Rand Paul Unveils Slogan in Advance of Campaign Announcement

RTR3FK38
Rand Paul is widely expected to announce his candidacy for president on April 7. His slogan will be, "Defeat the Washington machine. Unleash the American dream." Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is widely expected to announce his candidacy for president on Tuesday and has, according to news site Politico, settled on a campaign slogan: "Defeat the Washington machine. Unleash the American dream."

The unwieldy slogan is meant to frame Paul, a Republican senator since 2011, as a political outsider. A Paul aide described it to Politico's Mike Allen as "a subtle contrast to Hillary [Clinton]." But the outsider framing should also help Paul against Jeb Bush, a Republican who in mid-December announced he was exploring a bid for president and who currently leads the pack with 21 percent of the likely vote to Paul's 8 percent, according to a new poll by ABC News and The Washington Post.

Paul is no outsider, but his left-libertarian leanings might make him the candidate of choice for disaffected free marketeers. His father, Ron Paul, formerly a U.S. congressman from Texas, is an icon in the libertarian community and, though the younger Paul leans more toward mainstream Republicanism than his father, the family name carries weight.

Paul will kick off his campaign with a five-day tour of five states. He will begin in Kentucky and travel to the swing state of New Hampshire before moving through South Carolina and two more swing states, Iowa and Nevada.

In recent weeks, Paul has also been courting members of the religious right with talk of getting Washington out of the gay marriage debate. At a prayer breakfast in the nation's capital in late March, Paul told a group of potential supporters that gay marriage represents "a moral crisis" and said he thinks the issue should be decided by states, not the federal government.

The religious right and libertarians have not always gotten along, despite both groups nominally falling under the Big Tent of the GOP. Paul is walking a narrow path in trying to convince the religious right that he will fight to keep religion a prominent force in American politics while also assuring libertarians that he will shrink government.

Whether a single candidate can win the support of both groups remains to be seen, but Paul will certainly try.

Rand Paul Unveils Slogan in Advance of Campaign Announcement | U.S.