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On The Trail: Rand Paul pitches smaller government, constitutional rights at New Hampshire event

Kentucky senator says labeling genetically modified foods would be overregulation

♦By Patrick Scanlan, contributor

on-the-trail-new-hampshireSALEM, New Hampshire (CFP) — Before an enthusiastic crowd of about 75 voters, U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took his GOP presidential campaign to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, offering up his critique of a government that he says has become too large, spends too much money and is too oppressive toward its citizens.

In a September 25 town hall event organized by the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce, Paul expressed his wish that “our government should be minding their own business more,” citing examples of NSA spying, welfare programs, and Planned Parenthood funding.

Rand Paul in Salem, New Hampshire

Rand Paul in Salem, New Hampshire

He did not, however, place the blame solely on Democrats, saying these problems aren’t solely the fault of one party. He said the first priority of the national government should be defense, while most other programs, especially social programs, should be left up to state governments to design and implement.

Paul also said the Republican Party can attract younger voters by advocating strict protection of constitutional guarantees in the Bill of Rights. In that regard, he highlighted his support for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, touching on another issue important to conservative voters.

Paul also answered questions from attendees at the event, who hailed from New Hampshire as well as neighboring Massachusetts.

One question concerned dealing with undocumented immigrants, to which Paul responded by saying that “immigrants who came to the U.S. are by and large good people, but we must secure the border.”

A woman representing group supporting labeling of genetically modified foods asked Paul how he would vote on current legislation imposing such labeling, an issue important to many New Hampshire residents who are part of local and sustainable food movements. He responded that if the movement is popular, then labeling should be left up to the marketplace because he views this, and other similar issues, as overregulation.

When asked about Iran, Paul reiterated that negotiations and open communication are essential to maintaining an effective relationship with Iran. He said that sanctions have gone a long way to pushing Iran in the right direction, but he still does not trust the Tehran regime.

On The Trail: U.S. Senator Rand Paul barnstorms key early presidential caucus state of Nevada

Kentucky senator makes pitch to Latino libertarian group in Las Vegas

♦By Andy Donahue, contributor

on-the-trail-nevadaLAS VEGAS (CFP) – Just hours after CNN’s Republican presidential debate, U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky barnstormed Nevada, taking his presidential campaign on a four-city sweep of the key early caucus state.

Paul began his Nevada tour in Carson City before attending events in Reno and Ely and wrapping up with an appearance at a Latino public policy forum at the College of Southern Nevada near Las Vegas on September 17.

Rand Paul addresses Latino group in Las Vegas.

Rand Paul addresses Latino group in Las Vegas.

The event was hosted by the LIBRE Initiative, a non-partisan group that advocates limited government and free enterprise, providing a congenial and receptive audience for Paul, who hails from the libertarian wing of the GOP

Paul made frequent, poignant allusions to Spanish literature throughout his address while telling his own narrative of learning small amounts of Spanish from immigrant children his own age while growing up in Texas. He said the vast wealth and income discrepancies between him and these children were instrumental in his dedication to immigration and border security solutions.

To address these inequalities, Paul is campaigning on an immigration plan built on the economics of supply and demand, advocating for job specific visas that are “proportional” to the number of openings for each job.

Paul saluted the Latino community’s shared commitment to hard work, telling the audience that he “never sees a Hispanic pan-handler.”

Paul also quoted Colombian writer and Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez as a source of “advice Republicans might consider,” reciting a line from “Love in the Time of Cholera” to call on his country and his party to seek renewal:

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them … Life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

Nevada will hold its presidential caucuses on February 23, 2016, with 30 delegates at stake. It is the fourth event in the 2016 primary calendar–after Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina–and the first test of strength in the West.

Paul is one of eight Southern candidates in the GOP race. The others are U.S. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; former governors Jeb Bush of Florida, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Jim Gilmore of Virginia; and Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

The lone Southern seeking the Democratic nomination is former U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia.

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