Rand Paul tries to bind N.H. GOP, libertarians; can learn tough lessons from father

by Seth McLaughlin-The Washington Times  |  published on May 23, 2013

Rand Paul
CONCORD, N.H. — With its “Live Free or Die” motto, New Hampshire would seem to be tailor-made for the libertarian-flavored presidential campaign that Sen. Rand Paul is taking for a trial run.

But, as his father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, learned in 2012, translating the typical New Hampshire voter’s skepticism about big government into Republican primary votes is easier said than done.

That’s because the state’s libertarian bent has been exaggerated, some Republicans say — and they already are predicting that Mr. Paul will have to move back to the middle to win over the moderates and independents who cast votes in the Granite State’s GOP primary.

Mr. Paul, who represents Kentucky, told reporters Monday that he hopes his message can get beyond the GOP-libertarian divide.

“There is definitely evidence on the other side that the traditional, sort of cookie-cutter [candidate], either Republican or conservative, isn’t selling well in New England,” he said. “So, maybe we need to talk about something that is a little different.”

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