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Rand Paul: ‘I May Be the Most Unpopular Person in Washington Right Now’

On Thursday’s “Kennedy” on the Fox Business Network, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, defended his positions on national security and foreign policy and pointed out that in his view it is paying dividends for him politically.

Paul declared some who oppose his point of view to be “old moss-covered GOP.”

“I think there’s a lot of people out there who aren’t represented by the old moss-covered GOP,” he said. “I think the new GOP does have a foundation outside of the Beltway. Even on foreign policy, if you poll the issue – should we be more involved in the Middle East or less involved. Less involved polls 40-45 percent, maybe 50 percent in most of the early primaries.”

The junior Kentucky Republican senator went on to declare his stand against the National Security Agency and its bulk data collection efforts to be a “significant accomplishment,” but with the cost of his popularity in Washington, D.C.

“Actually I think a significant accomplishment was a rebuke to the president,” Paul said. “To say to the president, ‘it is illegal to collect our records, it’s illegal to collect them and store them in Utah. The court has told you so and now Congress has told you so.’ I was with the part of the bill that eliminated the bulk collection. I just didn’t want send bulk collection over to the phone companies. So, I still believe that the Fourth Amendment says that records can only be collected with individualized suspicion. Interestingly, that’s a very unpopular position in Washington. I may well be the most unpopular person in Washington right now. But if you get outside the Beltway, it’s very popular. I’m finding as travel in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina — crowds are coming by the hundreds and they all want to be left alone. Part of this new GOP coalition are called the ‘leave me alone coalition.’ And I think it’s growing rapidly.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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