POLITICS

Rand Paul Teases 2016 Presidential Run Again

11/20/2012 09:32 am ET

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) continued to flirt with speculation about a 2016 presidential run in a recent interview with ABC.

"I'm not going to deny that I'm interested," told ABC's Jonathan Karl, going on to clarify that he hadn't made a decision about throwing his hat in the ring.

The comment comes on the heels of a round of post-election press in which Paul appeared eager to encourage the GOP to broaden its issues and exhibit some flexibility on a number of policies that he believes have hurt the party's support.

In an interview with Politico, Paul staked out more liberal positions on immigration reform, marijuana laws and trimming of the defense budget. He also said that he was "interested in the national debate" when it came to early discussions of the 2016 race.

Paul told ABC that Republicans could help themselves with Latino voters, a demographic that overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama's reelection, if they were willing to consider the option of offering a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He maintained, however, that border security was still his top priority.

The junior senator from Kentucky also suggested that loosening the party's official stance on marijuana enforcement, primarily by endorsing the states' decision to determine the legality of the substance, could help the GOP reach out to younger voters. He went on to say more generally that he believed harsh marijuana penalties should be relaxed.

While Paul's blend of ideas may be interesting to some, it doesn't yet appear to be making waves as a viable option among Washington insiders. According to the latest National Journal Political Insiders poll, Paul gets zero support from either Democrats or Republicans. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were the overwhelming favorites in that survey.

Rand Paul is the son of retiring Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who unsuccessfully ran for the presidency twice as a Republican and once as a Libertarian.

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