NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a likely 2016 GOP presidential candidate, thanked participants at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) for handing him a victory in the 2015 CPAC straw poll.
“I am humbled by the enthusiastic support and encouragement I received this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference,” Paul said in a statement.
Our party is filled with constitutional conservatives who have chosen to stand with me for a third consecutive straw poll victory. Since President Ronald Reagan, the Conservative Political Action Conference has been the gold standard on where conservatives stand.
The Constitutional Conservatives of our party have spoken in a loud and clear voice today. I plan on doing my part and I hope you will join me as I continue to make the GOP a bigger, better and bolder party.
As the results were announced at CPAC, activists in the main ballroom began chanting, “President Paul! President Paul! President Paul!”
In an exclusive interview before his CPAC speech, Paul told Breitbart News that Republicans need to nominate a conservative in 2016.
“I have a great deal of hope for America,” Paul said when asked about what’s needed heading into 2016.
I think America can grow again. But we have to understand why America became great—because of our Constitution, because of our economic system, because of the marketplace that we embraced—and it’s slowly but surely kind of slipping away.
If we are to rejuvenate the economy and get the government out of the way, I think we could have growth like we had during the Reagan years but we can’t have milquetoast middle-of-the-road Republicans because they end up not being much different than the Democrats.
What we really need are Republicans who will boldly be what they’re for and that is limited government and lower taxes, not revenue-neutral tax reform whatever that is. We ought to be for lowering taxes and with that, millions of jobs will be created.