A top staffer for Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign said Wednesday that Donald Trump was a key reason for Paul’s failed presidential bid.
Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced Wednesday morning that he was dropping out of the race for the White House after a poor performance at the Iowa Caucuses. Paul’s Chief Strategist Doug Stafford led a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning where he said Trump sucked the “oxygen out of the room,” making it nearly impossible for Paul to get his message out.
Stafford called Trump a “larger than life outsider who commanded so much of the attention.” He said it “really played into it being more difficult to get the message out than anyone anticipated.”
Paul finished with less than five percent in Iowa Monday after failing to draw the number of college student voters he had hoped for. Stafford said the decision to drop out was made Tuesday and also pointed to inferior fundraising as a deterrent for going forward.
“We think he finished well … but just not well enough that he had a good enough chance for the nomination,” Stafford said.
Stafford said Paul was in D.C. Wednesday for Senate votes. He also said Paul will not be endorsing in the primary but would likely endorse in the general election.
Stafford noted that Paul helped form the discussion around fourth amendment, foreign policy, civil liberties, and criminal justice reform.
“Ours has been a unique voice in this race – one that says Big Government threatens Americans from all walks of life, rich and poor, black and white – from the coal miner who has lost his job over President Obama’s destructive EPA regulations… to the teenager from a poor family facing jail time for marijuana,” Paul said in a statement about his decision. “I will continue to fight for criminal justice reform, for privacy, and your 4th amendment rights. I will continue to champion due process over indefinite detention.”