Usually they say, like father, like son. However, the path seems to be diverging for Rand and Ron Paul on a variety of issues as Rand gears up for a presidential bid. While the son has been courting donors, polishing his libertarian-themed views for conservative audiences, and putting together a 2016 team, his father has been on the speaking circuit spouting views often at odds with the younger Paul.
Report from the Washington Post:
Rand Paul wants to lead the United States. On Saturday in Texas, his father was speaking at a conference about how to leave it.
“A lot of times people think secession, they paint it as an absolute negative,” said former representative Ron Paul (R-Tex.). After all, Paul said, the American Revolution was a kind of secession. “You mean we should have been obedient to the king forever? So it’s all in the way you look at it.”
This weekend was a crucial one for Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky and undeclared candidate for the presidency. He was in California, trying to line up donors at an opulent retreat organized by the billionaire Koch brothers.
At the same time, his father — retired after 12 terms in Congress and three presidential runs — was in the ballroom of an airport hotel here, the final speaker at “a one-day seminar in breaking away from the central state.” He followed a series of speakers who said that the U.S. economy and political establishment were tottering and that the best response might be for states, counties or even individuals to break away.
“The America we thought we knew, ladies and gentlemen, is a mirage. It’s a memory. It’s a foreign country,” Jeff Deist, Ron Paul’s former press secretary and chief of staff, told the group. “And that’s precisely why we should take secession seriously.”
The contrasting scenes this weekend illuminate the odd situation of the Pauls as the 2016 campaign season begins. They are a father and son tied together — but running in opposite directions.
Ron Paul drew quite the following of loyal supporters over the 2008 and 2012 cycles. The “rEVOLution,” as it was deemed, never amounted to any electoral victories but it did serve notice that a great deal of voters were looking for an alternative to the typical platforms of the mainstream parties.
Conventional wisdom might say that Ron’s backers might find a home with Rand in the 2016 cycle. I’m not so sure since Rand has spent a lot more time cozying up with the Republican establishment to cement support as well as build his appeal.
Is Ron Paul an asset or liability to Rand in 2016? Perhaps he’s neither since family members aren’t on the ballot.