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Paul says he has a lot of common ground with Democrats

The Kentucky Republican said he worked behind the scenes with the White House ahead of Monday’s announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder of significant changes in mandatory minimum sentencing.

“I think it’s a good step in the right direction,” Paul said. “A lot of young people now have criminal records and they can’t get jobs and it’s a downward spiral into poverty and more crime … we need to treat this more like a health problem and not like an incarceration problem.”

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Paul also cited his work with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in seeking to change the way the military prosecutes sexual assault cases as evidence he’s willing to reach across the aisle.

“Some people think compromise is meeting halfway in the middle, whereas I think you can passionately believe something and still do bipartisanship,” he said. “For example -- Sen. Gillibrand, I’m working with her on sexual assaults in the military, and it’s not necessarily that I’m meeting her half way – I believe as strongly as she does that there are a lot of sexual assaults that go unreported.”

Paul is widely viewed as one of the top 2016 Republican presidential contenders. He said Tuesday that he hasn’t made up his mind whether to run, and would spend the next year thinking it over and consulting with his family about it.