Randal “Rand” Paul is the son of Politician Ron Paul, who ran for the Republican nomination for the presidency during the 2016 election. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 7, 1963, and is the middle child of five siblings. Rand's father Ron has confirmed that Rand was named after philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand.
When Rand was five years old his father moved the family to Lake Jackson, Texas, where he set up a medical practice as an obstetrician. After living in Texas for eight years, Rand's father was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and three years later Rand attended the 1976 Republican National Convention. As a teenager Rand worked with his father on his campaigns and interned in his Congressional office. Rand enrolled in his undergraduate studies in 1981 at Baylor University but dropped out in 1984 after being accepted to the Duke University School of Medicine. At the time, the Duke University graduate programs did not require an undergraduate degree for enrollment, and Rand Paul graduated with his M.D. in 1988. He completed his residency in ophthalmology in 1993 and moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Rand has held a Kentucky state issued medical license since 1993, and has faced two malpractice suits. As a ophthalmologist, Rand specialized in cataract and glaucoma surgeries, as well as LASIK procedures and corneal transplants.
Rand Paul was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, enjoying strong Tea Party support and financial backing from his fathers network of donors. Rand and his father were both sworn in to their Senate terms on January 5, 2011, the first parent-child duo to ever serve consecutively. During his time in the Senate, Rand voted against extending the domestic surveilance provisions of the Patriot Act, voted against legislation strenghtening safety rules for oil and gas pipelines, threatened to filibuster any legislation including any sort of gun control measures, and filibustered for over ten hours in opposition to the reauthorization of certain aspects of the Patriot Act. Rand Paul proposed a bill to cut all U.S. funding from the Palestinian Authority, called the Stand With Israel Act. He has served on the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Rand Paul is a self-described “constitutional conservative,” and identifies as a libertarian. He is against government interference in the majority of cases, and has advocated for a flat, 14.5% tax rate. Although Paul is against marriage equality on a personal level he believes that states should have the power to decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage, and has said that he would not support a federal ban. Rand Paul has opposed mandatory minimum sentencing, and is against all forms of gun control as he sees them as a violation of the Second Amendment. In September 2014 Paul voted in favor of an airstrike campaign against ISIS.
Rand Paul came in fifth place at the 2016 Iowa caucus, with 4.5% of the vote and one delegate.
U.S. - Israel Relationship
- “I’m proud to support Israel, America’s longtime friend and ally in the Middle East. Israeli cafés and buses are bombed, towns are victimized by hundreds of rockets, and its citizens are attacked by Palestinian terrorists. It’s time we took a stand for Israel by standing up to the enemies of Israel, the enemies that murder Israeli citizens. That’s why I proposed a bill called the “Stand with Israel Act” to cut off the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority. As long as the Palestinian Authority is allied with Hamas not one more tax dollar should flow to them.”
(Rand Paul's Campaign Website)
- “Well absolutely, we stand with Israel, but what I think we should do is announce to the world, and i think it is well-known, that any attack on Israel will be treated as an attack on the United States.”
(Heavy, May 2014)
- “While this budget proposal does eliminate foreign aid to Israel, it is not meant to hurt, negate, or single out one of America’s most important allies. This proposal eliminates all foreign aid to all countries. Israel’s ability to conduct foreign policy, regain economic dominance, and support itself without the heavy hand of U.S. interests and policies, will only strengthen the Israeli community.”
(Rand Paul 2012 Budget Proposal)
- “Diplomacy doesn’t work without military force behind it, and I think making that decision is a difficult decision, but ultimately yes you have to have military force that backs up the diplomatic negotiations that you have. We have to say that there has to be force as a backdrop to this.”
(Real Clear Politics, July 22, 2015)
- “While I continue to believe that negotiations are preferable to war, I would prefer to keep the interim agreement in place instead of accepting a bad deal. ”
(Politico, July 15, 2015)
Hamas and the Situation in Gaza
- Rand introduced the “Defend Israel by Defunding Palestinian Foreign Aid Act of 2015” in January 2015.
- “Israeli cafés and buses are bombed, towns are victimized by hundreds of rockets, and its citizens are attacked by Palestinian terrorists.”
(Rand Paul's Campaign Website)