Rand Paul Looks for ‘Pot-Smoking Austinite’ Voters

By
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky answers questions during a Twitter town hall while making a SXSW event.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky answers questions during a Twitter town hall at SXSW. Photo: Bob Daemmrich/Corbis

Senator Rand Paul continued courting the unlikely suspects of the Republican Party at SXSW in Austin, Texas, this weekend, while most of his other potential 2016 rivals were following the traditional path to glory by shaking hands in New Hampshire. “You can be liberal, you can be conservative, you can be an evangelical Christian, you can be a pot-smoking Austinite,” Paul — who just co-sponsored a medical marijuana bill last week — told the crowd during the launch event for Liberty Action Texas, “and still believe in freedom and that the government oughta leave you alone.”

Paul also bragged about the fact that he’s on Snapchat. In January, Paul became the first U.S. lawmaker to ever do an interview on the popular app. 

Why was he trying to win over young libertarians in Austin when he’s a senator in Kentucky, you ask? People on the internet wondered the same thing during a SXSW-sponsored Twitter Q&A when Paul noted that he was "the only candidate who thinks the NSA program on phone records should be shut down." And by candidate, he quickly responded, he meant "candidate … For the U.S. Senate."

Rand Paul Looks for ‘Pot-Smoking Austinite’ Vote