Rand Paul Announces Presidential Run on Website

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images/AFP
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images/AFP

LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 7 (UPI) — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has announced he will be running for President of the United States in 2016 election as a Republican candidate.

“I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government,” Paul said on his website.

Paul considers himself a “different kind of Republican.” He was first elected to the 2010 Senate by campaigning for national debt reduction, federal spending cuts and repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Paul will frame himself as “the most anti-establishment figure in the race.”

Although younger Republicans agree with some of Paul’s policies, such as his support to normalize relations with Cuba, most of Republican party members oppose positions he takes, including his previous opposition for the United States to conduct airstrikes on Islamic State targets — a position he has reversed.

He has frequently used the slogan “I Stand with Rand” on social media, a possible campaign slogan.

Paul has recently strayed from controversy by not commenting on the ardent discussion over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which many critics perceive as being anti-LGBT and many other potential Republican presidential nominees have supported.

Paul, son of former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, appeals to a broader audience by questioning harsh sentences for drug offenders, which cost the government millions to keep imprisoned, and by opposing government surveillance.

Paul won the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll for the third time in a row in February. Paul had 25.7 percent of the vote, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker following closely with 21.4 percent. 3,000 conservative leaders participated in the vote.

Paul holds nearly nine percent of favorable polls for the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination, behind former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush’s near 17 percent and Walker’s 16 percent according to averages by Real Clear Politics.