Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was in Iowa City today — the final stop in his tour of three early voting states after announcing earlier this week that he’s officially in the 2016 race. Paul made a direct appeal to University of Iowa students who are part of what he calls the “Instagram generation.”
“I have a message for those who are spending your inheritance abroad,” Paul said. “Let’s quit building bridges in foreign countries and use that money to build bridges here at home.”
Paul spoke for half an hour to an audience of about 500 people, roughly half of whom were students. Paul drew a rousing response when he repeated his call for criminal sentencing reform.
“The war on drugs has created a culture of violence and put police in a nearly impossible situation,” Paul said. “…Even though when you look at surveys, whites and blacks use drugs at about the same rate, three out of four people in prison are black. Something’s wrong with that and it ought to end and I’m going to be part of ending it.”
Paul opened his speech in Iowa City today with a shout out to “liberty lovers” and he blasted fellow Republicans for squandering election victories of the past by becoming part of the “Washington machine.” Paul, who is 52, is an eye doctor. Paul won his seat in the U.S. Senate in 2010 and is now the second “official” candidate seeking the Republican Party’s next presidential nomination.