Senator Rand Paul was singing a bit of a different tune on the weekend shows than he was at the convention. On ABC’s This Week he told George Stephanopoulos that it might be time to look at candidates outside the social conservative base if there is ever hope to pull in some seats currently seen as “safe” for liberal Democrats. Let’s go straight to the video.
Rand Paul: “You know, what I’ve been talking to leaders in the national Republican Party about is, there’s certain parts of the country we’ve given up on. The whole west coast and New England. What I keep telling them is, maybe we need some libertarian type Republicans who might be popular in those areas. Maybe a less aggressive, more socially tolerant but still fiscally conservative policy that may be more libertarian. Might do better in California, might do better in Oregon and Washington and New England, and I think if we had that it would be a great strategy. Our problem in the presidential election is we’ve given up 150 electoral votes before we even get started.”
As I noted above, this is a bit different than his presentation at the convention, as Politico noted.
Rand Paul did not hoist the flag high for the libertarian cause Wednesday.
The Kentucky senator instead used his prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention to play footsie with the GOP establishment and offer support for “our nominee:” Mitt Romney.
Paul then focused on areas of agreement between conservatives and supporters of his father Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign: antipathy toward Obama, opposition to the federal health care law, support for the Keystone XL pipeline and alarm about the national debt.
“There’s only one option left,” he said. “We have to have a new president.”
Is Rand Paul signaling support for some sort of “third way” a la Bill Clinton? Perhaps there is some shifting going on under the covers, particularly after Mitt Romney appeared to walk back some of his talk about a full repeal of Obamacare on the same weekend.
“I’m not getting rid of all of health care reform. Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place,” he said on NBC’s “Meet The Press. “One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage. Two is to assure that the marketplace allows for individuals to have policies that cover their family up to whatever age they might like.”
The remarks could have huge implications as they signal a marked shift from Romney’s strong, unequivocal support for full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which he has consistently held since the Republican primaries.
Perhaps there’s a hint of change on the wind? Here’s the video of Paul’s speech from the convention for comparison, lest we forget.
Is this something new? Or just… “nuance?”