Ron Paul: 'I don't want to distract' from Rand
© Getty Images
Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Saturday he did not want to steal attention from his son’s 2016 GOP presidential campaign.
“There’s no plans for it,” Ron Paul told CNN host Michael Smerconish when asked whether he would stump for Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulVaccine 'resisters' are a real problem Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations MORE (R-Ky.) on the campaign trail.
“I went to his announcement and supported him there,” he said. “But it’s his show right now. And I don’t want to distract from what he’s doing. So it’s one of those things that I think will work its way out.”
Rand Paul launched his White House bid April 7 in Louisville, Ky.
Ron Paul praised his son’s performance Saturday amid one of the most crowded GOP presidential fields in recent memory.
“He’s the only one that, from my viewpoint, is talking any commonsense,” he said.
“I think he is able to talk more to the American people than the other candidates because I think he has a set of principles, which means that he’d much rather see smaller government and not make excuses for expanding the surveillance state and not expanding our military presence around the world.”
Ron Paul also praised his son’s repeated battles to reform the National Security Agency (NSA) and its intelligence-gathering methods.
“When he did the NSA thing, people said, you know, ‘he’s done – he’s finished,’ ” he said. “And Republicans and Democrats all in the Senate – everybody in Washington – jumped on him.”
“Yet when you did a poll of the national people, they were with him and not with McConnell,” Ron Paul added, citing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his opposition to NSA reforms.
The Senate approved the USA Freedom Act on Tuesday. 
It ended the NSA’s controversial warrantless bulk collection of individual phone records while reauthorizing less divisive counterterrorism measures.
Ron Paul also expressed concern with how the media would handle 2016’s large Republican presidential field for televised debates.
“I’d take it out of the hands of the media because that becomes very biased,” he said, noting his own problems appearing on a Fox News debate in New Hampshire while on the 2012 campaign trail.
“So, no, I don’t think they should have as much clout,” Ron Paul added.
“I think it was better when the League of Women Voters or some other independent group, a truly independent group, would schedule the debates, rather than the media outlets, because I think they’re very, very slanted.”
Ron Paul retired in January 2013. He sought the White House twice while in office, in 2008 and again in 2012.