Rand Paul started by telling the crowd gathered in the building in eastern Pulaski County that he wouldn’t talk for 13 hours straight, as he did in his recent Senate filibuster.
However, the hour he was allotted barely seemed to scratch the surface.
Paul, Kentucky’s Junior U.S. Senator from Bowling Green, spoke to a panel of business and community leaders from this area Thursday afternoon at the Hendrickson Commercial Trailer facility of Ky. 461, and the audience members in attendance.
The site was perhaps the perfect place — being a key facility for an international company instrumental in commercial travel — to showcase this county as a place in line with Paul’s pro-business philosophies.
“We want it to be,” Paul said when asked if Pulaski County was a developing area. “There are great successes here and I think there are still great challenges.”
Each of the panel had a question dealing with a concern they had for this community, their field, or the nation at large — and Paul, a Republican with connections to the Tea Party and Libertarian movements, had plenty of answers.
What he wouldn’t say, however, is if he’ll be running for U.S. President in 2016, as many political observers speculate.
“I haven’t made any decisions on that,” he said. “I think the country faces a lot of problems and I do want to be part of the solution.” (He later told those assembled, “Don’t believe everything you read” in reference to the speculation.)
Paul went hard after government overreach and the policies of President Barack Obama throughout the hour-long roundtable discussion, saying Washington needs “more people friendly to business,” as well as denouncing class warfare tactics.
“Some people in Washington are asking, ‘How can I punish you?’” said Paul. “They don’t put it that way, but they really are. They’re saying, ‘Oh, your owner has too much money. How can I take some of their money away? Well, your business needs more regulation.’ But ... if I want to punish the owner of Hendrickson, I’m punishing Hendrickson’s employees. I’m punishing Pulaski County. We’re all in this together.”