Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, whose potential run for president in 2016 is increasingly seen as inevitable, is likely to make a decision on when to announce a run for president in the first part of next year.
"We didn't make any decision, we'll talk about it in the spring," Paul said when asked at what time he would make an announcement about his presidential bid.
Paul made the remark during an interview with BuzzFeed News, taxiing on the runway at LaGuardia Airport, after a flight in coach from Des Moines, Iowa, to New York City on Thursday.
Paul's closest advisers are reportedly meeting on Nov. 12 to discuss his running for president, in what one adviser told National Journal is "the come-to-Jesus before the planned launch."
Paul has been and will be out on the trail for multiple candidates in the run-up to the midterm elections, most recently for Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst. On Thursday, he is scheduled to give a speech to the Center for the National Interest in New York that will be an attempt to further define his foreign policy — an area in which he is closely scrutinized and criticized by Republican rivals.
Asked whether his speech would say anything different from what he has said before, Paul said it would be a "further elucidation" of views he has already laid out during his time in the Senate, where he has made a reputation for bucking Republican Party orthodoxy on foreign policy as well as going after President Obama on issues like drones. The speech will reportedly argue for "limits" on American military engagement abroad.
"We also haven't had a foreign policy speech since events have evolved," Paul said. "Foreign policy if nothing else is based on events and facts on the ground, and facts on the ground have changed significantly in the last six months."
Paul said he receives an unusual level of scrutiny on foreign policy because his ideas are "resonating," and thus people want to "take them down a notch or two."
Paul also addressed, and doubled down on, his controversial recent comments about the Ebola virus, which he says is more transmissible than the Obama administration claims.
That Ebola virus can only be transferred through bodily fluids, Paul said, is "the same description that was given for AIDS. But no health workers in this country have gotten AIDS from handling linens."
"They just changed the protocols a day ago," Paul said, seemingly referring to the CDC's tightening of Ebola protocols this week. "They've admitted they were wrong. Obviously they're flying by the seat of their pants."
"If this was a plane full of people who were symptomatic, you'd be at grave risk of getting Ebola," Paul said. "If a plane takes 12 hours, how do you know if people will become symptomatic or not?" he said. There would be grave risk, he said, if "they're vomiting all over you or they're coughing all over you."
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at email@example.com.
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