Rand Paul: Press to blame for Trump

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMichigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate MORE (R-Ky.) blamed the press on Thursday for GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE’s meteoric rise in the polls.

“You all covered him with about a billion dollars’ worth news of media,” Paul, who is also running for president, told hosts Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and Vinita Nair on “CBS This Morning.”

“I mean, the news is what the news is,” he said. “But you have to admit that that there’s been an extraordinary amount of attention paid to one person.”

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“And I think that anybody’s numbers would rise with that amount of attention, so our job is to break through,” Paul added.

Paul’s remarks come as the GOP prepares for its first presidential debate in Cleveland on Thursday.

The Kentucky senator is one of nine other candidates clashing with Trump in Fox News’s main stage contest that evening.

“Our job tonight is to step up, defend and maybe demolish some other bad ideas that are out there or point out that maybe there are some empty suits without ideas,” Paul said on CBS Thursday morning.

“I don’t believe in hurling insults, but I’m a big believer in mixing it up,” he said of debating. “We ought to know the differences between the candidates. Let’s see how much substance we can have come forward.”

Paul admitted on Thursday morning he understands why certain Republican voters are gravitating toward Trump’s campaign.

“I think what he’s tapped into, though, is that 90 percent of people are unhappy with Washington,” he said of Trump.

“I’d wash the whole place out,” he said of Washington, D.C., in backing term limits. “The whole place needs to be, you know, clean swept and started over again.”

“We need new people,” Paul added. “I’ve met almost every leader on the stage in Washington, and there is no monopoly of knowledge up there.”