Rand Paul cast himself as a more electable Ted Cruz during his appearance on "The Kelly File" Monday, one of the first potential opponents to remark on Cruz's candidacy.
Cruz announced he would run for president Monday during a speech at Liberty University in Virginia, positioning himself as a conservative who would fight government overreach.
"I didn't find much I disagreed with," Paul said of Cruz's speech. "If you look at our voting records, you'll find that we're very, very similar. I guess what makes us different is probably our approach as to how we would make the party bigger."
Paul said he and Cruz came "from the same wing of the party," but that polling showed him doing better against Hillary Clinton.
According to a Real Clear Politics average, Clinton beats Paul 50-41, a closer margin than any potential Republican 2016 candidate but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who would lose to Clinton 49-41. Cruz would lose to Clinton by 50-39, Real Clear Politics found.
Paul said a potential winner couldn't win an election by just "throwing out red meat" and said he would be able to both excite the base and expand the party, "taking those principals of liberty" and a "unique brand of conservatism" and bringing them to a new audience.
When compared against Cruz, Paul has a higher percentage of Republican primary voters who say they could see themselves supporting him -- 49 percent to 40 percent -- and his libertarian leanings are more appealing to many young voters than Cruz's stance on social issues.
During Cruz's announcement speech at Liberty University, several students wearing shirts in support of Paul sat in the front row. Paul said he wasn't sure who orchestrated the students but said he was "glad to see them there and organized and excited about the possibility of them running."
He said he'd make an announcement concerning his run April 7 and said he would "aggressively go after the Clintons" and their "corruption."