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Sen. Rand Paul visits Idaho where “conservatives are pretty damn conservative”

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS – Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul spent Thursday in Idaho speaking to supporters and spreading his conservative government message.

It was Paul’s first to the Gem State as a presidential candidate. After stopping in Boise, the Kentucky senator spoke to hundreds gathered at the Riverbend Ranch in Idaho Falls.

EastIdahoNews.com caught up with the Kentucky senator who shared his thoughts on some key issues.

His visit to Idaho

“The way I perceive the west, not being from the west, is people came out here to get away from big government. People came out here escaping religious persecution. I’m a big defender of property rights. I’ve been trying to say the government shouldn’t be out here regulating our land and telling us what to do. I’ve been one saying maybe we’d have less forest fires if Idaho were in charge of their forests.”

His message to Idahoans who say he’s too conservative

“I think the conservatives in Idaho are pretty damn conservative. Republicans out here are very conservative so I don’t think I’m hearing that too much. The things I say that I don’t think that are too radical are things like we should only spend money that comes in. In Washington, that’s radical but in Idaho not only should we balance our budget but we should pay off our debt too.”

Why he’s running for office

“Originally I ran for office because I was concerned about how much debt our country is accumulating and it’s still happening. We’re accumulating a debt of about a million dollars a minute and I think we have to do so something about it. Many Republicans will say they’re going to do something about it but I’m the only one running for president who’s actually put forward a budget that will balance.”

His low ratings in the polls

“One of the interesting things about polls is if you ask which Republican can best beat the democrats, which Republican can best beat Hillary Clinton, we’re doing quite well against Hillary Clinton. We actually lead Hillary Clinton in five states won by President Obama. Many Republicans could win Idaho but not many Republicans can win Illinois or Michigan or Ohio. So one of the areas we’re doing very well is that we bring in new people into the party and broaden the horizons and do very well with independent voters.

These polls are so early. In 2008, Giuliani was ahead at this point with similar numbers to Donald Trump. In 2012, Herman Cain led at this point so it does change over time. The other interesting thing about the polls that is kind of underreported is that two thirds of the people say they’re undecided.”

Donald Trump

“I don’t think we’ve had anybody come up and say, ‘Oh, we’re so excited about Donald Trump.’ I think they’re excited about the small government message that we’re promoting.”

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