GOP candidate Sen. Rand Paul says Sen. Ted Cruz has an authenticity problem that will cost him Liberty Movement voters in next Monday’s Iowa caucus.
“The problem with Ted Cruz’s campaign is authenticity,” Paul told Breitbart News on a conference call with reporters ahead of his next Iowa swing beginning tomorrow. “I think the liberty movement is going to coalesce around our campaign,” Paul said. “Cruz is getting things on both sides of every issue.”
Paul is going to be on the main stage at Thursday night’s Fox News debate in the Hawkeye State, where he’s angling to turn out college voters, plus what he finally referred to as “The Ron Paul Vote.”
Paul said that his supporters are disappointed in Cruz for skipping a vote in 2015 to audit the Federal Reserve based on a failed bill that Paul introduced. “I think they’re going to be disappointed in that his response to Rubio during the debates is that he voted against NSA reform because he actually supports the government taking 100 percent of our cell phone” records, Paul said.
Paul said that most Liberty voters don’t support the government taking any cell phone records from private citizens.
“I think there’s going to be several percentage points he’ll lose and we’ll take back for the liberty movement,” Paul said. “The polls could be way off. It could be that there will be two or three people at the top in the twenties, and then two or three people in the teens.” Thus, some polling showing Donald Trump with a considerable lead could be wrong.
Paul expounded on the inaccuracy of polls throughout the call, in which he also curiously talked about how pollsters don’t know how to gauge “The Ron Paul Vote.” It was a rare instance in which Paul cited his father’s support base as being his own. Throughout the campaign, Paul has mostly shied away from discussing or aligning himself with his popular libertarian dad.
“The polling is not reflecting the Ron Paul vote,” he said. “In 2012, they estimated the Ron Paul vote at 9 or 10 pecent, which is a little bigger than our number, but it’s half of what he ended up getting.” Ron Paul eventually locked up 26,036 votes for a 21.5 percent margin and a third-place finish.
Paul said that he is not concerned about losing time on the campaign trail to defend his Senate seat, in the wake of news Tuesday that Democratic Lexington mayor Jim Gray is going to challenge him for his seat in Kentucky.
“I think I’ve done a good job as a U.S. senator in showing up to vote,” Paul said, taking a subtle jab at absentee senator Marco Rubio. Paul added that his national visibility helps the state of Kentucky.
“Thirty-nine percent of the people are still not fully committed for who they’re voting for,” Paul said. “A lot of the models for this polling shows three times the normal turnout” but still focuses on typical likely caucus-goers, pointing to possible major inaccuracies.
Paul spoke of the hundred “kids,” his volunteers, jumping up and down and cheering in his Des Moines headquarters when it was announced that he’d be on the main stage for the Fox debate. Paul was left off the stage at the last CNN debate and he boycotted the “undercard” losers’ circle debate in protest. During that debate, moderator Chris Wallace was interrupted by multiple protesters screaming “We want Rand.”
It was reminiscent of the previous CNN debate in Las Vegas, where Paul actually was on the main stage. Texas-based Rand-affiliated operative Faith Braverman slipped some young Paul supporters into the crowd to cheer loudly for Paul after each of his points, angering CNN employees on the floor but going viral in the process.
Can I make Rand Paul's cheering section my ring tone
— josh groban (@joshgroban) December 16, 2015
Breitbart News reported from the ground on Paul’s campus voter-turnout game, which is likely to help him compete at a level beyond what his poll numbers would suggest.
“Seventeen to twenty-seven thousand votes is win, place or show,” Paul’s top Iowa adviser Steve Grubbs told Breitbart News, coming off a rally attended by 150 Iowans. Grubbs is the former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. He previously led Bob Dole and Steve Forbes to great success in the Iowa caucus. Now he’s working at the top of Rand PAC.
“We have 1,019 precinct campaigns in every corner of the state,” Grubbs said. “He’s peaking at just the right time. Four years ago, Rick Santorum was in last place 23 days out. He rose to win it. There’s been a lot of movement here in the last three weeks. If you want to be in the right place at the right time, you need to have the ground game ready to go.”
“For the first time since 2000, the caucus will occur while college is in session,” Grubbs said. “We have campus organizations at more than twenty University of Iowa colleges and universities.