Oct 16, 2014 7:32 PM

Paul Steinhauser: Rand Paul reveals what will help him decide to run for president in 2016

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD - Message and family.

Rand Paul told NH1 those are two of the most important factors when it comes to his decision on whether he'll run for president in 2016.

The GOP senator from Kentucky's comments came as he spent Thursday in New Hampshire, crisscrossing the I-93 corridor as he helped out Granite State Republicans and continued his mission of broadening the party's appeal to younger voters.

"I've spent the last year traveling the country trying to figure out ways to make the Republican message big enough that we can win national elections again. I'm going to continue doing that for about six more months and sometime in the spring I'll make the final decision on whether I'll run for the nomination," Paul said in his interview with NH1.

This was Paul's second visit to the first-in-the nation primary state in the past four weeks. Asked what will be his deciding factors, Paul said "some of it is how the message is resonating. If it's resonating and popular and I think there's a chance that that message can win the nomination that's a big factor."

But he added that "family's a big factor. We've gotten to the age where good legitimate reporters talk to the candidate but there are people out there who crawl through your trash, harass your kids, and so we are concerned about our family and our privacy."

Paul's mission in New Hampshire

Paul spent part of his morning at the New Hampshire GOP's headquarters, talking to Republican party workers, volunteers, and with visiting college Republicans from Dartmouth College. Paul also took his turn at the phone bank, making calls on behalf of Granite State Senate nominee Scott Brown.

"I'll tell you a few things I know about Scott," Paul said as he tried to convince undecided voters to support Brown, who with less than three weeks to go until Election Day is locked in a close race with Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

An hour later, Paul teamed up with GOP gubernatorial nominee Walt Havenstein at an event at Plymouth State University.

"I'm happy to be in the state today to endorse Walt Havenstein," the senator told the crowd of students.

After the event, Havenstein told NH1 that Paul "brings a lot of excitement, enthusiasm, to the campaign."

Paul used some humor as he tried to encourage the students to get involved and to consider supporting Republican candidates.

"Who came here just because there was free pizza," joked Paul.

But his mission to broaden the party's appeal is anything but a joke.

"We realize the country is more diverse and our party needs to be more diverse if we have any hope of winning," Paul said in his interview.

His visit to New Hampshire came on the same day as Time Magazine put the senator on their cover, calling him "the most interesting man in politics."

Paul's visit precedes Clinton stop

Paul's trip to the Granite State also came hours before former President Bill Clinton arrived in Manchester to headline the state Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

Paul's been anything but shy in his criticism of the former president over the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"I think the American people don't like hypocrisy. Democrats have been big on all these workplace rules to protect women, most of which I agree with. But then when he was commander and chief he really didn't obey the workplace rules on women and what he did was inappropriate," Paul offered.

Paul criticizes Obama administration over Ebola response

Paul also had some criticism for the current president and his administration's response to spread of the Ebola virus in the U.S.

"I think the biggest mistake they made from the very beginning is they so wanted to downplay fears of this and so wanted not to have alarm that I don't think they were accurately reporting about the disease," Paul said, adding that officials "need to be more forthright with the public about the danger of the disease."

Paul said he supported curtailing U.S. bound flights from Ebola stricken countries.

"I think it's a reasonable idea to temporarily stop commercial travel here, doesn't mean we couldn't still send humanitarian supplies there. Every time you've heard the President's administration respond to this you've heard them say ‘oh well then we couldn't send supplies.' No one's talking about limiting supplies going in."


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