Rand Paul distances himself from Libertarian Party

By ROGER ALFORD (Associated Press) –

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Republican Rand Paul said Tuesday he differs with the Libertarian Party by opposing abortion and supporting judicious overseas troop deployment, distancing himself from the party his father once represented in a presidential election.

The U.S. Senate candidate from Kentucky told syndicated conservative talk show host Sean Hannity that he doesn’t fit the mold of a Libertarian. Paul said his conservative social views and willingness to send troops abroad to protect the U.S. set him apart from the party some have tried to associate him with.

“Instead of maybe saying we’re never anywhere overseas, I say we need to be more judicious in where we are, in that I don’t think we can afford to be everywhere all the time,” Paul said. “But it also doesn’t mean that we never intervene and that we can allow people to attack us.”

Libertarians suggested after Paul’s victory in the Republican primary May 18 that they might field a challenger to Paul and Democratic nominee Jack Conway, but have since backed off the notion.

Kentucky Libertarian Party Chairman Ken Moellman said last week it seems “rather impractical” to run against the two well-funded candidates. The filing deadline is Aug. 10.

Political observers had reasoned that a Libertarian candidate could siphon votes from Paul, the son of Texas Congressman and two-time presidential candidate Ron Paul. Ron Paul ran for president as a Libertarian in 1988, then as a Republican in 2008.

Tuesday was the second straight day Paul has appeared on conservative talk shows. He had retreated from the national scene for several weeks after making a series of divisive statements, including suggesting that government should not require private businesses to serve minorities.

Paul sparked widespread anger with remarks last month to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he has misgivings about the Civil Rights Act. Paul told Maddow he abhors racial discrimination but suggested that the federal government should not have the power to force restaurants to serve minorities if owners don’t want to.

Paul ruffled feathers again by defending the oil company blamed for the Gulf oil spill and telling a Russian TV station that babies of illegal immigrants shouldn’t automatically receive U.S. citizenship.

Paul told Hannity on Tuesday that the “most momentous vote” a senator can cast is to send U.S. troops into combat, and that, when troops are used, a declaration of war should be made.

“If I were in the Senate, I would have asked for a declaration of war with Afghanistan, and I would have voted for it because I think we can’t let people organize in a country and attack us,” he said. “I think there are times when we have to go in and prevent, at times, people that are organizing to attack us.”

35 thoughts on “Rand Paul distances himself from Libertarian Party

  1. Matt Cholko

    I’m glad to hear Rand Paul distancing himself from us. I’ve been out petitioning quite a bit lately, and people are constantly bringing him up as though he is one of us.

    Also, last week when I mentioned that I had been at the LP convention, I was asked if Rand Paul was there. When I said no, the person was surprised! And this person is the type who keeps us with political news.

  2. Desert

    Come on LP Kentucky, it’s not too late to run a candidate who’s actually Libertarian!!

  3. Carolyn Marbry

    Had a nice and very animated discussion with Ken Moellman (hopefully I didn’t mangle the spelling too horribly) and a bunch of people from the KY and IN state delegations at one of the convention hospitality suites, and they had quite a bit to say about this, as one might imagine.

    Rand Paul doesn’t want to be called Libertarian (as he said to Time Magazine) and Libertarians don’t like for him to be called a Libertarian, so who is perpetuating the Rand-Paul-is-a-Libertarian meme? Is it just wishful thinking on the part of the (former?) Ron Paul folks?

  4. Kooky

    Carolyn, I’m not sure the people perpetuating the Libertarian association with Rand are not hostile media, trying to discredit him and confuse the public about us. I’ve found two horrible articles in the past month on Alternet.org, which is a progressive site, but heretofore had been fairly decent in their reporting. Last week they had a ridiculous article with a headline something about what those whacky Libertarians are up to–why, they’re building floating castles! (or something like that). Their only use of the word libertarian was to make us look like idiots.

  5. Carolyn Marbry

    They may be. And y’know what? No matter what we say, no matter what we do, no matter how we dress, no matter how carefully we describe our positions, certain media people will always seek out ways to make us look nuts.

    That’s because that one bats**t insane Libertarian holed up in an outhouse in the backwoods of northern south somewhere who who talks to little green freedom monkeys from Venus is better theatre and will get them better ratings than someone expressing reasonable viewpoints. That’s hard to resist.

    Kate O’Brien said in another thread and in another context that when one knows one is going to be under scrutiny, one must remain, like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion. We’re already weirdos to the common man merely by voting third party.

    The press is going to seek out sensation and drama. The way we counter that is by creating sensation for them to chase that is of a more positive direction for the party. Then the green freedom monkey dude in the outhouse is just a little less enticing to them.

    Easier said than done, of course…

    That’s one reason why Root’s ability to gain media is so important to the party. Say what you will about Root’s less-than-purist viewpoints, but the fact is, you can’t turn on the TV without seeing him, and he’s NOT living in an outhouse talking to Venutian freedom monkeys.

