Rand Paul And More On Libertarianism

With John Harwood in for Tom Ashbrook.

Rand Paul and others on Libertarianism and the future of the Republican Party.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks at a fundraiser for state Sen. Jack Johnson in Franklin, Tenn., on Sunday, July 28, 2013. (AP)

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks at a fundraiser for state Sen. Jack Johnson in Franklin, Tenn., on Sunday, July 28, 2013. (AP)

The Republican Party needs a new formula for winning national elections, and Libertarians like Sen. Rand Paul think they have it: a much smaller government, a much less aggressive foreign policy, and a much more tolerant social policy. But they’ve tried before and failed – for decades. Are there enough of them NOW to remake the GOP?

This hour, On Point: We’ll talk to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who’s trying to finish the work his father started.


Senator Rand Paul, Republican Senator from Kentucky, elected in 2010. Author of “Government Bullies: How Everyday Americans are Being Harassed, Abused, And Imprisoned by the Feds.” (@senrandpaul)

David Boaz, leading libertarian thinker and executive vice president at the Cato Institute. Co-Author (with David Kirby and Emily Ekins) of: “The Libertarian Vote: Swing Voters, Tea Parties, and the Fiscally Conservative, Socially Liberal Center.” (@david_boaz)

Molly Ball, staff writer covering national politics for The Atlantic. (@mollyesque)

From the Reading List

Politico: Rand Paul: ‘Old guard’ losing elections — “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he agrees with those that say there is pushback from the Republican establishment when the party faces heat from factions such as the libertarian wing. Newt Gingrich said Thursday that he thinks the establishment is growing ‘more hysterical’ as Paul and fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz rise in prominence. Paul said Friday on ‘The Laura Ingraham Show’ that he thinks the establishment needs to welcome new ideas.”

Washington Post: Libertarians flex their muscle in the GOP — “Libertarianism once again appears to be on the rise, particularly among the young. But its alliance with the Republican establishment is fraying, as demonstrated by the increasingly personal war of words between two leading potential 2016 presidential contenders.”

Pew Research Center: Whither the GOP? Republicans Want Change, But Split over Party’s Direction — “Coming off of two consecutive presidential election defeats, most Republican voters believe that their party must address major problems to be more competitive in the future. And roughly six-in-ten say improved messaging alone will not be enough – the GOP also needs to reconsider some of its positions.”


You can listen to just our interview with Senator Rand Paul, here.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 30, 2015
United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, center left, Minister of the Environment of Peru and COP20 President Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, center right, and French Foreign Affairs Minister and COP 21 President Laurent Fabius, center, pose for photographers during a press visit to the COP21, Paris Climate Conference, site, in Le Bourget, north of Paris, France, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

World leaders converge in Paris for the big climate talks. We’ll look at what it will take to get a global climate agreement.

Nov 30, 2015
Shoppers walks in front of a holiday display Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in San Francisco.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, we’ll add up the dollars and trends and bargains of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Nov 27, 2015
The punk rock band Sleater-Kinney (from L: Janet Weiss, Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker) (Courtesy the Band)

Feminist punk-rockers, the band Sleater-Kinney, is with us. Reunited. Hotter than ever.

Nov 27, 2015
Josh Baldonado, an administrative assistant at Brown & Brown Insurance, works at a treadmill desk in the firms offices in Carmel, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. (AP)

The end of sitting at work. A new call to get up off our chairs. To stand and move! We’ll look at how that works.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »