Trump Has a Two-Front War On His Hands... Jeb And Now Rand Paul
NBC reporter John Harwood sat down with Rand Paul this week and one of the topics was, of course, Donald Trump. Now, keep in mind that the most recent national poll of Republican voters-- from NBC News-- shows Trump leading the field and Paul still, statistically, a third-tier candidate. Trump is at 25% and Paul's at a pitiful 2%, trailing silly characters like Fiorina, Kasich and Huckabee. It must be so galling for Paul, who is trying to campaign on ideas, values, principles and policy solutions he truly believes in, while he sees Trump breezing along with not an honest thought in his head but with 8 times the support among deluded Republican primary voters. He seems certain that when conservatives find out about Trump what he already knows-- like his support for eminent domain to enrich himself-- they will abandon him in droves. Poor Rand! Harwood asked him what he thought the meaning of Trump's rise is and what it portends for the Republican Party.
PAUL: I think it shows you that we do live in a celebrity culture. And when a celebrity decides to run for office, particularly, there's what I would call a self-reinforcing news cycle. Everywhere you look, all day long, he's on TV. And people can say, "Well, that's because he's popular and people watch him. So TV will put him on more." I don't think it necessarily is helpful to the country, because I don't think having a reality TV star probably is going to be best for the country.
I worry very much about someone who is so self-absorbed with their own importance and their own ability to figure out problems, that it's sort of like, "Give me power." You know, if you give me power, I am so smart and I am so rich that I will fix all of America's problems. Because we've had times in the past when people got too much power, that then the power's used in sort of-- it's meant to be benevolent, but it turns out not to be so benevolent. that is the struggle of our country, and really, the struggle of nearly 1,000 years, beginning probably with the Magna Carta on, is the struggle to limit government. I don't think he's part of the movement to limit government. He's part of his own movement.
...[H]is megaphone is bigger. So he's able to attract more people to a superficial aspect of his philosophy that might appear similar. But I don't think we end up being very similar. For example, he supported President Obama's stimulus package. I think it's a terrible idea. He supported the bailing out of the banks by the government. Terrible idea.
One of the most noxious things that he supports is that he supports using eminent domain to take private property from individuals and give it to big corporations like his. That is so antithetical to everything about the conservative movement. Eventually, when that knowledge gets out that Donald Trump is a big lover of eminent domain, particularly when it enriches himself, and people would say, 'Well, you know, at first I liked the braggadocio. I liked all that. But you know what? Now that I found out that he's really a fake, or that he's not a real conservative, I'm going to rethink it.'