    So maybe there’s hope yet.

  6. Robert Milnes

    Catch 22, the only way a left lib. anarchist is going to get MSM is to poll very well-maybe 15%. Only rightists like Paul get anywhere near that.
    Now, if a whole lot of progressives were pursuaded to vote for a left lib (BTP) candidate…

  7. Mik Robertson

    @11 see https://www.upaya.org/teaching/how-to-write-college-artist-statement/21/ resume examples for bus drivers http://laclawrann.org/programs/orlistat-sky-pharmacy/17/ thesis binding bristol shingles valtrex https://classicalmandolinsociety.org/how-to-write-a-short-engaging-pitch-about-yourself/ see url what is concept in research methodology http://bookclubofwashington.org/books/top-rated-essay-writing-service/14/ service writing software source link problem solving in managementВ watch example of case brief format http://v-nep.org/classroom/term-paper-how-to/04/ speech scripts buy thesis statement in a position paper how do i create a new folder in email on iphone top scholarship essay writing site online example of importance of the study in research paper mother day essay writing esl letter ghostwriter services uk http://pejepscothistorical.org/education/sample-resume-cover-letters-for-engineers/03/ cialis prescription order go to site how do you write a conclusion for an academic essay https://creativephl.org/pills/when-will-viagra-prices-go-down/33/ coursework harvard cialis and violent sex best seo article writing service follow “No matter what we say, no matter what we do, no matter how we dress, no matter how carefully we describe our positions, certain media people will always seek out ways to make us look nuts.”

    This may be true, but we don’t need to have LP documents indicate that such an assessment is correct. If we have platform planks that indicate things like we support the right of children to engage in child prostitution, then the general public is going to see the reporter’s point as valid. If we don’t, it is the reporter who appears to be the goofball. I think that makes a big difference, particularly for LP candidates.

  8. Robert Capozzi

    rp: …I say we need to be more judicious in where we are,…

    me: Me too. I’d say it’s judicious to have Marines posted to US embassies. While I’m open to the possibility that embassies will some day be unnecessary, they seem sensible for the time being. It’s reasonable to defend them.

  9. AroundtheblockAFT

    “Divisive comments?” Isn’t that the purpose of a political campaign, to divide those who want to vote for us from those who don’t? While each candidate should define and defend the three or four issues that the voters care about in any particular district, it is sickening to see the way some libertarians back pedal on anything controversial. No, we don’t need to “macho flash” but we do need to find coherent and convincing ways to defend our principles. Rand Paul’s remarks on CRA of 1964 were spot on regarding a private business owners right to discriminate and our right to boycott and shun businesses which expose themselves as pondscum racists.

  10. JT

    Very interesting report.

    I have to say I’ve been surprised by the number of Libertarians who have treated Rand Paul just like he’s Ron Paul just because the two are immediate family. Having the same last name does NOT prove that you have the exact same political views. Rand Paul has made it pretty clear that he’s a grassroots conservative and not a libertarian, though at least he says he wouldn’t have supported the Iraq War.

    “Kentucky Libertarian Party Chairman Ken Moellman said last week it seems “rather impractical” to run against the two well-funded candidates. The filing deadline is Aug. 10.”

    Um, if having two well-funded opponents in a race makes running a Libertarian candidate “impractical,” then the LP should hardly ever run candidates in partisan races? Most such races have a Democratic candidate and a Republican candidate who are well-funded (relative to the office they’re seeking). Not a very good excuse, I think.

  11. paulie Post author

    Come on LP Kentucky, it’s not too late to run a candidate who’s actually Libertarian!!

    So, you are ready to write that check to cover all the signatures, recruit a candidate, and/or go to Kentcuky to get all the signatures yourself, right?

  12. paulie Post author

    Rand Paul doesn’t want to be called Libertarian (as he said to Time Magazine) and Libertarians don’t like for him to be called a Libertarian, so who is perpetuating the Rand-Paul-is-a-Libertarian meme? Is it just wishful thinking on the part of the (former?) Ron Paul folks?

    Mostly, the establishment media. Try doing a news.google.com search for “libertarian” and you’ll see what I mean.

  13. Robert Capozzi

    around, I personally would prefer to see politicians that offer attractive, aspirational messages rather than present voters with divisive, dualistic, us vs. them ones.

    And, while CRA certainly was suboptimal, and while I once agreed with your take, I’ve changed my mind. If the sort of racism that motivated the CRA was an isolated thing, I’d probably STILL agree with you. But from a big-picture perspective the wholesale form of racism that reached down to denying accommodation and basic amenities to descendants of slaves 100 after slavery was abolished required a more definitive counter measure, IMO.

