Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in an interview with the Manchester Union-Leader editorial board:
“I’ve been there. I’ve seen what it’s like in the third-party world,” he said. “Our system is directed to the two parties and I made the decision when I started running for political office that I am a constitutional conservative and Libertarian-leaning Republican. My best influence is to bring the Republican Party to the Libertarian side of the issues.”
Paul pointed out that GOP candidates for New Hampshire’s two congressional seats lost to Democrats by 4-percent margins in 2010. “And the Libertarian candidates in those two races got 4 percent of the vote,” he said. “So we need to get Libertarians to vote Republican.”
“We’ve met with some of the Free State folks, and the difficulty with Libertarians is that some want to stay in the Libertarian Party, some don’t want to vote at all, and some will vote in the GOP primary if they are convinced to,” said Paul. “There are a lot of issues that we share, and we want them to come over and vote in the GOP and make the GOP bigger.”
Read more at the Manchester Union-Leader.
Carla Howell, Political Director for the Libertarian National Committee, had the following response:
Interesting that Paul is staking out the Republican-loyalty position while Trump is staking out the non-allegiance-to-GOP position. On this point, Trump is decidedly more libertarian than Rand Paul.
Being defeatist about alternative parties is outdated, not to mention highly dangerous, especially when the result is endorsing people like Romney and McConnell. You can’t get much more pro-Big Government than that.
Public sentiment against Ds and Rs – and for third parties/independents – has swung significantly since his dad’s run as the LP POTUS candidate in 1988. Someone needs to point out to Rand (or to his target audience) that that was then and this is now.
National Libertarian Party
UPDATE: These are the 2010 election results that Paul refers to. Both were in fact won by Republicans.
Republican Frank C. Guinta 54% W
Democrat Carol Shea-Porter (inc.) 42.4%
Libertarian Philip Hodson 3.5%
Republican Charles Bass 48.3% W
Democrat Ann McLane Kuster 46.8%
Independent Tim van Blommesteyn 2.8%
Libertarian Howard L. Wilson 2.1%