Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday became the second nationally recognized Republican to announce he’s running for the White House in 2016.
“I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We have come to take our country back,” he said to cheers from supporters and family members in his announcement speech in Kentucky. ”The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped.”
“To rescue a great country now adrift, join me, as together we seek a new vision for America,” he said. ”Today, I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America.”
Paul is a favorite among libertarians and constitutionalists who want to see power devolved from Washington, D.C., and given back to the states. His announcement speech noted his well-known devotion to the Constitution, a guide for limited government that he believes has been ignored for the last several years.
“We need to boldly proclaim our vision for America,” he said. “We need to go boldly forth under the banner of liberty that clutches the Constitution in one hand, and the Bill of Rights in the other.”
Paul cited the massive national debt and bloated annual budget deficits as signs of government run amok, and said both parties can be blamed for this outcome. He said a constitutional amendment would be needed to fix that problem.
“Big government and debt doubled under a Republican administration, and it’s now tripling under Barack Obama’s watch,” he said. “President Obama is on course to add more debt than all of the previous presidents combined.”
“Couldn’t the country just survive on $3 trillion? I propose we do something extraordinary — let’s just spend what comes in,” he added.