Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulMcConnell pledges to support Trump GOP operative Ed Rollins joins pro-Trump super-PAC Overnight Energy: Clinton makes her pitch to coal country MORE (R-Ky.) says his "gut feeling" is that Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSanders aide: We’ll reach convention with ‘a big head of steam’ Trump not planning to change tone for general election Trump on Clinton nomination: 'She can’t put it away’ 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 ClintonTrump on Clinton nomination: 'She can’t put it away’ Shellshocked GOP donors give Trump a second look Bill Clinton: 'It’s been a long time’ since a woman praised my looks 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 McCainDemocrats race to link GOP incumbents to Trump Against all odds: It’s Trump Five takeaways from Indiana 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.