I’ve seen Kentucky Senator Rand Paul speak numerous times, but never have I seem him as comfortable in front of an audience as he was on Friday night at Iowa State University. Paul drew over 450 college students on the eve of the big Iowa/Iowa State game. There were a few regular people in attendance as well, but the kids probably call them “non-trads” instead of regular folks.
Here is what stood out to me.
New line of attack on Trump: Eminent Domain
Paul is no fan of Donald Trump’s. That was clear in the last debate, but he also made it clear by sending the following tweet right before he took the stage in Ames. “What does it say about GOP when a three-and-a-half term governor with a successful record of creating jobs bows out as a reality star leads in the polls?” Paul was referring to former Texas Governor Rick Perry who dropped out of the presidential race a few hours earlier.
In his remarks, Paul criticized Trump for using eminent domain to seize property to build a casino on in Atlantic City. After his remarks Paul told reporters, “It’s not only the way that he has built them [casinos], but he’s on record saying that the Kelo case, he’s 100 percent for it. You won’t find one conservative in America that knows what the Kelo case is and is for it. It is an anathema to those in the Tea Party. It is an anathema to those who are property rights advocates. And he say’s he’s 100 percent for it. Things like that will add up. Ultimately people will say that he can call people fat and stupid, but he also doesn’t support property rights.
No mention of 9-11 on September 11th
During his remarks Paul found time to mention the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, yet on the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Paul said nothing about them. I understand and appreciate Paul’s arguments against government and surveillance, but ignoring the 9-11 anniversary while talking about other smaller tragedies seemed a little out of line.
Paul thinks Jeb is a hypocrite when it comes to pot
Paul preached a message of privacy, non-interventionism, and relaxed marijuana laws that the students responded favorably to. Paul used the hypocrisy of Jeb Bush to make his point on weakening drug laws by reminding the audience that Bush has admitted to smoking pot in high school but now doesn’t even support medical marijuana. Paul’s point is that the enforcement of current marijuana laws is unfair to minorities and those who live in poor neighborhoods because the cops are patrolling those neighborhoods, not elite boarding schools like the one Jeb Bush attended. Paul also contends that it’s wrong to jail or fine parents who simply are trying to do all that they can to help their child deal with seizures by using cannabis oil.
An important number to remember: 15
Paul hasn’t made much of a footprint in Iowa over the summer, but he did boast on Friday night that his campaign has over 300 “Stand with Rand” chapters at colleges and universities around the country. In Iowa, the Paul campaign is organized on 15 campuses. With the caucuses being held in early February instead of during Christmas break in the beginning of January, Paul’s strategy to organize college campuses could pay big dividends come caucus time.
Common Sense Education Reforms
Paul said on Friday night that he views a college education as a business expense, and thus someone should be able to write off the expense on their taxes over their working lifetime. Not only is it a great way to counter Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ call to make college tuition another government entitlement, but it also just makes sense.
Paul also talked about how colleges and universities should be using modern technology to lower the cost of tuition. Paul said that if there is a professor out there that has mastered how to teach calculus, then why not have them teach every student in America by the use of the internet and video. You would still need a professor in the classroom but if someone has it figured out, by all means let them teach everyone. Again, another common sense educational proposal.