Rand Paul bows out

posted at 9:41 am on February 3, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Yet another Republican presidential candidate has belatedly read the writing on the wall. Rand Paul, who had hopes of building on his father’s successes in Iowa only to finish in low single digits in Monday’s caucuses, has decided to end his presidential campaign before New Hampshire’s primary on Tuesday:

Paul’s campaign sent out a statement to the press:

“It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty.

Across the country thousands upon thousands of young people flocked to our message of limited government, privacy, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy. Brushfires of Liberty were ignited, and those will carry on, as will I.

Although, today I will suspend my campaign for President, the fight is far from over. I will continue to carry the torch for Liberty in the United States Senate and I look forward to earning the privilege to represent the people of Kentucky for another term.”

The Associated Press reports that Paul will now devote all of his attention to his Senate race in Kentucky:

Paul was determined to improve the GOP’s popularity among younger voters and minorities. But his message failed to catch on and his appeal never broadened beyond the small group of libertarian-leaning Republicans that backed the previous White House bids of his father, Ron Paul.

He is now expected to turn his full attention to his Senate re-election campaign in Kentucky. The 52-year-old ophthalmologist is favored to win that race.

Well, he will be now, since he can focus completely on that race rather than spending most of his spare time outside of Kentucky. Republicans need Paul to hold that seat; they have many more seats at risk in this cycle than Democrats. Losing the Kentucky seat would be a blow to GOP hopes of retaining control of the Senate, and most importantly, of the judicial confirmation process.

Where will Paul’s support go in the presidential race? There was precious little of it, which is why Paul’s getting out, but Ted Cruz will be the most likely beneficiary. He comes across as less hawkish than Marco Rubio, and less authoritarian than Donald Trump. In a cycle where ISIS and Iran have become the focus of national-security concerns, the libertarian segment found little purchase, and Cruz may be the closest of a distant pack of Republicans to their cause.


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You forget that most “L”ibertarians are only in it for legalized drugs and neutered police, and they hate bankers/Jews.

In other words, they’re a natural fit for Occupy Wall Street, BLM and Sanders.

Rogue on February 3, 2016 at 10:32 AM

You’re letting hate cloud your judgment.

Just speaking for myself, I am now firmly in the Cruz camp. Many of my libertarian pals are leaning towards Cruz, although they get frustrated when Cruz starts pandering to the neoconservatives.

Also, the “L” libertarians want the NSA brought down probably more than anything else. They also want lower taxes, a more noninterventionist foreign policy, federalist government on things like marriage and drugs, and a return to constitutional government. They want ObamaCare gone, they think eminent domain is a disaster, they don’t buy into the climate change hysteria, and so on. They’re mostly focused on economics/size of government.

I think many of my libertarian pals would even vote for Rubio if he were the nominee, just to protect the Supreme Court.

Aizen on February 3, 2016 at 10:50 AM

mudskipper on February 3, 2016 at 10:47 AM

My college-senior son is friends with a lot of Rand supporters. They HATE Trump.
The majority of them will switch to either Cruz or Gary Johnson.
*My son is a Cruz supporter. Like mother…*

annoyinglittletwerp on February 3, 2016 at 10:54 AM

You’re letting hate cloud your judgment.

Aizen on February 3, 2016 at 10:50 AM

Experience guided by intelligence.

In my encounters with “L”ibertarians, ya, some may fall into your description, but they are the exception, not the rule.

Rogue on February 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Paul stood out from the pack on a lot of different levels, but the one I most admire him for was that he never seemed to pander. He seemed fine saying stuff ‘the base’ might object to. He had none of Cruz’s slick and crafty double speak and little of Rubio’s ‘Ohhh, I really hate Obama!’ schtick.
I think his supporters likely appreciated the genuineness, so I can’t see many going to Cruz.
Likely a bunch to Sanders, actually.

verbaluce on February 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Ted Cruz of committing fraud, and called for a new election in Iowa.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/trump-cruz-stole-iowa-tweet-deleted-218674#ixzz3z7QjrCVp

Happy Nomad on February 3, 2016 at 10:25 AM

That’s weird, I thought Iowa doesn’t matter.

Buttercup on February 3, 2016 at 10:57 AM

I always had a subliminal problem with Rand. It could only happen to an oldster like me.

