Rand Paul is pitching libertarian ideas to social conservatives. And they're listening.

Speaking to a few hundred APP supporters at Washington, D.C.’s Mayflower hotel, Paul, knowing his audience, began by conceding that “libertarian,” is still “a bad word” to some. A few in the audience nodded.

“But libertarian, or liberty, doesn’t mean libertine,” Paul said. “To many of us, libertarian means freedom and liberty. But we also see freedom needs tradition.”

Such appeals are part and parcel of what for Paul has become an ongoing campaign to reach social conservatives. Last June, Paul spoke at the Faith and Freedom Summit, a conference organized by former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed, where he accused the Obama Administration of funding a “war on Christianity” abroad. In October, Paul addressed students of Liberty University, a school founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell.

Paul’s tone was softer Wednesday, when he argued that conservatives should support libertarian-backed initiatives like prison sentencing reform for non-violent drug users, and to take a stronger stand on defending the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unlawful searches.

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