2016 GOP Presidential Candidate Rand Paul Criticizes Restore America’s Wire Act
GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul recently spoke out against the anti-online gambling bill cosponsored by his fellow Republicans. Restore America’s Wire Act, the federal legislation which would ban all online gambling in the USA, is being championed by Representative Jason Chaffetz and Senator Lindsey Graham.
That did not stop Rand Paul, who announced earlier this year he would run for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2016, answered a question about RAWA from the Alpha Pages, an online publication about business and economic news, by saying, “I’m opposed to restrictions on online gambling. The government needs to stay out of that business.”
Son of Ron Paul
The answer is not likely to surprise many observers. In November 2014, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, father of Rand Paul, wrote an article criticizing Restore America’s Wire Act. Both members of the Paul family have strong libertarian viewpoints, which means they come down on the side of less government in almost all instances.
On the other hand, Chaffetz and Graham are champion of the social conservatives, who prefer less government when it comes to business and taxation, but also call for more government when it comes to social issues like abortion, gay marriage, and activities they consider vices, such as gambling and drug use. Rand Paul would say calls for more government on social issues is, in actuality, a liberal stance.
Rich Muny’s Facebook Page
Rich Muny, VP of the Poker Players Alliance, posted on Facebook about The Alpha Pages. Muny wrote, “Another reason I am probably voting for Rand! Great to hear he is pro-online poker,” said one respondent. Muny’s Facebook posting got generally good reviews, though readers on the Facebook page of a gaming advocate are likely to be pro-gambling.
Some of the comments included:
- “Looks like online poker players have a candidate they can support for president.”
- “I like him, but he would be my last choice anyway….Ted Cruz is a poker maestro.
- “He just got my vote. lololol”
- “Awesome. He is against RAWA and he is against gun control. Guess I’m voting for Rand Paul.”
- “As someone who really wants poker back, this might take my vote.”
Sheldon Adelson’s Bill
Most insiders in Washington D.C. see Restore America’s Wire Act as a bill which is the singular brainchild of Sheldon Adelson. The Las Vegas Sands executive, who has made more money from casino gambling than anyone in history, said in 2013 he would spend whatever it takes to see online gambling banned. In the spring of 2014, GOP presidential candidate and Senator Lindsey Graham and Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz cosponsored RAWA in the US Congress.
Their efforts to pass the legislation failed in 2014, but the two men came back in 2015 with more influence and have been pushing the bill in the early session of Congress. A March 2015 hearing in a House subcommittee was seen by the gaming press as a pro-RAWA whitewash. Despite their efforts, most congressional experts believe the bill has little chance of succeeding. A major reason for their skepticism is the number of conservative voices who have spoken out against their fellow Republicans. Rand Paul is the most vocal of those critics–at least the most vocal one in Congress.
About Rand Paul
Rand Paul is the junior Senator from Kentucky. Before starting his political career in 2011, Paul was an ophthalmologist with a flourishing practice in Bowling Green, Kentucky since 1993. Dr. Paul has talked at length about the need to get rid of the professional politician class in U.S. politics, instead setting term limits and recruiting more candidates from the business world.
Like his father, former US Representative Ron Paul of Texas, Rand Paul is a libertarian on most issues. For this reason, Sen. Paul is identified with the Tea Party. This would be expected, given Ron Paul’s pivotal role in founding the Tea Party in 2007. Rand Paul has been critical of the NSA surveillance of US citizens, the Federal Reserve’s monetary and dollar devaluation policies, the federal debt, and taxation policies.
Most political analysts do not see Rand Paul as a serious challenger for the Republican nomination for US president. While the Tea Party is a force within the Republican Party, it is considered a fringe element among the wider electorate. The GOP electorate is not likely to nominate a fringe candidate in what should be a pivotal 2016 Presidential election.