Randal Howard "Rand" Paul (born January 7, 1963) is an American politician and physician. Since 2011, Paul has served in the United States Senate as a member of the Republican Party representing Kentucky. He is the son of former U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas.
ophthalmology in 1993 in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and established his own clinic in December 2007. Throughout Paul's life, he volunteered for his father's campaigns. In 2010, Paul entered politics by running for a seat in the United States Senate. Paul has described himself as a Constitutional conservative and a supporter of the Tea Party movement and has advocated for a balanced budget amendment, term limits, and privacy reform.
On April 7, 2015, Paul officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination at the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
On social issues, Paul describes himself as "100% pro life", believing that legal personhood begins at fertilization. In 2009, his position was to ban abortion under all circumstances. Since 2010, he has said he would allow for a doctor’s discretion in life-threatening cases such as ectopic pregnancies. Concerning same-sex marriage, Paul has made a distinction between his personal beliefs and how he feels the government should handle it. He has stated that he personally feels same-sex marriage “offends [himself] and a lot of people”, and said there is a “crisis that allows people to think there would be some other sorts of marriage.” However, he believes the issue should be left to the states to decide, and would not support a federal ban. Concerning drugs, Paul has criticized mandatory minimums that he believes have led to unreasonably harsh sentences for repeat offenders. He has highlighted the case of Timothy L. Tyler as particularly unfair. Paul does not believe in legalizing the recreational use of drugs like marijuana and cocaine, but does not support jailing marijuana users. He supports state laws to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Paul was one of three U.S. senators in 2015 to introduce a bipartisan bill, CARERS, that would legalize medical marijuana under federal law. Paul opposes all forms of gun control as a violation of Second Amendment rights, including provisions of the Patriot Act. His advocacy of personal property rights includes introducing House Bill S. 890, the Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2012. Provisions of the bill include restricting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency and other Federal agencies to “impinge upon states’ power over land and water use.” The bill holds requires Federal agencies to reimburse private property owners double the amount of any economic losses arising from new Federal regulations “that relate to the definition of navigable waters or waters of the United States”, and holds the enforcement of any such regulation in abeyance until such payments are complete. Unlike his more stridently "non-interventionist" father, Paul concedes a role for American armed forces abroad, including permanent foreign military bases. He has said that he blames supporters of the Iraq War and not President Obama for the growth in violence that occurred in 2014, and that the Iraq War “emboldened” Iran. Dick Cheney, John McCain and Rick Perry have responded by calling Paul an isolationist, but Paul has pointed to opinion polls of likely GOP primary voters as support for his position. Paul also stated: “I personally believe that this group [ISIS] would not be in Iraq and would not be as powerful had we not been supplying their allies in the war [against Syrian Bashar al-Assad’s government].” Paul then supported airstrikes against ISIS, but questioned the constitutionality of Obama’s unilateral actions without a clear congressional mandate. Paul has stated concerns about arms sent to Syrian rebels that wind up in unfriendly hands. In 2015, Paul called for a defense budget of $697 billion in 2016. In 2011, shortly after being elected, he proposed a budget which specified $542 billion in defense spending. On February 2, 2015, Paul generated controversy by suggesting that states should not require parents to vaccinate their children because parents should have the freedom to make that decision for their children. In an interview with CNBC on February 2, Paul clarified this statement, commenting "I'm not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they are a good thing. But I think the parent should have some input. The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom." On February 3, he posted a photograph to Twitter of himself being vaccinated. Personal life
Paul is married to Kelley Paul (née Ashby). They live in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she is a freelance writer. They have three sons.