Sen. Rand Paul has preemptively thrown his support in the 2020 presidential race to incumbent President Donald Trump, during a Sunday interview with MSNBC with Kasie Hunt where he opened up about his close relationship with the President.
Rand Paul noted that while he had opposed Trump’s position on numerous issues over the past few months, “we still have a very good relationship because I don’t attack him personally”.
Paul criticized the “high-mindedness” of Republican Senators such as Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who choose to “condemn the President’s character”, despite being far from “perfect” individuals themselves.
“I think we should avoid character assassination or condemnation,” Paul continued. “I try to refrain from passing judgement on the President’s character, because when my character’s perfect, is when I can start criticizing other people. People who live in glass houses need to be aware of that – it is a holier-than-thou thing.”
“When I look at the President, and when I work with the President, I see the glass as half full – we’re from the same party and we have many things aligned,” Paul added. “I’ve been around the President for many, many hours, probably as much as anybody in the Senate, and I choose to engage him on the things we have common ground.”
“I love his Cabinet, I love the Supreme Court pick, I love the fact that he’s got rid of more regulations than any President in recent history, including most of the Republicans.”
“The reason he and I get along well is when I first showed up to play [golf] with him, I said I’m not taking any welfare from you, I’m not playing any strokes, I’ll play even up,” referring to the affinity for golf shared by both men. “He’s better than I am, he’s probably about a seven handicap and I might be twice that, but even then I enjoy playing with him, it’s competitive, we talk a little bit of policy, but it is camaraderie and we get along very well.”
On the topic of a possible primary challenge against President Trump, Paul was dismissive.
“No one can stop primaries from happening, and there could be a primary that happens, but before you even get to that you need to know – is President Trump even running for re-election? I think you won’t know that until you get to the second, third year of his presidency,” Paul said. “At this point, I can’t see myself supporting anybody but President Trump because I think he’s given us the most conservative cabinet we’ve seen since Reagan, maybe more conservative than Reagan, we’ve repealed regulations for the first time in 20 years, he’s given us a great Supreme Court Justice and I’m hoping he gives us a couple more if we see more retirements, so I’m seeing the glass as half full.”
“I like to accentuate the positive, the things that I agree with him on, and I think that I’d support him,” Paul concluded.
Paul’s support for Trump will no doubt dismay potential 2020 primary challengers such as Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Justin Amash (R-MI), both of whom have sought to court the libertarian voters that constitute Paul’s core fanbase.