It is understandable that a candidate who is preparing to announce a presidential campaign might want a little down time with the family. But in the case of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the fact that news of this week's Iran agreement happens to coincide with a family vacation may also come as a bit of a relief for a candidate who is trying to navigate between the libertarian leanings of his staunchest supporters and the conservative sentiments of the GOP base that he is trying to court.
Paul's non-interventionist statements in the past downplaying the threat of a nuclear Iran have gotten him in trouble with more hawkish Republicans. But more recently, he was one of 47 Republican senators who signed a controversial letter, authored by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), telling Iran's leaders that any arms deal would not be binding beyond the end of the Obama presidency if it were not agreed to by Congress.
As the outlines of a deal were announced on Thursday, Paul's office said he would not have a comment. "Senator Paul is out of pocket all week with his family leading up to April 7th," when he is expected to make his presidential announcement, his spokesman Sergio Gor said in an email.
The language was almost identical to a statement earlier this week, in which Paul's spokesman begged off a chance to comment on Indiana's new religious freedom act, which critics say would open the door to discrimination against gays.