Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, September 27, 2013
Former Republican presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul has a warning for his filibustering son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, should he decide to run for president in 2016.
“I would say, ‘Be very cautious – you could get elected,’” he said on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Thursday. “That’s the risk you run in politics.”
He told Leno that he hadn’t discussed with his son whether or not the Kentucky senator would run for president in three years, noting that his son’s 2010 senate bid was itself a surprise. And while the elder Paul didn’t think his son would do well in that race, he firmly believes the presidential race is Rand’s to lose in 2016.
“Probably somebody who lives in Texas — I mean used to live in Texas, lives in Kentucky now. He’ll probably end up getting it,” Paul said.
Leno also asked Paul if he felt that his son was still a “Tea Party guy,” or if Rand’s recent agreements with President Barack Obama were signs that he was becoming more of a moderate Republican candidate.
“I think so,” Paul responded. “I think when he ran for Senate, he sort of surprised me…I didn’t think he would do all that well…But most of the grass root organization came from Tea Party groups – people who were sick and tired of both parties because they didn’t trust either party, and they were people who were sick and tired of big government spending and all the debt.”
“If I call him a moderate, I’ll destroy his political career,” he added. “You don’t want me to do that.”
By the numbers, Paul’s current chances at becoming the next inhabitant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue aren’t as good as his father thinks, however. According to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted in July, Rand Paul and Vice President Joe Biden are deadlocked in a head-to-head match at 42 percent, but trails former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 12 points, 50 percent to 38 percent. In addition, a Rasmussen Reports study from August has Paul trailing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by 14 points in the Republican primary for president.
Watch the full interview below.