On Thursday, former President Trump endorsed Sen. Rand Paul for his 2022 reelection campaign.
In backing the libertarian-leaning senator from Kentucky, Trump is showing support for an important ally of his administration.
Trump has been ramping up his endorsements for 2022 through his political action committee.
Trump said in a statement, “Rand Paul has done a fantastic job for our Country, and for the incredible people of Kentucky.”
The former president added, “He fights against the Swamp in Washington, the Radical Left Liberals, and especially the destructive RINOS, of which there are far too many, in Congress.”
“RINO” is an epithet that stands for “Republicans In Name Only.”
“Rand will continue to stand up for our great AMERICA FIRST policies because he believes in stopping wasteful spending, defending our Second Amendment rights, and taking care of our Military and our Vets,” Trump continued.
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Sen. Paul has been a staunch backer of Trump’s “America First” agenda, particularly on foreign policy where Trump promised not to start any new “endless wars” and he ended up being the first president since Jimmy Carter not to do so.
Trump added of Paul, “I am proud to be working with Rand in our battle to Make America Great Again. He has my Complete and Total Endorsement for another term in the U.S. Senate.”
Paul was elected to his Kentucky Senate seat in 2010, with a combination of his father’s popularity, U.S. Rep. and libertarian icon Ron Paul, and also the Tea Party movement of that era being a big boost to his campaign.
Sen. Paul has already announced he plans to run for a third term in the 2022 mid-term elections.
Paul has been a staunch fiscal hawk who has chastised Washington and even his own party for reckless borrowing and spending.
In the 2016 GOP presidential primaries where Paul was also a candidate, he and Trump often butted heads, but seemed to put that aside once Trump became the nominee and eventual president.
Paul reportedly often served as an informal adviser to Trump during his time in the White House. In 2018, Politico reported that Trump and Paul connected on a “gut level” particularly on foreign policy.
“Once bitter rivals on the Republican campaign trail, the Kentucky senator and the commander-in-chief have bonded over a shared delight in thumbing their noses at experts the president likes to deride as ‘foreign policy eggheads,’ including those who work in his own administration,” Politico reported in August 2018.
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The reported also noted, “When Trump dismissed national security adviser H.R. McMaster in March, replacing him with John Bolton, he told McMaster, ‘Look, he’s a hawk, you’re a hawk, I can handle you guys,’ according to a White House aide.”
Politico would add, “While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: ‘He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul.”
Paul’s Kentucky seat is considered to be a safe one for Republicans. In 2016, Sen. Paul won his reelection by nearly 15 points.
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