In the vast cluster of presidential wannabes, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, has taken to the road in an attempt to differentiate himself from all those other Republicans who crave the White House in 2016.
Paul, visiting New Hampshire, is depicting himself as the libertarian "un-Bush" and "un-Romney" in the race — the guy with new and different ideas that, as the sniping starts to intensify, set him apart from the herd, The Wall Street Journal
Already, Paul has targeted former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush as a "big government Republican" favoring conservative-despised Common Core education; dismissed former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as someone who "had his chance" and lost to Obama in 2012; and blasted Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, as being "silly" and "childish" for criticizing Paul's positions on foreign policy, Politico
GOP New Hampshire state Sen. Andy Sanborn, a former campaign co-chairman of Paul's father, Ron Paul, in his 2012 run, told the Journal, "He is solely the candidate who benefits from the crowded field. He occupies a singular space in politics."
Paul finds himself on the low end of the Republican nomination seekers, lagging behind Bush, with a 5.8 percent lead, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, in a Real Clear Politics roundup poll
, done without Romney as a candidate.
In an Iowa poll run by Gravis Marketing
, Paul is idling in the middle of the pack, with Romney ahead at 21 percent, Bush next at 14 percent, Wisconsin's GOP Gov. Scott Walker at 10 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 9 percent and, finally, Paul at 8 percent.
Paul attacked Romney in New Hampshire, telling Politico, "You need a candidate who reaches out to new constituencies and is able to bring new people into the party, because if we do the same old, same old candidates, we are going to get the same old result.
"I think you are already hearing rumblings that he had his shot. I think he could have been a good leader of the country. But I think many people are going to say, 'He’s had his chance.'"
As for Bush, Paul told Politico, “He’s been a proponent of Common Core, a proponent probably of a much bigger government — a big-government Republican who believes more things should be occurring in Washington rather than decentralization."
He termed Common Core an "albatross" for Bush and told the Journal, "It’s going to be very difficult to be the nominee of the party if you believe in more central control of education."
Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell hit back, telling the Journal, "Governor Bush would put his successful conservative governing record up against anyone's."
When Rubio called Paul the "chief cheerleader of Obama's foreign policy" over Paul's support for normalizing relations with Cuba, Paul responded, "That’s sort of silly," Politico reported. "We could ask the same: 'Is he (Rubio) the biggest cheerleader of Obama’s immigration policy?' That’s childish."
Paul next will carry his message to Nevada.
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