Rand Paul: Experience Not Necessary For Higher Office

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Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 09:53 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A politician can have too much experience, says first-term Republican Sen. Rand Paul, dismissing claims that he and other key Republicans are too inexperienced to seek the presidency in 2016.

“I think that over long periods of time, people lose their zeal for change in Washington and they become part of the system," Paul said after a Chicago school choice forum Tuesday, reports The Chicago Tribune.

Paul said he wasn't necessarily responding to former GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, a long-term former senator who last week dismissed the Kentucky Republican and fellow freshman Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Florida, and Ted Cruz, Texas, as "first-termers."

"I don't think they've got enough experience yet," Dole said in an interview with The Wichita Eagle Sunday of the three, when asked about Republicans' chances against a Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016.

But Paul said that being a career politician is not always a positive thing when it comes for running for higher office.

“I was a physician, and then a U.S. Senator, and people said, ‘You need to be a state legislator and a mayor and all of these other things before you’re in the U.S. Senate,'" said Paul. "I absolutely disagree with that because I think in some ways, when you have people who are career politicians, they’ve been beaten down by the system and are so part of the system that they can’t see all the problems of the system."

Paul pointed out that he never criticized President Barack Obama for being a first-term senator from Illinois and not having more political experience when he sought the White House.

The Kentucky senator was in Chicago as part of a two-day tour of the Midwest while touting school choice, part of his plan to try to gain Republican support from the African-American and Latino communities.

"We have to figure out as Republicans how to get our message to the people who favor charter schools and choice in schools and say, ‘Look, we do care about your kids and frankly the other side cares more about the status quo than your kids,'" Paul said.

He called the fight for school choice as being a battle between "dead enders and those who believe in education," telling reporters the "dead enders" include Democrats and teachers' unions.

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