Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is gearing up for his expected presidential announcement this week by branding himself as “a different kind of Republican,” one that will “take on Washington.” The latest message comes via video posted Sunday night in advance of his “Stand with Rand” tour of the early voting states in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa and Nevada.
Paul is set to announce his plan to join the 2016 GOP primary field Tuesday in Louisville. His father, libertarian icon Ron Paul, will attend the announcement. The younger Paul has tried to harness his father’s passionate fan base while not pushing away more traditional Republicans skeptical of libertarian positions on foreign policy and other issues.
The nearly three-minute video offers a clear purpose: Featured prominently on the screen was a “Donate Now” annotation on the bottom left, which takes viewers to a page paid for by Rand Paul Victory Committee, asking for personal information and a contribution.
It also includes clips from CNN anchor Candy Crowley, msnbc host Chris Matthews, FOX News anchor Sean Hannity, Comedy Central host of “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart, FOX News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace as well as cable news political pundits Newt Gingrich, Michael Steele and Doug Schoen.
Steele — the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee and an msnbc political analyst— is featured from an appearance on “Meet the Press” in November saying, “(Paul’s) got the organization on the ground right now. He’s in all 50 states. He’s got young folks gravitating towards him. He’s got African-Americans taking a pause looking at him.”
Steele responded Monday morning, adding, “I think it speaks to what I was trying to convey, Rand Paul is organized better than any of them. It’s a big part of proving that he’s serious.”
Paul’s video also includes a clip of an interview that discusses his outreach centers in inner cities. Asked about Paul’s efforts to expand the party and include the African-American community, Steele was excited about the upcoming endorsement of former Oklahoma Republican Congressman J.C. Watts, one of the few black Republicans elected to Congress.
“It speaks to Rand having a measure of credibility,” Steele said. “That’s going to be one of the X factors of this campaign. He is going beyond the limits of the primary and having this conversation. Why not start it now? And it’s whether the party is ready. It’ll be interesting to see.”
Former House Speaker and 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich features prominently near the beginning of the video. “Rand Paul has been the most consistently principled person talking about issues,” he said in the footage.
In that same segment on CNN from March of last year, Gingrich went on to highlight Paul battling the GOP establishment: “He takes on Republicans, so what? That’s good for America. I’d love to see Hillary take on Democrats with the same courage that Rand Paul is taking on Republicans.”
The campaign video uses four clips of Paul at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference and includes cheering members of the audience holding “Stand with Rand” signs.
“It’s time for a new way. A new set of ideas,” Paul says in his deadpan delivery. “A new leader — one you can trust. One who works for you. And above all, it’s time for a new president!”