It’s normal for politicians, pundits and political staff members to blame the media for everything that is wrong with society. Want to gripe about how abortion is still prevalent despite the Planned Parenthood “scandal”? Blame the media. Want to gripe about how guns are still prevalent in our society despite the constant mass shooting in our country? Blame the media. Want to gripe about how your candidacy isn’t doing as well as others? Blame the media. That last one is precisely why we’re about to discuss the status of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s presidential campaign.
Ken Meyer at Mediaite gives us a look at an interview that occurred this morning between Senator Paul and Charlie Rose and co. of CBS This Morning.
“’You all covered him with about a billion dollars’ worth news of media,’ Paul said, jokingly that the media had only itself to blame. He elaborated that he is not actually blaming anyone, that ‘the news is what the news is,’ but acknowledged that his discussion of policy issues like creating a flat tax is not receiving the coverage Trump’s been getting.”
Senator Paul continued on about how it was Charlie Rose’s fault for “extraordinary amount of attention” that Trump is getting. But Senator Paul only has himself to blame for his campaign woes. Sure, he can attribute the increased media attention to Trump’s rise in the polls. However, that doesn’t portray an full picture of what is going on with Senator Paul’s campaign. In truth, as Dave Weigel and Ben Terris pointed out a little over a week ago at WaPo, Senator Paul’s campaign has frequently held his own rallies in random locations like Texas instead of attending conservative events. As Terris and Weigel state, Senator Paul’s campaign is “taking the pass on a lot of traditional campaign coverage.”
But there are also other factors at play. Namely, Senator Paul’s campaign was supposed to be about how different he is than the other GOP candidates, but he has yet to distinguish himself in a significant manner. His media appearances also expose yet another big weakness of his: he whines too much. Everyone knows Republicans are always looking for a strong leader, yet they see this guy whining about Trump, whining about the lack of media coverage on him, whining about how nobody is talking about his flat-tax policies. Well, can you honestly blame Republican voters for taking a pass on this guy?
Without question, there are plenty of other obvious factors why his candidacy is flailing. Senator Paul’s base was supposed to be Libertarian-leaning Republicans who migrated from his father’s base, which was never that large to begin with. But are there really that many Libertarian-leaning Republicans to form a majority coalition of GOP primary voters? No, there are not. Furthermore, Senator Paul keeps saying that he wants to “be involved in less wars”, yet has a budget that augments defense spending and signed on to Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to the Iranian government saying that the Nuclear Treaty will be null and void when a Republican is elected president in 2016. Senator Paul keeps trying to find ways to distinguish himself, but actually isn’t really doing that at all. Paul’s political platform is very identical to several other GOP candidates. The only difference is that he is whining more loudly about the front-runner and blaming him for his campaign woes. Will that appeal to GOP primary voters. Well let’s take a look and see where that strategy got South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Both candidates attacked and whined incessantly about Trump, and are now debating in the 5 PM slot on Fox News tonight instead of the main stage. Doesn’t sound very effective to me.
Senator Paul also claims that he is “suspicious” of the Department of Justice for the alleged bribery charges against his nephew-in-law in Iowa. I strongly recommend Senator Paul to stop blaming everyone else for his own problems and start taking some responsibility. It may be popular to blame the media and the federal government for all of society’s ills, but at the end of the day, running for office (especially the highest office) means the buck stops with you. Start acting like an adult.