Rand Paul: Don’t elect Republicans; elect ‘friends of liberty’

Supporters of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are looking to ride the libertarian wave all the way to 2016. So are libertarians taking over the annual Conservative Political Action Conference? (Theresa Poulson/The Washington Post)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Friday urged Republicans not to settle for insufficiently conservative GOP candidates.

The potential presidential candidate began his speech in front of a packed crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference by painting a picture of a new America under a good and just leader.

“You might think I’m talking about electing Republicans; I’m not,” Paul said. “I’m talking about electing friends of liberty.”

Paul added: “It’s not good enough to elect the lesser of two evils.”

Paul isn’t the first speaker at CPAC to offer this message. Both Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) attacked previous GOP presidential candidates for not being conservative enough. Cruz even called them out by name.

Paul said Republicans should not “meekly dilute our message.”

Related: Video: At CPAC, a Rand Paul revolution?

Supporters of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are looking to ride the libertarian wave all the way to 2016. So are libertarians taking over the annual Conservative Political Action Conference? (Theresa Poulson/The Washington Post)
Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · March 7