[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text](FOX News) Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday morning announced his 2016 presidential bid using his website, preempting his official campaign kick-off set for noon.
“I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government,” Paul said on RandPaul.com.
The 52-year-old Republican senator is scheduled to personally announce his bid this afternoon at a “Stand with Rand” rally in Louisville, Ky. In doing so, he brings his libertarian-leaning brand of conservatism to what is likely to be a crowded primary field.[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”5517620b381df”][vc_column_text]A Tea Party favorite and frequent antagonist of leaders of his Republican Party, Paul is expected to head out after the rally to early nominating states with a pitch aimed at the libertarian corners of the GOP.
He would be the second announced candidate, following closely behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, but he could face as many as 20 rivals for the nomination before the lead-off Iowa caucuses early next year.
After his speech in Louisville, Paul was also set to answer questions from voters on his Facebook page.
On the eve of his launch, Paul’s political committee put out a web video that said: “On April 7, one leader will stand up to defeat the Washington machine and unleash the American dream.”
Paul joined the Senate in 2011 after the Tea Party wave that also helped Republicans take control of the House for the first time in roughly 40 years.
While at times a gadfly to party leadership, he’s also positioned himself as slightly more mainstream than his father, former Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul. While his father proudly embraces anti-interventionist views, the younger Paul has denied claims that he’s an isolationist on the world stage.
Read the Rest from FOX News…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]