The Conservative Political Action Conference ended over the weekend. It featured a number of conservative Republican speakers from state and federal politics. Before the conference ended, they conducted their 2016 presidential preference straw poll. When the votes were counted, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) garnered 25% of the votes. This surprised many who believed that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was the overwhelming favorite yet Rubio finished just behind Paul with 23% of the vote. Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania finished a distant third with only 8% of the vote.
So what is it about the rookie senator from Kentucky that has suddenly thrust him into the lead among conservatives?
Many reports say that Paul’s rise to favor was due to his recent filibuster on the Senate floor where he demanded that President Barack Obama tells the truth about his drones over America policy. But is this the only reason?
Let’s not forget that Paul has cut his senatorial office budget by $500,000 two years ago and $600,000 last year. He returned that money, $1.1 million, back to the Treasury Department and challenged other senators and representatives to follow his example. Paul has said that the federal government must reduce its spending and that needs to start with the politicians themselves.
In another move of conservatism, Paul has been outspoken about foreign aid to countries that burn the American flag and use it for the wrong reasons. He has mentioned the foreign aid that has gone to Egypt for years which only served to fill the pockets of the Egyptian leaders.
Now, Paul is challenging one of the hallmarks of liberalism – abortion. He recently introduced SB 583, which says that life begins at conception and that life is protected under the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. Paul says that abortion is a direct violation of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment:
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Since life begins at conception, anything that would take away that right to life, such as abortion, would be a violation of the 14th Amendment.
No politician is perfect and Paul does have some negatives, but if he continues his attacks on the liberal establishment, he just may be the top GOP contender for the White House in 2016. Either way, he’s now in the spotlight and worth keeping tabs on.