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Halperin: ‘Establishment Is Afraid’ of Rand Paul

Bloomberg Politics Managing Editor Mark Halperin said “lot of the establishment is afraid” of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in part because he “can be a formidable fundraiser” and “throws the sharpest, hardest elbows” on Tuesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

“They [Rand’s foreign policy critics] are afraid of him, but they also don’t want that part of the Republican Party, that more isolationist part of the party to get any traction. Look, there’s a lot of focus on his foreign policy, but I think they’re afraid of him for a lot of other reasons. He also wants to expand the party. He also can be a formidable fundraiser. And he’s politically, not only talented, but it’s like there’s 17, going to be 17 people in this roller derby ring, he throws the sharpest, hardest elbows. And I think a lot of the establishment is afraid of him, for good reason, not just on foreign policy though” he stated.

Halperin said that Rand has “moved a little bit on foreign policy. He’s not as big an outlier as he was because he wants to try to win,” but “he shapes things by going unapologetically after Washington, and by speaking a language with appeal to the people who follow what’s called the liberty agenda. A lot of young people, but not just young people, that other Republicans can’t even hear, it sounds like the parents on Peanuts to these other Republicans. They can’t make out what Rand Paul says because it’s communicating on a different level, particularly including on foreign policy. A lot of young people look at the Lindsey Graham-type of foreign policy, they say ‘that’s my father’s foreign policy, that’s my mother’s foreign policy, that’s not what I care about today,’ and that has power and resonance. Is it enough to get him a nomination? Maybe not, but it’s enough to make him a huge player in Iowa, in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and beyond.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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