Sen. Rand Paul has arrived at his “moment of truth,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Friday, arguing that the Kentucky Republican may be the first 2016 presidential candidate to exit the race.
On Saturday, she explained, Paul will need two-thirds of the state Republican executive committee to approve the creation of a special caucus that would allow the Tea Party senator to run for re-election to the Senate while seeking the GOP’s presidential nomination.
“Unless Rand Paul gets that two-thirds super-majority vote tomorrow, which would allow him to run for his Senate seat and for president at the same time, which is what he wants to do, as of tomorrow, he’s gonna have to pick which of those two seats he wants to run for,” she said. “One or the other: presidential run, which he will almost assuredly lose, or Senate re-election bid — something which he would have a much better chance at, even though it wouldn’t be guaranteed.”
Under state law, candidates are not allowed to be run for two different offices on the same ballot. Unlike Paul, Maddow noted, his Senate colleague and fellow presidential candidate Marco Rubio has opted not to run for re-election, opening that seat up to what she called a wide-open race involving Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) as a potential candidate.
And with top members of his campaign team under federal indictment Maddow argued, Paul’s trips outside Kentucky on the presidential trail have cost him time he could have been spending shoring up his support at home.
As a result, she said, state Republicans are wary of losing a crucial Senate seat.
“Which would you pick, if you could only pick one? If you could only pick one of those two races, which one would you quit?” Maddow asked her viewers. “Because there’s a very good chance that tomorrow, Rand Paul is gonna be told that he has to quit one or the other.”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Friday, below.