Paul tries to persuade wife on 2016 run

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Friday said he would attempt to persuade his wife to let him run for president. 

Paul, long considered a potential GOP candidate in 2016, told an audience that his wife does not think he should run but that he will try to change her mind in the next year. 

“Where is my cellphone? Can I call my wife?” Paul said when asked about his plans at the Detroit Economic Club.  

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“I tell people that there are two votes in my family and my wife has both of them, and both of them are 'no' votes right now,” he said. “So if I am a very able politician, I will tell you in a year whether I’m able to persuade my wife. Right now I don’t know yet, but I thank you for your interest.”

Paul’s wife, Kelly Ashby, has expressed skepticism about her husband's presidential ambitions publically. During a Vogue interview in September, she said presidential campaigns tend to focus on “character assassination.”

“When I think of the tens of millions of dollars in opposition research that they’d be aiming right at us and our family — that’s what it’s about,” she said at the time. 

During the same profile, Paul’s mother said her son’s potential candidacy “feels real.”

Paul, who delivered a speech advocating for lower taxes in economically depressed areas in the country, also addressed the Republican Party’s chances in the next presidential election. 

He said the Democratic Party has won the last two presidential contests because it is more diverse, adding the GOP must “evolve” or “die.”

Paul has continuously called for the GOP to expand.

“The Democrat Party is more diverse than we are, and that is why they are winning more elections,” he said.  “Some of the diversity though is we need to appeal to people in cities and some of that is somewhat ethnically related,” he said. 

The freshman senator said he gets “beaten down” every day in the U.S. Senate in reference to his belief Congress should have terms limits. His idea would limit congressional terms to 12 years in either chamber. 

“I think it beats you down,” he said about serving. “I’ve been there three years, and I get beaten down every day. It is how long can you maintain your enthusiasm to try and change something.”