Rand Paul: “Definitely Talking” About 2016 White House Run but Midterms Come First

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 9 2014 2:43 PM

Rand Paul: “Definitely Talking” About 2016 White House Run but Midterms Come First

One day after easily winning a straw poll of conservative activists, Sen. Rand Paul said he would wait until after the midterms to decide whether he’ll run for president in 2016. "We're definitely talking about it, my family's talking about it," Paul said on Fox News. “We do the things that would be necessary to make sure that it can happen and will work. But I truly haven't made my mind up and won't make my mind up until after the 2014 elections."

Paul talked about a potential presidential run a day after he won the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference with 31 percent of the vote, more than double Sen. Ted Cruz’s 11 percent. And it marked his second win in a row at the annual conference.

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For now, Paul says he’s focused on helping the GOP grow, noting his message that President Obama is threatening civil liberties resonates with younger voters. "The youth in particular have lost faith in this president, and so I think there's a real opportunity for Republicans who do believe in the Fourth Amendment to grow our party by attracting young people," Paul said. He also sharply contrasted himself with Cruz, noting that he is a divisive figure who could likely not help Republicans win new voters.

“My style is that I stand for things, people don’t question whether I stand for principle, but I don’t spend a lot of time trying to drag people down,” he said. “I don’t spend any time sort of trying to criticize others in the party because I realize the party has to be bigger, not smaller.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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