  14. paulie Post author

    Um, if having two well-funded opponents in a race makes running a Libertarian candidate “impractical,” then the LP should hardly ever run candidates in partisan races? Most such races have a Democratic candidate and a Republican candidate who are well-funded (relative to the office they’re seeking). Not a very good excuse, I think.

    In addition to recruiting a candidate, 5,000 valid signatures would be required. Lots of work going on around the country right now, raising the per-sig price. I wouldn’t even bother getting started unless about $30,000 was available (and, oh yeah, a candidate willing to run). Ready to cut a check?

  15. Brian Holtz

    Bob, I can’t agree with you on the CRA. My take is that government racism is a symptom of society’s racism, and that eliminating the former is a side-effect of progress on eliminating the latter. Once you’ve reached that milestone, society can do a better job of mopping up the remaining racism without nanny-state regulation than with it.

    Bottom line: neither markets nor government can guarantee the absence of racism, but only government can guarantee that racism is not unprofitable.

  16. AroundtheblockAFT

    Paulie, just for reference, what does a petition signature cost these days? It’s been a while – I can remember $.50 and our local petitioners (college kids in summer, hippies, layabouts) would clear 100 per day (good ones – or at least we’d make sure they all weren’t in the same handwriting.) At a concert or something, some petitioners were doing 30-40 per hour so if the standard rate is like $3 @, that’s some good, untaxed coin.

  17. JT

    Paulie: “In addition to recruiting a candidate, 5,000 valid signatures would be required. Lots of work going on around the country right now, raising the per-sig price. I wouldn’t even bother getting started unless about $30,000 was available (and, oh yeah, a candidate willing to run). Ready to cut a check?”

    That’s not what I was referring to, Paulie. I was referring to the idea in the story that it’s “impractical” to run against two well-funded candidates, as if the fact they’re well-funded in itself means that there’s no point in running. That obviously makes no sense given that’s the case in most partisan races (unless you do think there should NOT be a Libertarian choice in most partisan races).

    If the decision were made because of the difficulty in getting ballot access, that’s another story (is Kentucky one of the dozen or so toughest ballot access states in the country? Maybe it is). As far as recruiting a candidate, if there’s no decent Libertarian in an entire state who wants to be a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat, then I think there’s a real problem there.

  18. Robert Capozzi

    bh, I’m not sure we disagree, and how much we do. Actually, I’m not so concerned with mopping up vestigial racism that manifests rarely and generally is subterranean. We’re likely to always have ignorant people among us.

    Certainly I don’t support a nanny state. But the lunch-counter and public accommodations segregation that persisted into the 1960s was not just isolated, individual racists. It was the direct result of things like the slave trade, slavery, Jim Crow, etc. Waiting another 100 years for segregation to abate was unacceptable.

    So, I make an exception on the matter of civil rights, but only because of the context. Now, were I observing the debates of the 50s and early 60s in real time, I’d have wanted to explore less intrusive social chemotherapy than CRA. There probably were better ways to mend an obvious, prolonged, socially interwoven dysfunction…indeed, no doubt there was.

    Were I in Congress today, I would not vote for a bill to repeal CRA, all things considered. I’d implore the bill’s sponsor that there are many, many more important government ills to address; the opportunity costs of such an effort are prohibitive.

    I look forward to a day when CRA SHOULD be repealed as unnecessary, when the vestiges of the slave trade are for all intents and purposes obliterated. That day is not in 2010, IMO.

  19. paulie Post author

    Paulie: “In addition to recruiting a candidate, 5,000 valid signatures would be required. Lots of work going on around the country right now, raising the per-sig price. I wouldn’t even bother getting started unless about $30,000 was available (and, oh yeah, a candidate willing to run). Ready to cut a check?”

    JT: That’s not what I was referring to, Paulie. I was referring to the idea in the story that it’s “impractical” to run against two well-funded candidates

    P2: Actually, that is exactly what impractical means here. There is no practical way to get on the ballot – and no candidate has expressed interest in doing so.

  20. paulie Post author

    Paulie, just for reference, what does a petition signature cost these days? It’s been a while – I can remember $.50 and our local petitioners (college kids in summer, hippies, layabouts) would clear 100 per day (good ones – or at least we’d make sure they all weren’t in the same handwriting.) At a concert or something, some petitioners were doing 30-40 per hour so if the standard rate is like $3 @, that’s some good, untaxed coin

    Prices vary and fluctuate widely. There are still some petitions that pay 50 cents, but most pay a dollar or more. Right now Washington State has one that’s paying $3.50 a signature as well as some others, so it would be kind of hard to compete against that for petitioners. There are petitions on which it is possible to make over a thousand (or even several thousand) dollars a day, but that is far from every campaign and far from every petitioner.

