Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced his 2016 presidential candidacy today in Louisville.
“Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Paul said in his speech .
Paul followed Senator Ted Cruz in declaring candidacy fairly early. He is the second official Republican presidential candidate for 2016.
Paul was born and raised in Lake Jackson, Texas. He attended Baylor University for undergrad and graduated from Duke Medical School in 1988. He practiced ophthalmology in Kentucky for 18 years, where he currently lives with his family.
Paul hit several topics, such as ISIS and governmental surveillance - specifically section 215 of the Patriot Act - which he deemed too big and too invasive.
“As president on day 1, I will immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance,” he said. “Warrantless searches of America’s phones and computer records are unAmerican and a threat to our civil liberties. I say that the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business.”
Paul criticized the Obama administration, but also admitted the Republican party needed to stay on issue.
“Too often when Republicans have won, we have squandered our opportunity by becoming part of the Washington machine,” he said. “That is not who I am.”
Paul is son of former Congressman Ron Paul, a three-time presidential candidate.