Randal Howard “Rand” Paul (born January 7, 1963) is a United States Senator for Kentucky and the son of former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas.
A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul has been a practicing ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Kentucky, since 1993. In 1994, he founded “Kentucky Taxpayers United,” of which he is still the chairman.
Senator Paul has been vocal in advocating for term limits, a balanced budget amendment, and the “Read the Bills Act,” in addition to the widespread reduction of federal spending and lower taxation. He has gained prominence for his independent positions on many political issues, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats.
He gained widespread attention in March of 2013, for his talking filibuster to block voting on the nomination of John O. Brennan as the Director of the CIA, questioning Barack Obama and his administration’s use of drones, and the administration’s stated legal justification for hypothetical lethal use within the United States against American citizens.
Paul held the floor for 12 hours and 52 minutes, at times ceding to several other Republican senators as well as one Democratic senator, Ron Wyden, who joined in questioning the use of drones and related topics. Paul noted the purpose of the filibuster was mostly regarding drone policy, particularly usage on noncombatants on U.S. soil. He argued that the language that Obama administration officials had used when questioned over potential usage of drones was troubling, and could potentially lead to a slippery slope where citizens could be targeted merely for expressing views different from those of the president. He asked the Obama administration to agree that they would not target noncombatants on U.S. soil.
Potential 2016 Presidential Candidate
Senator Rand Paul has been talked about as a 2016 candidate since the end of the 2012 elections. He has stated that he is considering a run at the White House but said that he will not make a final decision until 2014. The delay in his decision hasn’t stopped his name from appearing on lists of likely candidates.
He won the 2013 CPAC straw poll of potential presidential candidates on March 16, winning 25% of the votes cast. Rand Paul has also won a number of recent straw polls by strong margins: The Pennsylvania Leadership Conference poll (April 19–20, 2013) with 39% of the vote against the the likely Republican candidates and the Tennessee Republican Assembly straw poll with 58% on April 20.
Rand Paul’s Political Positions
Paul supports term limits, second amendment rights, a balanced budget amendment, and the “Read the Bills Act”, in addition to the widespread reduction of federal spending and lowering of taxation. He is often praised by privacy-rights groups for his stands against illegal government snooping on U.S. citizens and has gained prominence for his independent positions on many political issues, often clashing with both Republicans and Democrats. He received perfect scores from the Gun Owners of America and the American Conservative Union.
The National Taxpayers Union gave Senator Paul a 92% approval score on his actions concerning taxes. The Competitive Enterprise Institute gave him a 100% approval rating along side FreedomWorks who also awarded him a 100% rating.
National Right To Life gave Paul a 100% grade along with the National Right to Life Committee for his stances on protecting life. This position harks back to his father, Ron, who once asked, “If we don’t protect life, how can we protect liberty?”
Rand Paul is a surgical ophthalmologist by trade. Paul went to Baylor University for his undergraduate and then Duke University School of Medicine. He specializes in cataract and glaucoma surgeries, LASIK procedures and corneal transplants.