Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says he’ll decide in “about a year” whether to run for president in 2016. Paul is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an Iowa Republican Party fundraiser in Cedar Rapids Friday evening.
“I am traveling to a lot of states that just coincidentally have early primaries,” Paul says. “But part of that is to grow the Republican Party as well.”
Paul suggests Republicans can “learn a lesson” from Democrats and make room in the GOP for “disagreement” on social issues.
“The Democrats probably have a thousand different special interest groups who don’t always get along with each other, but they stay under the tent of the Democrat Party,” Paul says. “That’s what Republicans need to do is when we create a big tent, we need to understand we will not agree on every issue and that doesn’t mean we give up on what we believe in. It just means that we acknowledge there will be some people in the party who don’t agree on every social issue and maybe what unifies the party as a whole is we believe in small government, less taxation, less regulation.”
Paul suggests the G-O-P needs to be a “more diverse party” that reaches out to groups like Hispanics and African-Americans who’ve traditionally aligned with Democrats.
“You know, I’m pro-life. I believe in traditional marriage, but I don’t have to beat you up about it,” Paul says. “….You might have a different opinion and still be a fiscal conservative and say, ‘Well, gosh, my home is much closer to the Republican Party. I just disagree with Rand Paul on these issues, but he’s a reasonable fellow and he’s not beating me up about it, so I think I can be in the same party as him.'”
Rand Paul made his comments during an interview on Iowa Public Radio.
Senator Paul was working as an eye doctor in Bowling Green, Kentucky, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010. His father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, ran for president three times and finished third in the 2012 Iowa Caucuses.