Slamming possible GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush as a "moderate," Sen. Rand Paul —
mulling a run of his own —
says the former Florida governor's embrace of a tax-and-spend philosophy and Common Core ignores the party's conservative base.
In an interview with Breitbart,
the Kentucky Republican said GOP voters will have a clear choice when they select the candidate who'll be their standard-bearer.
"When we have a primary, voters will have to pick whether they want a moderate leading the party or a conservative," Paul told Breitbart. "That’s what the primary will be about, people presenting their ideas and they’ll have to decide whether they want Common Core, whether they want more spending, more taxes, whether they want a candidate who will not pledge to not raise taxes.
"There’s a lot of things that will go on, we have plenty of time for that, but I would say that time will tell."
Labeling a candidate aiming for the GOP nomination as a tax-and-spend moderate who supports a national curriculum is an insult, precluding any support from the party's more conservative voting base, Breitbart notes.
Paul has previously declared Common Core a deal breaker for GOP presidential candidates, telling Breitbart
in October support for a national curriculum was not "a winning message in a Republican primary."
Bush's stances on immigration reform have also put him at odds with conservatives in the party.
In a fundraising appeal last month, Shaun McCutcheon, chairman of the Conservative Action Fund, accused Bush of being "another establishment, compromising Republican."
"Will you support a nominee who supports amnesty for illegal immigrants, the Washington takeover of our educational system [known as Common Core], and is already talking about raising taxes?" he reportedly wrote.
In the wide-ranging Breitbart interview, Paul also took aim at New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie — another potential 2016 GOP candidate — over gun control.
"I just think it’ll be difficult for anybody to win the nomination who’s not a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, and I don’t have all the details yet about what’s going on up there but I would just make the statement that anybody who is not a staunch defender of the Second Amendment — or for that matter, a staunch defender of all the Bill of Rights — I think will have a tough time winning the nomination," he said.
Paul is expected
to announce this spring whether he'll take a run for the White House.
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