Sen. Rand Paul announced Wednesday that he is no longer running for president. He said in a statement it had been an honor for him to run a campaign for the White House.
Paul’s announcement mean the end of a bid whose aspirations were focused on the expansion of the libertarian base that Ron Paul, his father, built into a strong national coalition.
“Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Feb. 3, as he was putting an end to his presidential campaign ahead of the primary in New Hampshire.
Paul was having a hard time in a year dominated by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. His advisers acknowledged that Republicans did not welcome the candidate’s non-interventionist ideas regarding foreign policy as they embraced terrorism and unrest raged abroad.
Moreover, the senator failed at persuading his father’s followers to support him. Ron Paul is a former congressman from Texas who was a two-time presidential candidate, in 2008 and 2012. Rand was popular among libertarians, but purists in that wing of the conservative movement believed he was too mainstream.
In 2010, Rand Paul was elected to the Senate as part of the GOP’s tea party wave. The 53-year-old ophthalmologist will go back to work in the chamber, as well as to his Senate reelection campaign, but he will face Democrats opposition as they try to get back the majority.
After the disappointing results in Monday’s Iowa caucuses, Paul decided it was best to give up on the idea of becoming president. His father had a strong third there back in 2012. Paul began to inform his advisers and donors about his decision before returning to Washington D.C. to reassume his work in the Senate.
In spite of his unsuccessful campaign, the senator is confident that it offered Republicans different alternatives to attract young people and minorities to the party. He claimed that thousands of young people embraced his message of privacy, limited government, criminal justice reform and a reasonable foreign policy.
People welcomed his views of Liberty, he said, and he will continue spreading his ideas from the Senate. Paul expressed pride to be representing the people of Kentucky and hoped to be able to do so for another term.
Trygve Olso, one of Paul’s allies, said that libertarians and other conservatives probably would support the senator more in the next presidential cycle without a celebrity front-runner dominating the entire campaign. Olso affirmed Paul has been the most important voice those people have in the country.
Source: Washington Post