16 Things You Should Know About Rand Paul, Who Just Announced He's Running For President
Welcome to the dance, Rand Paul.
On Tuesday (Apr. 7), the 52-year-old Senator announced his candidacy for President, joining Ted Cruz, who announced last month.
Millennials will play a major role in the 2016 election, and Paul knows this -- he's put a focus on speaking at colleges and connecting with young people.
Here's a chance to get to know the man who calls himself "a different kind of Republican leader" a little better, and find out if he's the right kind of leader for you.
He's A Republican Senator From Kentucky ...
Though he was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Texas, he moved to Kentucky in the early 1990s and was elected to the Senate there in 2010. It was his first political campaign and first time holding office.
... With A Wife And Three Kids
Who doesn't love a wedding photo? Rand and Kelley will celebrate their 25th anniversary in October. Congrats.
His Father Is A Former Representative And Presidential Candidate
Rand's pop, Ron Paul, has been a long-time leader in the libertarian movement. Ron was in the House of Representatives for 20 years and ran for President three times. Still, the younger Paul wants to separate himself -- at least somewhat -- from his father's legacy. “I want to be judged by who I am, not by a relationship,” he told The New York Times last year.
Rand's Kids Taught Him Snapchat
He conducted a Snapchat interview with CNN, and told MTV News that it's a good tool to reach young people. But he's not a cool dad, he says.
And He Likes Memes, Just Like The Rest Of Us
It's called connecting with the youth, guys.
He Wants To Appeal To Iggy Azalea's Fanbase
And anyone with eyes on the White House should be at ease from L.A. to Tokyo.
He's An Ophthalmologist Who Still Performs The Occasional Eye Surgery
In the late 1990s, he founded the National Board of Ophthalmology, protesting the fact that the established board, the American Board of Ophthalmology, gave older eye doctors a lifetime certification, while younger ones were forced to get re-certified every 10 years. He still performs eye surgeries occasionally.
He's Generally Against Foreign Intervention And Aid
In 2011, he proposed a bill that would have cut all aid to foreign countries; last year, though, he said he would continue aid to Israel.
He has said he appeals to people "who would like to see a more moderate and less aggressive foreign policy." Still, he touted a "strong national defense" in a video accompanying his announcement.
He Wants To Change Laws Targeting Non-Violent Drug Offenders
"The majority of illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white," he said during a 2013 Senate hearing. "But three-fourths of the people in prison for drug offenses are African-American or Latino." He also wants to restore voting rights for some of the formerly incarcerated.
He Also Wants To Build A Border Fence To Keep Undocumented Immigrants Out Of The Country
But he does support a "path to citizenship" for some of those already here.
You Might Remember Him From This 13-Hour Filibuster
Paul was protesting the potential use of drone strikes -- on U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, specifically. He eventually gave it up when he had to go to the bathroom. Nature calls.
He's A Big Fan Of The Second Amendment, And Doesn't Support Any Gun-Control Laws
That would mean, it seems, he opposed everything from background checks to limiting Drum magazines, like the ones used in shootings in places like Aurora, Colorado; those magazines can hold up to 100 rounds of ammunition and be fired rapidly.
But He Really HATES Taxes
In February, he announced plans to propose "the largest tax cut in American history," what he's calling the Fair and Flat Tax plan. In the 1990s, he founded the North Carolina Taxpayers Union, a "watchdog" group for political spending, and later Kentucky Taxpayers United, an anti-tax group.
He Also Opposes The Patriot Act And The NSA
Though he voted against an NSA reform bill last year aimed at the country's intelligence agency. And for just $15, you can purchase your own NSA Spy Cam blocker from Rand's store. Capitalism at its finest, amirite?
He's Against Abortion, But Might Not Touch Roe v. Wade
“I think where the country is, is somewhere in the middle, and we are not changing any of the laws until the country is persuaded otherwise,” he said last year. However, in 2013, he introduced the Life at Conception Act, which "would extend the Constitutional protection of life to the unborn from the time of conception."
What better way to show your support than with these "Stand with Rand" flip-flops!