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Iowans React to Rand Paul Presidential Bid

Gage Skidmore / flickr
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky speaking at the 2013 Liberty Political Action Conference (LPAC) in Chantilly, Virginia.

This week, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul threw his hat into the 2016 presidential ring.

"The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped,” Paul said in his announcement speech.

On this politics day edition of River to River, political analysts Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern Iowa and Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University join host Ben Kieffer to talk about the appeal and position of Rand Paul.

“His foreign policy position, oddly enough, is probably the best position that the Republicans have for the general election,” says Schmidt.

Iowa Public Radio listeners also join the conversation to offer views on Sen. Paul's announcement.

Their comments range from hopeful...

"I haven't been a fan of Rand Paul with the tea party rhetoric in the last few years," says Kelly in Iowa City. "But his stances now seem to mix the popular social stances of traditional Democrats and the frustration with lobbying, corporate influence and government over-reach that has been plaguing our political system for years."

To more skeptical...

"The foreign policy that Rand Paul espouses is very similar to his father's non-intervention foreign policy views," says Neil, who emailed into the show. "Both of them back simplistic answers to very complex world problems. Like it or not, the world looks to the US for leadership in solving these problems and to ignore them is to imperil the long term safety and prosperity of the entire planet."

You can continue the conversation on Twitter @IPRTalk or email us: rivertoriver@iowapublicradio.org

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River