The headlines neatly tell the story. "Ron Paul’s Passive-Aggressive Campaign Against Rand Paul." Rand Paul Has a Daddy Issue." "Like Father, Like Son? Not Exactly." Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has endeavored so much to distinguish his "libertarian-ish" views from his father's "voluntarist" politics that any snark from the paterfamilias generates a story. He'll joke that he's still looking at who to endorse; it will be reported like Saturn devouring his offspring.
There will be no snark this weekend. As Rand Paul heads out of the country for a medical mission to Haiti, Ron Paul will make a print and e-mail pitch to donors. It is his first such email on Rand Paul's behalf since the April 7 start of his presidential bid.
"I know the media likes to play this little game where they pit us, or certain views, against each other," the elder Paul will write, according to excerpts provided by the younger Paul's campaign. "Don't fall for it. They're trying to manufacture story lines at liberty's expense. You've spent years seeing how the media treated me. They aren't my friends and they aren't yours."
In the e-mail, Ron Paul will say that the enemies of liberty "fear Rand more than any other candidate," and that "unlike other candidates, Rand isn't depending on Wall Street fat-cats and banksters who want more special treatment, bailouts and stimulus packages to bankroll his candidacy."
The "banksters" language is a mainstay of Ron Paul's own fundraising appeals, which roll out of his Campaign for Liberty as frequently as CDs used to roll out of Columbia House (R.I.P.). It can be read as a knock on, well, anyone else; the libertarian reader might think first of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), whose fundraising has lapped Paul's with the help of hedge funds.
Cruz's campaign has already been trying to pull support from Paul, taking advantage of a polling slump that some libertarians blame -- ironically -- on the candidate's attempts to broaden his appeal. Ron Paul's letter addresses this directly.
"There is not one candidate who has run for president in my lifetime who can say they fully share my commitment to liberty, Austrian economics, small government, and following the Constitution, than my son, Rand Paul," writes Ron Paul.