Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump's CIA chief clears Senate Overnight Defense: Trump nominates Air Force secretary | Senate clears CIA director | Details on first drone strike under Trump Dems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts MORE (R-Ky.) says his "gut feeling" is that Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTop Dem: Trump's falsehoods will hurt relations with Congress Secret Service agent wrote she wouldn't take a bullet for Trump GOP rep: 'Plausible' that 3 million fraudulent votes were cast 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 ClintonIs the Trump administration ready for the worst? Sanders set for clash with Trump’s budget pick Scott Walker plans major welfare overhaul in Wisconsin 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 McCainMcCain questions Trump budget pick's support for military Why the era of US global leadership is over McCain 'seriously considering' issue of military base closures 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.