In todays Rand Pauluses and Minuses, we’ve got the good, the bad, and a whole mess of Kentuckians who seem to be pretty peeved at Rand’s presidential bid. Let’s baste this RPM turkey!
The Kentucky GOP Plays Nice, Changes KY Primary to Caucus
The Paul campaign got some good news this past week when the Kentucky GOP decided that it would play ball and alter the state’s GOP primary to a caucus. This was essential to Rand’s campaign hopes, as it would have been impossible under primary rules for him to run for both a Senate seat and for president on the same ballot. Now, the state will have it’s presidential caucus March 5th and then primary on March 17th. From Rare:
Most committee members said their vote was motivated not by Paul’s candidacy, but by a desire to make Kentucky a player in presidential politics. That’s why Republicans crafted the caucus to appeal to as many of the 17 declared Republican candidates as possible. The plan calls for Kentucky’s delegates to be split proportionally rather than “winner takes all,” and candidates only need to get 5 percent of the vote to qualify for delegates. That’s a threshold much lower than other primary states.
“This is not about Sen. Paul in my mind. This is about making Kentucky relevant,” committee member Troy Sheldon said. “I think it’s the best thing for voters.”
A caucus is better all around for Paul, as we saw Ron Paul have his most success in caucus states (by far), where motivated individuals and groups have a better shot at making an impact and ensuring a takeaway of delegates.
We discussed this issue in depth in the latest Rand Pauluses and Minuses Podcast.
Kentuckians Peeved at Paul’s Dual Senate/president bid?
A poll of a local Kentucky television station’s viewers gave a stark impression of how some regional voters view Rand’s attempt at holding onto his Senate seat while also running for presidential office. Some 80% of those polled said Rand should ditch his campaign to focus on retaining his seat in the state. (Pulled from Target Liberty)
While this is only 1400-some people, it does show how people at home could feel about Rand’s tactics and if this sentiment carries through it may be an all-or-nothing proposition for Paul and his presidential run. The home numbers could dictate whether he continues to fight deep into election season, which may essentially kill his Senate hopes, or cuts and runs to assure he stays in the Senate if his numbers don’t start rising soon. This definitely puts his campaign under a lot of pressure to perform.
Paul Says Trump’s Message is Empty Anger
Rand hosted some interviews while on his humanitarian mission to Haiti, and during one such interview made a point of once again taking shots at Donald Trump.
“His message is empty anger,” Paul told NBC anchor Chris Jansing during a humanitarian visit to Haiti. “It’s an anger without substance.
“We have to decide whether we want sort of empty platitudes, or whether we’re going to look at substance,” he said.
“Conservatives have to decide if he’s a fake conservative or not,” Paul added of Trump. “And I think truly he is a fake conservative, because he’s been on every side of the issue in the last five years.”
Paul then argued that Trump’s past views on healthcare are the biggest indicator his ideas are without merit for right-wing voters.
“The Tea Party movement that I rose out of, this conservative sort of rebellion, we were unhappy with Republicans who voted for bigger government,” said Paul.
“So I think they’ll be unhappy again if they get someone like Trump, because he was for ObamaCare,” he said. “He still kind of likes single-payer. I think we could be well on the way to single-payer if we elect Donald Trump.”
Rand is wholly correct, and while I’ll freely admit that I find Trump’s eccentric ravings to be a guilty pleasure at times, the man hasn’t offered up any sort of factual-based solution to back up his bluster – bluster that does, admittedly, strike a chord with many angry Americans.
Add this to his flip-flopping positions, which Rand’s campaign made sure to highlight in a slickly-edited commercial, and Rand has a very stable platform from which to attack Trump. Will that matter to Trump’s followers? Doubtful, but it helps to separate more rational voters from potentially jumping on the Trump train.
Rand Predicted the Stock Crash, Based on Fed Policy, Back in July
Rand has taken a nice step towards being the epic prognosticator that Ron Paul has been and still is, by predicting the current stock crash way back in July. From Bloomberg’s earlier article:
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is warning that a stock market crash may be coming because the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates from fluctuating, Radio Iowa reported.
“People say, ‘Oh, we can just do that forever,’” the Kentucky senator said Wednesday, according to the radio network. “I don’t think so. I think there’ll be a day of reckoning.”
He also opined that the housing crisis of the late 2000s was not prompted by “greed” so much as the Fed. The central bank’s policy of keeping interest rates “close to zero” may have been the bigger factor, Paul suggested.
Now, the senator foresees another crisis in the offing. “The boom isn’t in housing this time, but it may well be a boom in the stock market,” Radio Iowa quoted Paul as saying. “What happens when people come to the realization that we’ve maybe over-inflated the stock market again?”
And lookee here, Rand just happened to get this one dead right. Nicely done. Rand has also re-introduced Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Fed, which is still doubtful to pass.
While it’s good to see Rand’s predictions come true, he’s been silent on the current crash, which is foolish. His people should be booking him on every major financial network to tout this foresight and to return attention to his bill and his stance on monetary policy, which is quite different from the other 17 members of the field. Still, despite that missed opportunity, he’ll get a…
The Current “Paulus-Minus” Tally:
94 Pauluses / 31 Minuses / 5 Push
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