Bill Kristol 'Not Sure' Rand Paul is Presidential Caliber

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Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 12:10 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Conservative icon Bill Kristol says GOP 2016 presidential frontrunner Sen. Rand Paul, who is currently mired in a plagiarism scandal, may not be presidential material.

"Paul has had a few of these incidents where he looks sloppy, at least in the way he's conducted himself. And he's a U.S. senator; he's not some local guy or an activist running a blog," the Weekly Standard editor stated on Geraldo Rivera's radio program Wednesday.

"He's hit a chord on some issues, but I'm not sure he's quite up to the presidential level," the Weekly Standard editor added.

Kristol, who has taken to the airways frequently since announcing the end of his contract with Fox News in August, did not directly address the plagiarism scandal that has erupted around Paul, but noted that he could face some tough competition.

"A million people are going to run, and there are a million different angles for the soul of the party, including Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul," Kristol said, adding, "People don't expect politicians to write all their stuff, but they don't expect them to copy stuff from other people or their staff to do so."

As for Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who won reelection in a landslide victory Tuesday, Kristol said he "is in the very top tier of candidates."

The most recent poll for 2016, conducted by Public Policy Polling, puts Christie and Paul level at 16 percent support among Republicans with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on 15 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on 14 percent, Wisconsin Rep. Ryan on 11 percent, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on 10 percent and Louisiana Gov. Jindal on 6 percent. The poll did not include Wisconsin Gov. Walker among its options.

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