Rand looks like Lee Harvey Oswald.

Meremortal on February 3, 2016 at 10:57 AM

Rand Paul loathes Donald Trump, as does anyone who cares about limited government and The Constitution of the United States.

matthew8787 on February 3, 2016 at 9:49 AM

This.

AmerigoChattin on February 3, 2016 at 10:57 AM

Cruz is probably the best libertarians can do with this bunch.

Rubio would be less acceptable (more spying, more interventionist) but we could live with him.

Trump is a shameless unprincipled halfwit con artist who has no business being in the race at all.

TallDave on February 3, 2016 at 10:58 AM

“Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Ted Cruz of committing fraud, and called for a new election in Iowa.”

This from the jackass who repeatedly called Cruz an “anchor baby” and suggested he wasn’t even a citizen and pretty much commits “fraud” every time he opens his mouth.

TallDave on February 3, 2016 at 11:01 AM

I’m very interested in hearing from any commenters who were Rand Paul supporters… to whom are you switching your support, and why?

ITguy on February 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Afaik, the only one is now on 24hr. suicide watch.

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2016 at 11:03 AM

I’d argue that banning an entire group for their religion does violate the Constitution in terms of freedom of religion. If Trump were proposing to ban entry of all people from nations were ISIS is running rampant it would be one thing but all Muslims? Even the ones from places like the Philippines or Indonesia?

It’s a moot point anyway. The whole scheme is unenforceable and only designed to whip up support among Trumps narrow-minded supporters.

Happy Nomad on February 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Mindanao is crawling with Muslim terrorists, active Muslim terrorists. The influence of Abu Sayyaf — only one such group down there — extends well into Indonesia.

Lolo on February 3, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Afaik, the only one is now on 24hr. suicide watch.

katy the mean old lady on February 3, 2016 at 11:03 AM

Come on, now, enough with the hyperbole. Rand Paul had dozens of supporters, from all over New England.

Lolo on February 3, 2016 at 11:15 AM

I’d argue that banning an entire group for their religion does violate the Constitution in terms of freedom of religion.

Happy Nomad on February 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

The Constitution does not apply to non-citizens living outside of the U.S. A non-citizen muslim from Iran cannot have his constitutional “freedom of religion” rights violated by the U.S. because he does not have any such rights.

As far as being “narrow minded” – I guess using facts and logic to address an issue is “narrow minded”.

Instead, let’s just let every muslim who wants in admission, even though we have no way of knowing who may be a terrorist and in fact knowing that a decent percentage of those we are letting in will in fact turn out to be terrorists. That makes so much more logical sense. We should just turn a blind eye to the problem because of political correctness.

Monkeytoe on February 3, 2016 at 11:16 AM

I’d argue that banning an entire group for their religion does violate the Constitution in terms of freedom of religion.

Happy Nomad on February 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

If you argued that you were a fecal pustule with the IQ of lint you’d get more support.

Younggod on February 3, 2016 at 11:17 AM

I’d argue that banning an entire group for their religion does violate the Constitution in terms of freedom of religion. If Trump were proposing to ban entry of all people from nations were ISIS is running rampant it would be one thing but all Muslims? Even the ones from places like the Philippines or Indonesia?

It’s a moot point anyway. The whole scheme is unenforceable and only designed to whip up support among Trumps narrow-minded supporters.

Happy Nomad on February 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Mindanao is crawling with Muslim terrorists, active Muslim terrorists. The influence of Abu Sayyaf — only one such group down there — extends well into Indonesia.

Lolo on February 3, 2016 at 11:09 AM

“Happy Nomad” shows his willful historical ignorance.


The U.S. was fighting Muslim jihadis in Mindanao in -1904.-

“The short answer is, “Yes and no.” Yes, the American experience in fighting the Moros was a primary motivator for the “invention” of the weapon, or more precisely, its development.”

http://www.morolandhistory.com/related%20articles/legend%20of%20.45.htm

MANILA — Two small, ultraviolent rebel groups joined forces to fight government troops Thursday in the southern Philippines, in a clash that occurred on an island adjacent to the city where several hundred rebels are in a standoff with the Philippine military.

