Today’s Freedom Report podcast takes a look at senator Rand Paul’s trailing presidential campaign. Paul raised $7 million in the second quarter, with 60 percent of those donations coming from people who donated less than $200. The only campaign with more small dollar donations was Ben Carson, but the other candidates such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz raised more, a lot more. So what’s happening?

One supporter argued in the Wall Street Journal that Rand Paul has chased off his support base by a more interventionist sounding foreign policy. If that’s true, then why hasn’t the Republican base turned to Paul as their populist champion instead of blowhard like Trump?

From the WSJ: 

Drew Ivers, who was the Iowa chairman for Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, is uncommitted so far in the 2016 race. He said Rand Paul has lost a substantial portion of his father’s following because he has deviated from his father’s isolationist foreign-policy view.

While Ron Paul backs the nuclear agreement with Iran, Rand Paul is opposed. Ron Paul called for decreasing military spending; Rand Paul is for increasing the military’s budget. Ron Paul blames the U.S. and European powers for the troubles in Ukraine; Rand Paul last year wrote an op-ed in Time magazine saying “Putin must be punished.”

“Rand needs to be articulating the negatives of our foreign policy. But he has chosen not to articulate that,” Mr. Ivers said. “These kinds of things would energize his base but he has moved away from them.”

Also, a source close to The Libertarian Republic reported that Senator Paul hasn’t been asking the big money donors to give to his campaign. What gives?

All that and more on this (very rushed) episode of The Freedom Report podcast! Don’t forget to subscribe to TLR for an ad-free experience!

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Meet the hosts

Austin Petersen is the chief executive officer of Stonegait LLC, a for-profit consulting firm specializing in photo and video services. Stonegait also provides social media advice, political campaign expertise and grassroots organizing strategies to candidates for office or to brands looking for more exposure. Petersen is the editor in chief of The Libertarian Republic news magazine, one of the most read political news sites in the United States. He also hosts The Freedom Report podcast, which has 30,000 daily listeners. Petersen is the former Director of Production at FreedomWorks and was an Associate Producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show, “Freedom Watch” on the Fox Business Network. Petersen built Judge Napolitano’s social networks boasting over 600,000 fans and millions of clicks a month. His work has appeared in Getty, Reuters, the LA Times, NBC and Time Magazine. He is also a frequent contributor on television appearing on Russia Today and on dozens of local radio shows. Austin grew up on a farm in the Midwest in a town called Peculiar, Missouri. Graduating from Missouri State University with a degree in the Fine Arts, Petersen moved to New York City after graduation to a pursue a career in media.


  • Clearly we have seen developing within our movement a divide if you will, between libertarians who are strong supporters of Rand Paul and those who since the 2012 election have moved away from asking for permission to be free and want nothing to do with a “democratic process” (especially after what happened to the Ron Paul delegates at the RNC). I happen to fall on the latter and my question to those who support Rand Paul is this: How much violence (force) will a Rand Paul administration use against me to bend me to the will of that government? ie. What happens if I don’t pay my taxes to a Rand Paul government? Does he stick to libertarian beliefs and let me go about my life freely or will i be subject to aggression?

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  • What is your opinion on this? A friend asked me to send this to him and when it first happened Ive seen generally great responses and some small amounts of mixed reviews.

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  • Seems as though libertarians are divided on Ted Cruz of whether or not he’s a libertarian. What do you think? Share your take below.

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  • Thoughts?

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  • In chapter 15 of For A New Liberty, Rothbard discusses two extremes that can lead to defection from the libertarian movement: 1. gradualism of the the utilitarians 2. extremism of the sectarians. The gradualist loses sight of the goal of ‘no state’ by conceding that some state is needed in the here and now. The extremist or purist rejects any attempts to move toward the goal that are not complete and immediate. The correct path, according to Rothbard, is to always keep sight on the goal and to not compromise in its attainment but to recognize that it will not likely be reached in a single bound. When I read the following I couldn’t help think of the discussions surrounding Rand Paul’s announcement that he is running for president. “For while libertarians have too often been opportunists who lose sight of or undercut their ultimate goal, some have erred in the opposite direction: fearing and condemning any advances toward the idea as necessarily selling out the goal itself. The tragedy is that these sectarians, in condemning all advances that fall short of the goal, serve to render vain and futile the cherished goal itself. For much as all of us would be overjoyed to arrive at total liberty at a single bound, the realistic prospects for such a mighty leap are limited. If social change is not always tiny and gradual, neither does it usually occur in a single leap. In rejecting any transitional approaches to the goal, then, these sectarian libertarians make it impossible for the goal itself ever to be reached. Thus, the sectarians can eventually be as fully “liquidationist” of the pure goal as the opportunists themselves.” Will Rand Paul’s candidacy be good for the cause of libertarianism or will it have no effect or worse, set the movement back? In many ways Rand appears to be the utilitarian gradualist, but could he just be a stepping stone on the path to the true libertarian goal of a stateless society?

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