the above-embedded video clip from the show, Robert Gibbs said, “I will say, as a Democrat sitting here, you have to be impressed with what Rand Paul is saying, to have a positive talking point before the election I think is hugely important, and I think Jeb Bush is one to watch.”

When Chuck Todd asked Michael Steele for his pick for the 2016 Republican frontrunner, Steele said, “Rand Paul… Right there. Done. He’s got the organization on the ground right now. He’s in all 50 states. He’s got young folks gravitating towards him. He’s got African Americans taking a pause and looking at him. He’s got, as was just acknowledged, Democrats are starting, ‘OK, let’s listen and see.'”

Andrea Mitchell interjected, “But the party establishment is against him.”

Steele replied, “That’s a separate piece. I think in terms of ’14, he’s done the best to put it together.”

Joe Scarborough disagreed, saying, “Rand Paul is going to run a great race. He’s going to do better than his father. He’s not going to win, because mainstream Republicans win, and you’ve got two choices that we’ve talked about here, Jeb or Chris Christie. But no, who had the best 2014? Without a doubt, Mitt Romney.”

Senator Paul also appeared on last Sunday’s Meet the Press to discuss the 2014 midterms, criminal justice reform, and repairing the GOP’s brand. The Washington Post notes that the Senator is the “go-to Republican for 2014 candidates trying to rally a crowd, raise money and court the tea-party activists and young people drawn to his insurgent message.” Rand Paul has been aggressively campaigning in an effort to help Republicans maintain their House majority and flip the Senate.

The Senator has sent signals that, if he decides to run for president in 2016, he might declare his candidacy in early 2015. As it happens, Senator Paul recently announced an early 2015 release date for his third book.

In 2016, Libertarians Could Co-Nominate Rand Paul

 

The speculation continues about 2016’s president race. U.S. News & World Report is reporting that Republican Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky, may seek the Republican presidential nomination and may also receive the Libertarian Party’s nomination, as well.

Paul is unlikely to directly seek the support of the Libertarian Party’s support. Rand’s father, Ron Paul, was a GOP presidential contender in 2008 and 2012 and the Libertarian nominee in 1988.

“A co-nomination from one of the nation’s most significant minor parties could help Paul – if he’s the Republican nominee – avoid losing hundreds of thousands of votes to an ideological ally. In some states, his name would appear twice on ballots,” writes U.S. News & World Report.

Libertarian Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark, officially neutral on the matter, said, “there is a possibility that the delegates in Orlando would nominate Sen. Paul and if they were to do so, I’d work hard to support their choice.”

The Libertarian Party’s convention in Orlando, Fla. isn’t until May 2016, so there will be plenty of more speculation, and Libertarian National Committee Executive Director Wes Benedict said he foresees a fight.

“If Rand Paul wins the Republican nomination, I’d expect a big fight within the [party] over whether or not we should run our own candidate,” Benedict said. “It wouldn’t just be a discussion.”

Sen. Paul faces competition from big name Republican neocons like Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Chris Christie who are laying the groundwork for their 2016 run, so it’s good to know that if Paul doesn’t get the GOP nomination there’s still hope for libertarian / limited government activists to rally behind.

But if he does become the Republican and Libertarian nominee it could give him the advantage he needs to become the next President of the United States.

Sen. Rand Paul’s wife talks about running for president in 2016

KENTUCKY, August 25, 2014– Senator Rand Paul (R- Ky.) is almost certainly running for president, but what are Mrs. Paul’s thoughts regarding becoming the first lady? In an interview with WKYU FM, Kelly Paul shares what has been on her mind regarding Rand 2016.

Is it fair to say you don’t want your husband to run for President?

I wouldn’t say that. I would say though that we just have a lot more talking to do about the subject. I mean it’s something that you don’t go into lightly, being in the public eye is hard on a family and a marriage. I’m really proud of Rand, I think he’s doing an amazing job, so I’d love for him to be able to expand that but we still have a few hurdles to cross before we actually pull the trigger on it.

And that is the main hurdle, what it would do to you family dynamics, your family’s privacy?

I would say so, that’s probably the main decision any family has to make, really. It’s not a typical job where you just go to work and do your job, there are huge demands on your time and, obviously, there are going to be a lot of people attacking you…and that’s part of it, that’s part of politics, but it’s on such a high scale when you’re running for President, so we’re thinking about it but not 100% there yet obviously.

Which way is the Senator leaning?

You know, I think it just depends on the day. He’s really trying to do his job and make a difference right now and, when he’s invited places, because people are interested in him as a candidate, he’s going because that obviously sets the stage if he does decide to do it but we’re still pretty far out. We don’t talk about it that much to tell you the truth.

Continued…

Listen to the full interview HERE.

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