The violence raised fears of a widening of the insurgent threat in the area, where the government has for decades been struggling to contain attacks by Muslim-led groups.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/world/asia/attack-raises-fears-of-muslim-led-insurgency-in-philippines.html?_r=0

ebrown2 on February 3, 2016 at 11:19 AM

Cruz will now be getting my vote

davenp35 on February 3, 2016 at 11:19 AM

I’d argue that banning an entire group for their religion does violate the Constitution in terms of freedom of religion.

Happy Nomad on February 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

If you argued that you were a fecal pustule with the IQ of lint you’d get more support.

Younggod on February 3, 2016 at 11:17 AM

Younggod, you’re too darn irenic.

ebrown2 on February 3, 2016 at 11:20 AM

Losing the Kentucky seat would be a blow to GOP hopes of retaining control of the Senate, and most importantly, of the judicial confirmation process.

yes, they have been quite effective so far.

arnold ziffel on February 3, 2016 at 11:20 AM

How could anyone think Cruz replaces any Libertarian he is for higher surveillance.

petunia on February 3, 2016 at 11:21 AM

Cruz will now be getting my vote

davenp35 on February 3, 2016 at 11:19 AM

Please explain how/why you came to that decision.

ITguy on February 3, 2016 at 11:23 AM

OT: Talk about a sore loser. How about it howlers? Are we going to see a demand for a do-over every time your filthy idol doesn’t win? This kind of thin-skinned temper tantrum shows just how unfit Trump is for the job of President.

Happy Nomad

If only he were thick skinned like you and your fellow monkey feces club members who squat and fling at every tweet, lol.

xblade on February 3, 2016 at 11:24 AM

Ban all Catholics from entering too. That would take care of a lot of our immigration problems.

Neitherleftorright on February 3, 2016 at 11:24 AM

Trump is a shameless unprincipled halfwit con artist who has no business being in the race at all.

TallDave

And yet it was Cruz who pulled the shenanigans in Iowa, lol.

xblade on February 3, 2016 at 11:27 AM

verbaluce on February 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Wishcasting.

It’s what political hypocrites do.

Neitherleftorright on February 3, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Trump is a shameless unprincipled halfwit con artist who has no business being in the race at all.

TallDave

And yet it was Cruz who pulled the shenanigans in Iowa, lol.

xblade on February 3, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Yep, as it turned out, Punchable Face took the palm over Gold-Plated Dumpster Fire for scumminess, who’da thunk it?

Say what you will about Maximum Donald, his wives didn’t have to hang candy around his neck to get his children to acknowledge his existence.

ebrown2 on February 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Rand was the only GOP candidate I could support. I was a Ron Paul delegate in 2012 and was disappointed with Rand’s half measures of liberty compared to Ron.

There’s no way I would support Ted Cruz, another chicken hawk, who wants to carpet bomb innocent civilians and to make the sand glow. I’m sure many of you find that to be the height of manliness but I find it detestable.

No I won’t vote democrat either but I’m not so delusional as to believe that there is a huge ideological gulf between Hillary and Rubio or Trump or even Cruz. At the end of the day they all will maintain the status quo and will continue to grow government through warfare or welfare or both.

I don’t have anything against LP but I can’t get excited about Gary Johnson. He is ok but seems to have a superficial grasp of libertarianism.

Will Deez Nutz be on the ballot?

iwasbornwithit on February 3, 2016 at 11:31 AM

verbaluce on February 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Wishcasting.

It’s what political hypocrites do.

Neitherleftorright on February 3, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Well, this is what you do.
Maybe write something responsive sometimes?

verbaluce on February 3, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Cruz will not be the beneficiary.

Trump/Hillary 2016! Make the Libertarian Party Viable Again!

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 11:45 AM

I supported Rand Paul and will now be shifting my support to Ted Cruz. I am not a doctrinaire libertarian. I supported Rand because he best represented my values as a naturalized US citizen who came here as a refugee from the former USSR. Now that man is Ted Cruz.

FrBorislav on February 3, 2016 at 11:45 AM

Happy, Schad?

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Likely a bunch to Sanders, actually.

verbaluce on February 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Lolz!!! Thanks for the laugh verbaluce!

Bmore on February 3, 2016 at 11:51 AM

Don’t know where “carpet bombing” comes off as less hawkish, but ok.

