Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) addresses the Faith and Freedom Coalition's 'Road to Majority' Policy Conference on June 20, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Republican jockeying in the 2016 U.S. presidential primary is becoming a contest over who will become the alternative to the Tea Party’s candidate.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is the favorite of the small-government movement, and Republican rivals are starting to gang up on him to argue that he could dim the party’s chances against a Democratic Party unified behind Hillary Clinton.
“It feels good to be the anti-establishment figure until the entire establishment comes raining down on you, and that’s what they’re going to do to him,” radio talk show host Laura Ingraham said of Paul in an interview. “I’m a little surprised it’s happening so early.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry delivered a rebuke of Paul in the Washington Post, casting him as an isolationist who would let terrorism fester beyond U.S. borders.
Paul is “curiously blind” to the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and “drawing his own red line along the water’s edge, creating a giant moat where superpowers can retire from the world,” Perry wrote in a July 11 opinion piece.
“I’m with Perry on that,” former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a failed candidate in 2012 Republican primary, said yesterday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Ohio Senator Rob Portman told Bloomberg News last week that he may run for president if he doesn’t see a viable Republican candidate with the experience and temperament to manipulate the levers of power in Washington -- an implicit criticism of Paul.