Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul spent his first full day as a presidential candidate meeting voters in New Hampshire. He spoke at a rally in the town hall of Milford, highlighting what he says sets him apart from any other politician.
Paul delivered a truly libertarian speech, playing on the New Hampshire motto, “Live Free or Die.”
“New Hampshire has a leave-me-alone attitude," he said. "That’s something that I think fits very well with what I have to say and what I believe.”
He talked of repealing Obamacare, the Common Core education initiative, and cutting back on defense spending and foreign aid.
“It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting, 'Death to America' in countries that receive millions of dollars of our foreign aid," he said.
Paul says he’s trying to change what he calls the “Washington Machine” — both Republicans and Democrats.
“The status quo is that debt is piled upon debt by both parties," he said. "The Democrats want to spend domestically. The Republicans want to spend on national defense.”
In an exchange that indicates his often testy rapport with the press, Paul pushed back when an Associated Press reporter tried to pin him down on the issue of abortion.
“Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it okay to kill a seven-pound baby in the uterus?” he responded.
The crowd of about 250 people appeared to enjoy his feisty delivery. Ellen Lynch, an Independent voter, says she just moved to New Hampshire from Rhode Island.
“It’s a little more of a freer state up here than Rhode Island," she said. "I’m independent. Rand Paul is one of the few candidates that you can kind of get behind. I hope that he does make it a prime thing in his candidacy to get rid of Obamacare."
Paul was in the state for fewer than 24 hours — leaving shortly after the rally for South Carolina. This was the first in his tour of four early-nominating states.