Zaggs on February 3, 2016 at 9:43 AM

Maybe he was talking about bedroom activities rather than military tactics?

Nutstuyu on February 3, 2016 at 11:57 AM

Feb 03, 2016 at 11:51 am Bmore
Likely a bunch to Sanders, actually.
verbaluce on February 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM
Lolz!!! Thanks for the laugh verbaluce!

No way. The other GOP candidates are ideologically closer to Barnie than Paul is.

iwasbornwithit on February 3, 2016 at 11:58 AM

There’s no way I would support Ted Cruz, another chicken hawk, who wants to carpet bomb innocent civilians and to make the sand glow. I’m sure many of you find that to be the height of manliness but I find it detestable.

iwasbornwithit on February 3, 2016 at 11:31 AM

Mmkay, we’ll remind you of that as a Mooslum’s rusty blade is scraping across your jugular, if we’re not too busy reloading.

Nutstuyu on February 3, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Mmkay, we’ll remind you of that as a Mooslum’s rusty blade is scraping across your jugular, if we’re not too busy reloading.

Explain how not bombing innocent civilians in the Middle East equates to a Muslim slitting my throat in the Midwest. And why I wouldn’t be shooting anyone attempting to harm me myself.

iwasbornwithit on February 3, 2016 at 12:04 PM

I’d argue that banning an entire group for their religion does violate the Constitution in terms of freedom of religion.

Happy Nomad on February 3, 2016 at 10:42 AM

And you’d be a flaming idiot for doing so. People outside the USA do not have any of our rights.

Nutstuyu on February 3, 2016 at 12:07 PM

Well, he will be now, since he can focus completely on that race rather than spending most of his spare time outside of Kentucky. Republicans need Paul to hold that seat;

Good, he is following Sarah Palin’s advice.

agmartin on February 3, 2016 at 12:08 PM

And you’d be a flaming idiot for doing so. People outside the USA do not have any of our rights.

Does the Constitution give you your rights?

iwasbornwithit on February 3, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Are we sure this is not a rumor started by Ted Cruz?

agmartin on February 3, 2016 at 12:20 PM

Rand Paul loathes Donald Trump, as does anyone who cares about limited government and The Constitution of the United States.

matthew8787 on February 3, 2016 at 9:49 AM

Wait…

Jeb Bush cares about limited government and the Constitution?
Marco Rubio cares about limited government and the Constitution?

LOL! I could list out the other candidates, but I’ve already trashed your point.

dominigan on February 3, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Happy, Schad?

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Welcome to the Dark Side.

fossten on February 3, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Likely a bunch to Sanders, actually.

verbaluce on February 3, 2016 at 10:55 AM

That was pretty funny.

fossten on February 3, 2016 at 12:28 PM

Happy, Schad?

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 11:46 AM

I’m not. Despite our disagreements, I appreciated your loyalty to your candidate, which mirrored my own.

However, if I see you suddenly shilling for that pious invade the world, invite the world fraud Ted Cruz, I will be appalled. He’s not even close.

Jose K on February 3, 2016 at 12:29 PM

I’m a registered Independent/Libertarian who most often votes Republican. There’s no way I’m voting for Cruz. if he’s the nominee (which is extremely unlikely), I’ll vote the libertarian party.

c.j.ammenheuser on February 3, 2016 at 12:36 PM

Jose K on February 3, 2016 at 12:29 PM

Missing a couple of consonants?

fossten on February 3, 2016 at 12:37 PM

I’m not. Despite our disagreements, I appreciated your loyalty to your candidate, which mirrored my own.

However, if I see you suddenly shilling for that pious invade the world, invite the world fraud Ted Cruz, I will be appalled. He’s not even close.

Jose K on February 3, 2016 at 12:29 PM

Yeah, I really can’t. I tried to like Cruz, but I can’t. He has too many poison-pill positions. He would deport and permanently exile some of my closest friends.

I’m pretty sure at this point I’ll be voting for the Libertarian Party in November. Not sure yet whether I’ll try to mess with the GOP with my primary vote.

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 12:40 PM

I’m pretty sure at this point I’ll be voting for the Libertarian Party in November. Not sure yet whether I’ll try to mess with the GOP with my primary vote.

