(WASHINGTON) — Kentucky Senator Rand Paul went about as far saying he was interested in running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination without actually coming around and saying it.
Interviewed on Fox News on Sunday, Paul wouldn’t commit to a firm “yes” about seeking the White House in four years but he did acknowledge talking to the Republican National Committee leaders about “things I think we need to do” in order to launch a viable campaign.
Like his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Paul’s values are steeped in libertarian beliefs that he suggested might be attractive to both conservatives and those on the left.
Paul won the annual straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier in March, an unofficial gauging of interest in potential Republican candidates, although he barely edged another GOP up-and-comer, Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
One of Paul’s proposals, which is getting wider acceptance, is reducing the penalty for illegal drugs such as marijuana, although he stopped short of legalizing pot.
He told Fox News, “The last two presidents could conceivable have been put in jail for their drug use and I really think look what would have happened, it would have ruined their lives. They got lucky but a lot of poor kids, particularly in the inner city don’t get lucky, they don’t have good attorneys and they go to jail for these things and I think it’s a big mistake.”
As for the debate over unmanned drones used against U.S. citizens, Paul said that his stand on the issue, which involved a marathon 13-hour filibuster, forced President Obama “to at least narrow what his power is and that was my goal.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal
Stephen Collinson, CNN