Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul reacted to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s announcement that he was running for president, telling Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Monday that conservatives need to consider which conservative candidate can actually win. (RELATED: Rubio & Cruz Battle Rand Paul Over Cuba, Iran In 2016 Preview)
KELLY: When you look at the polls right now, the RealClearPolitics average of all polls… you’re behind Bush, Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and then you’re in fifth place now. You are ahead of, you know, these other guys.
PAUL: Sort of depends on what poll you look at. Your rival station had a poll yesterday that had me tied in the lead for Walker and Bush in a nationwide poll. So we feel pretty comfortable that there is a developing first here.
Also, when you poll people not just against each other but against the other side, that shows which candidate has the best chance of picking up independent vote. And right now I’m the only one that beats Hillary Clinton in certain purple states. I’m the only one also that scores above all the other Republicans in whether or not I can beat her.
So there will be a lot of conservatives. Ted Cruz is a conservative, but it also goes to winability. And people have to make a decision: which is the Republican that can not only excite the base, but can also bring new people into the party without giving up principles?