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 12:40 PM

McCain had it wrapped up in 2008 by the time I got to vote, so I voted for Hillary to keep Obama out. Didn’t help, but I tried. If Trump leaves I can see myself voting for Bernie to fvck with Hillary. I won’t be voting for any of these warmongers and trans-nationalists.

Jose K on February 3, 2016 at 12:46 PM

Missing a couple of consonants?

fossten on February 3, 2016 at 12:37 PM

Rejiggered my nom to in anticipation of the Nord American Union that will be ushered in by President Rubio and VP Ted Cruz.

Jose K on February 3, 2016 at 12:47 PM

I’m not surprised that some of your closest friends are criminals.

It’s people like you that hurt Rand Paul’s support.

blink on February 3, 2016 at 12:46 PM

When government has grown too totalitarian, we’re all criminals. It’s all just a matter of who gets caught.

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 12:52 PM

Smart of him, a little late, but smart.

I don’t hold the notion that the GOPe holding the senate is important anymore though. It doesn’t matter when the pack of them act like liberal progressive simpletons. All they are doing is helping to burn this country down a little slower than the dimwitted socialist pigs on the left side of the isle. Why would I reward that treachery with a vote?

Give me one valid reason I can hang my hat on. There aren’t any. The “oh, we need to counter democrats” argument doesn’t wash because they haven’t even tried.

Andy__B on February 3, 2016 at 12:53 PM

Team Cruz was already on this — yesterday.

Nicole Coulter on February 3, 2016 at 1:06 PM

The only candidates left (on the Right) who are Constitutionalists are Fiorina and Cruz. Carly played a good game early, but stuck too hard to playing the businesswoman, and she had been effectively Palinized in that category.

For those calling Cruz an authoritarian with a messiah complex, you are mindlessly spouting others’ words, and not doing your own research. Take a better look. I certainly disagree with some of his positions, but none of them are big government controls over individual’s lives.

Freelancer on February 3, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Carrot top gone

SpongePuppy on February 3, 2016 at 1:39 PM

Trump/Hillary 2016! Make the Libertarian Party Viable Again!

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 11:45 AM

When was it ever viable.

RickB on February 3, 2016 at 1:55 PM

A shame but inevitable.

Paul was terrible at retail politics. He hated it and it showed.

I hope he swallows his pride and endorses Cruz. That would be good for both of them.

Id like to think Cruz leans towards the libertarian…but bringing Paul on as a member of the team could make it so.

It would also give Paul that anti establishment cred he has totally lost since back rooming with Mitch McConnell.

Truth be told. I believe that is what doomed Paul’s campaign before it ever started. Anyone with anti-establishment leanings never considered Paul because of his relationship and dealing with Mitch McConnell. That includes most of the Libertarian movement.

Hence the lackluster Rand Paul candidacy.

You can blame the mood of the country, but as we have seen, the candidate sets the mood as often as the mood effects the choosing of a candidate.

Paul shot himself in the foot and it made running effectively a virtual and literal impossibility.

alecj on February 3, 2016 at 2:16 PM

OOPS! Trump was doing it too!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1029892223700886&set=gm.1679016249054542&type=3&theater

fight like a girl on February 3, 2016 at 1:57 PM

Trump camp participated/possibly started the “Carson Out” rumor!!!

libfreesMom on February 3, 2016 at 2:16 PM

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Deafdog on February 3, 2016 at 3:03 PM

I view him as an honorable man. The world is just too dangerous at this time for a leader with his outlook.

jazzuscounty on February 3, 2016 at 4:12 PM

If Ted Cruz is a libertarian, then why is he pandering to the fundamentalist crowd?

Paul was at least honest about his views.

Rand Paul on fiscal conservatism.

WestVirginiaRebel on February 3, 2016 at 5:29 PM

If Ted Cruz is a libertarian, then why is he pandering to the fundamentalist crowd?

Paul was at least honest about his views.

Rand Paul on fiscal conservatism.

WestVirginiaRebel on February 3, 2016 at 5:29 PM

When was it ever viable.

RickB on February 3, 2016 at 1:55 PM

1976.

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 9:17 PM

1976.

TBSchemer on February 3, 2016 at 9:17 PM

What libertarian candidate won.

RickB on February 4, 2016 at 1:00 AM

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