Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump campaign loses two more staffers Trump's new digital strategist quickly leaves campaign Trump: Rivals who don't back me shouldn't be allowed to run for office MORE (R-Ky.) says his "gut feeling" is that Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonGOP: time to end convention Rules madness Sanders wins concessions in Dem draft platform Dem draft platform a full repudiation of Trump MORE will decide against running for president in 2016 — and he says that's good news for Republicans.
The Republican senator is considered a potential candidate — and early front-runner — for the nomination and has become a leading voice within his party on national security and privacy issues.
In the same profile, Paul's mother, Carol, said her son would have to lay the groundwork before a decision, and any announcement would come after the midterm elections next year.
But the senator's mom said said the idea of a Rand Paul presidential run in 2016 “feels real.”
Paul has made about a half dozen trips to early nominating states this year — a must among likely presidential contenders as they gauge support for a run. He told Fox News in August that he and his family had “been considering” a run.
Paul’s wife, Kelley, said Bill ClintonBill ClintonRubio: Clinton-Lynch meeting ‘raises all sorts of red flags’ WH defends Lynch's record after Clinton meeting GOP senator: Lynch should formally hand over Clinton probe MORE’s role in the White House if Hillary Clinton ever became president would be complicated by his “predatory, offensive” behavior toward women, alluding to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Paul has sought to expand the party to include his brand of libertarianism — with a high-profile filibuster against U.S. drone policy earlier this year and his vocal criticism of military intervention in Syria.
But he has also had spats with a number of GOP lawmakers, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. John McCainJohn McCainWhich GOP pols will actually attend the convention? Trump bucks military on waterboarding Overnight Defense: Pentagon lifts transgender ban | Navy says Iran broke law by detaining sailors MORE (Ariz.).
McCain even joked in July that it would be a “tough choice” voting for Paul if he was matched up against Clinton in a presidential contest.