    About a month ago in Missouri one petition went up to $10 a signature plus all expenses paid. I know people that made $5,000- $7,000 in 3 days… each. Or, sometimes several petitions going on at the same time add up to a package that can be $20-30 or even more for every voter that signs everything.

    As for untaxed….sometimes, not always. 1099s are pretty standard, although I have had campaigns that pay cash.

  21. JT

    Paulie: “P2: Actually, that is exactly what impractical means here. There is no practical way to get on the ballot – and no candidate has expressed interest in doing so.”

    Actually, Paulie, that’s not what the sentence says, and that’s what I was relying on. If the reporter paraphrased Ken Moellman wrongly, then that’s really not my fault. The sentence says, “Kentucky Libertarian Party Chairman Ken Moellman said last week it seems “rather impractical” to run against the two well-funded candidates.” That’s what I was very clearly referring to when I said well, almost all partisan races have two well-funded candidates; especially statewide races. The sentence doesn’t say “Kentucky Libertarian Party Chairman Ken Moellman said last week it seems “rather impractical” to run when it’s so difficult to get on the ballot.”

    I also asked whether Kentucky has a more onerous ballot access law than the vast majority of other states; I don’t know that, but perhaps you do. If it doesn’t, then the LP affiliate officers should be able to raise thousands of dollars from Libertarians in Kentucky over two years to hire people to collect the signatures required for ballot status (as well as to help out themselves). It should also be strong enough to find one decent 30yo+ Libertarian who’s willing to be a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat. This isn’t a case of not being able to find an okay Libertarian candidate in a single U.S. House District, which I believe is understandable; we’re talking about the whole state of Kentucky. I mean, geez.

  22. George Phillies

    “LP affiliate officers should be able to raise thousands of dollars from Libertarians in Kentucky over two years to hire people to collect the signatures”

    Is that legal under their campaign finance laws, or not? In some states, the answer is ‘for sure’ and in other states the answer is ‘totally illegal’. If you come to Massachusetts and run for nonFederal partisan office as a Libertarian, your state organization may well be willing to give you our legal maximum support…$500. You have to do your own fundraising here.

  23. paulie Post author

    I also asked whether Kentucky has a more onerous ballot access law than the vast majority of other states; I don’t know that, but perhaps you do.

    I thought I answered that. 5k valid signatures. usually means 8-9k to make sure they have enough good ones.

    Point taken about whatever the reported said. I’m basing my assessment of the situation on personal (and public) conversations with LPKY officials. The problem is that they have no candidate and practically no money. Check prior IPR comment threads (search for “Rand Paul”) and you can see for yourself.

    If it doesn’t, then the LP affiliate officers should be able to raise thousands of dollars from Libertarians in Kentucky over two years to hire people to collect the signatures required for ballot status (as well as to help out themselves).

    Should be =/= is/are. They are far from the only affiliate with this problem.

    Given their resources, they have made a logical choice to steer candidates towards lower level races where they have a better chance of actually getting on the ballot.

  24. JT

    Paulie: “I thought I answered that. 5k valid signatures. usually means 8-9k to make sure they have enough good ones.”

    You didn’t answer it. Yes, you did say what the requirement was, but I asked whether that requirement was more onerous than the vast majority of other states. Maybe you don’t know that, but I thought maybe you did given your experience regarding ballot access.

    Paulie: “Should be =/= is/are. They are far from the only affiliate with this problem.

    Given their resources, they have made a logical choice to steer candidates towards lower level races where they have a better chance of actually getting on the ballot.”

    Yes, I’m sure they’re not the only state affiliate with this problem. But that’s a problem as well.

    As for only running candidates in lower level races, I agree that’s a reasonable option. Unfortunately, much of the non-presidential media coverage and resulting message transmission (even for a third party, which gets WAY less media coverage than the Ds and Rs), come from statewide candidates. Of course, lower-level candidates can speak to local groups at events when invited and knock on doors, reaching some people that way. But their media coverage and message transmission certainly don’t equal that of an active candidate for state governor or U.S. Senator, even if the press focuses most of its attention on the D and R in the race.

    I also think it adds more credibility to the LP when it runs many candidates at the local and state level, as well as the national level with the presidential and vice presidential candidates. I don’t think any state affiliate in the country shouldn’t have one decent, age-appropriate Libertarian in the entire state who’ll run for state governor or U.S. Senator. Whether they actually get that individual on the ballot is another issue.

  25. JT

    George: “Is that legal under their campaign finance laws, or not? In some states, the answer is ‘for sure’ and in other states the answer is ‘totally illegal’. If you come to Massachusetts and run for nonFederal partisan office as a Libertarian, your state organization may well be willing to give you our legal maximum support…$500. You have to do your own fundraising here.”

    So there are some states where affiliate parties can’t even help candidates get on the ballot by raising money and hiring petitioners? Every candidate must raise thousands of dollars by himself or herself just to get on the ballot?

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