The Kentucky Republican is getting into big trouble with his own party by consistently stretching the truth.
Vox’s new chief political reporter Jonathan Allen made a great point yesterday about Rand Paul’s campaign for the White House. Simply put Paul often doesn’t tell the truth, that’s getting him into big trouble with a number of GOP party actors. As Allen puts it:
Paul ripped John McCain, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Orrin Hatch for not being pure enough on tax cuts.
“When is the last time you heard a Republican run for president who said they will cut taxes or follow through with it?” he asked with rhetorical flourish. “With our last two nominees, I do not remember tax cuts being part of the program.
Here’s McCain calling for tax cuts, and here’s Romney. And, of course, there’s a U-haul truck full of Republican candidates promising to do just that right now. It’s one thing for Paul to present himself as a purist, it’s another to accuse fellow Republicans of failing a tax-cut litmus test—especially when he can’t keep his own story straight.
What’s going on here? Well one potential explanation is just that Paul isn’t a very honest politician and seem to think he can get away with mischaracterizing his opponents positions. Another possibility is Paul is just desperate and so is starting to lash out. Either way though it a terrible strategy when it comes to running for president.
Candidates win their party’s respective nomination by building majority coalitions inside their political parties. These coalitions don’t have to be unanimous, but they still have to be broad based. And so if a candidate get’s a reputation for dishonesty or being hostile towards certain interests inside a party, it becomes really difficult to build such a winning coalition.
After all why should interests groups inside a party pick a nominee that routinely fudges the truth? It’s simply too risky for party actors and interest groups to pick a nominee that can’t be trusted to hold firm to the party line. If Rand Paul consistently changes his views on foreign policy or tax cuts for that matter, whose to say as president he wouldn’t betray the Republican Party on any number of other important issues.
Rand Paul is simply too risky for the Republican Party to trust with the White House, which is why he almost certainly will not become president anytime soon.
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