Rand Paul announces presidential candidacy

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has announced on Tuesday his candidacy for president of the United States in the 2016 election.

"Today I announce with God's help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I'm putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America," Paul said at a rally in Louisville, CNN reported.

In his announcement, given in a speech at a rally in Louisville, Ky., Paul said that "government should be restrained and freedom should be maximized."

On the foreign policy front, Paul was behind a January bill that called on an immediate halt on all funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless the PA withdrew its request to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was accepted as of April 1 by the U.N.

“Certainly groups that threaten Israel cannot be allies of the U.S. I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure this President and this Congress stop treating Israel's enemies as American allies,” Paul has said about the bill.

Paul was also among the 47 Republican senators who signed an open letter to Iran explaining that any deal signed by President Barack Obama is merely an executive agreement if it does not include Senate approval, and that such a deal can be revoked by a future president. 

“I want the negotiated deal to be a good deal. So my reason for signing onto the letter, I think it reiterates what is the actual law, that Congress will have to undo sanctions. But I also signed onto the letter because I want the president to negotiate from a position of strength which means that he needs to be telling them in Iran that "I've got Congress to deal with,” Paul said about signing the letter, the Huffington Post reported.

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) raised concern about Paul's presidential candidacy over his views on the issue of foreign aid.

"Senator Paul has stated that he wants to be a 'different kind of Republican.' Based on his history, we can only imagine what that kind of Republican will be. Undoubtedly, it will be a Republican who would cut foreign aid to our allies throughout the world, including Israel, which would be dangerous for their safety and security," NJDC said in a statement.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is the only other politician who has so far officially announced his run for the Republican party’s presidential nomination, said that Paul's "entry into the race will no doubt raise the bar of competition."

Posted on April 7, 2015 .