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Rand Paul is selling beer mugs and flip-flops to fund his presidential run

This and more reasons why he’s not your average republican.

REPUBLICAN SENATOR RAND Paul today announced his candidacy for the US Presidency in 2016.

Much like his father Ron Paul who ran for their party’s nomination most recently in 2012, Rand Paul’s policies are not completely in line with what you might expect from many Republicans.

Ron Paul ran three times for the White House, once under the banner of the Libertarian Party.

Rand Paul has defined himself “Libertarian-ish” but has written that “My dad has always been my Dad and my political hero.”

His political position means he draws support from a wide spectrum of typical American voters.

Here’s a flavour of where Paul stands on some issues and a few reasons why he’s not your average candidate.

He’s far from a war monger 

Quite the opposite in fact.  Rand Paul promotes a non-interventionist foreign policy, frequently arguing that US involvement in foreign conflicts backfires.

He was a harsh critic of the Iraq War and opposed President Obama’s intervention in Syria.

He blasted Hillary Clinton as a “war hawk” for fuelling calls for regime change in Syria.

On his own website, Paul argues that the President should only send “our brave men and women into harms way” with Congressional approval.

The Kentucky Senator did, however, support US airstrikes against Islamic State.

He’s also been a staunch opponent of President Obama’s drone programme. In 2013, he spoke for 13 hours against the USA’s drone policy.

Garnering praise from even Jon Stewart in the process.

Source: America News/YouTube

He’s a fan of Edward Snowden (who may be a fan of him)

Paul has spoken at length opposing NSA surveillance and The Verge reports that, during today’s announcement, he said “phone records of law abiding citizens are none of [the government's] damn business.”

It stems from his support of individual liberties and he also promises to “reassert the rights and privileges of the individual by standing up for the entire Bill of Rights”.

Immigration 

Paul says that he doesn’t support a full amnesty for illegal immigrants but sees no reason to seek deportation.

“The 11 million, I think, are never going home, don’t need to be sent home, and I would incorporate them into our society by giving them work visas and making them taxpayers,” he told Bloomberg in January.

Despite this, Paul has voted against a number of Obama’s immigration reforms during his time in the Senate.

He’s a bit iffy on climate change

In the past he’s questioned whether or not humans are causing climate change saying that the data is “not conclusive”.

Despite this, he did vote earlier this year saying that climate change is happening and that humans are causing it.

But he’s been very reluctant to pass any laws that would limit carbon emissions and is a consistent supporter of the controversial Keystone oil pipeline system from Canada to the United States.

GOP 2016 Rand Source: AP/Press Association Images

He is vehemently Pro-Life on abortion 

On his website, Paul has a section entitled ‘Sanctity of Life’ in which he states his belief that “life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being.”

“Since the Roe v. Wade decision, over 50 million children have been killed in abortion procedures,” he argues.

You can buy flip flops and beer mugs in his campaign store 

Paul’s campaign store is filled full of peculiar fundraising nick-nacks, including a $1,000 signed Constitution, an “NSA Spy Cam Blocker,” and a Rand Paul-themed eye chart to measure vision clarity.

You can but an “Unleash the Dream Beer Stein” complete with a picture of a Jack Russell holding an American flag. The dog urged you to “Cut the leash, defeat the Washington Machine.”

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There’s even three-foot tall Rand Paul birthday cards, “Of all the gifts they get, this is the one everybody will be talking about,” reads the website.

No dispute there.

rand-bfc-birthday-card_1_1_ Source: RandPaul.com

Read: A Canadian-born man is running for US President. Wait, isn’t that banned? >

Read: Hillary’s deleted emails were about Chelsea’s wedding and yoga, apparently >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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