Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is adding moderate views to his tea party agenda as speculation already is rife that he will run for president in 2016.
Among the issues the freshman firebrand will push in the next Congress are legalization of undocumented immigrants and an easing of marijuana punishments, Paul tells Politico
Asked whether he will indeed enter the presidential race next time around, Paul said only, “I’m interested in the national debate.” The freshman senator is up for re-election in 2016.
On immigration, Paul hopes to work across the aisle for a plan that includes an “eventual path” to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He thinks he can put together a proposal that conservatives will accept.
As for marijuana, Paul wants to cooperate with liberal Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and other Republicans to jettison mandatory minimum sentences for possession of marijuana.
The idea is to attract young and minority voters. Paul is particularly concerned about voters on West Coast, in the Northeast and along the Great Lakes. “We have three big regions where we’re not competitive,” he said. “And we have to be competitive in those regions.”
Election day wasn’t kind to Paul. He offered financial or verbal support to five Republican Senate candidates, all of whom lost. The list includes John Raese of West Virginia, Denny Rehberg of Montana, Connie Mack of Florida, Richard Mourdock of Indiana, and Todd Akin of Missouri.
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