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Look at those faces! Would anyone vote for that?


Oh such exciting times in the Republican primary! It's been a couple of days of hot Donald-on-Rand-on-Ted action, and with any luck, it'll turn into one of those cartoon fights with a big cloud of dust with a fist or a shoe sticking out here and there. We're not rooting for anyone in particular, just for the entire fuck-tussle to get as ugly as possible, for entertainment purposes. We've got Rand Paul calling Donald Trump a clown (it's a fair cop), Donald Trump predicting that Rand Paul will be the next Republican to drop out of the race, and Rand Paul counterattacking by going after Ted Cruz. We feel confident predicting that Cruz will likely react by trying to shut down the government again.

The fun got rolling Monday, when Paul told CNN that Trump didn't know what he was talking about when he said Paul was the Candidate Most Likely To Drop Out, following the departures of Rick Perry and Scott Walker:

"It kind of reminds me of the funniest moment, I think, of the second debate, where out of nowhere, complete non sequitur, he starts going after me. And I guess it's part of his bravado, his shtick," Paul said. "I'm thinking, how did we get the race for the most important office in the free world to sink to such depths, and how could anyone in my party think that this clown is fit to be president?"

Paul said there's no truth to Trump's assertions that his campaign is having trouble fundraising. In fact, he said, his campaign is focused on organizing on the ground in key primary states and pleased with how that's going.

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Not that Paul's campaign could possibly be in any real trouble, no, not at all, except maybe if you consider that on Tuesday, Politico reported that one of the three super PACs supporting Paul had suspended its fundraising:

In a Tuesday telephone interview, Ed Crane, who oversees the group, PurplePAC, accused Paul of abandoning his libertarian views -- and suggested it was a primary reason the Kentucky senator had plummeted in the polls.

“I have stopped raising money for him until I see the campaign correct its problems,” said Crane, who co-founded the Cato Institute think tank and serves as its president emeritus. “I wasn’t going to raise money to spend on a futile crusade.”

“I don’t see the point in it right now,” he added.

Crane was apparently miffed that Paul was no longer sounding like the wacked out Libertarian he'd come to know and love:

“I want to grab Rand by the lapels and say, ‘What are you doing?’” Crane said. “I’m a big fan of Rand Paul. But whatever motivates his campaign, I don’t get it.”

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On top of the sudden disappearance of one of his super PACs, Paul also had to contend with Donald Trump twitting him on the Tweeter, calling attention to his poor polling -- way down from earlier in the campaign -- and generously offering to steal away Paul's supporters, even if they have to crowd into more than one car:

Looks like this is one of those times when the broken clock might be right; Rand Paul has been doing some big fundraisers lately -- to prepare to defend his Senate seat. Not that this means anything about his presidential campaign, say Paul spokeshobbits; he just has to run two campaigns at once, is all, and once he seals up the presidential nomination, that Senate race is over.

While Paul didn't respond to Trump's trolling, he did at least take some time Tuesday to go after Ted Cruz, not that he's displacing his anger or anything psychological like that. On Brian Kilmeade's Fox Radio show, Paul was asked if he thought the Senator From Calgary felt "snubbed" by the rest of the Senate ignoring Cruz's attempt to push through a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Rand got a little snippy!

"Ted has chosen to make this really personal and call people dishonest in leadership and call them names, which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the Senate, and as a consequence, he can’t get anything done legislatively," Paul told Kilmeade. "He’s pretty much done for and stifled, and it's really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem."

Paul added that nobody likes Cruz, everybody hates Cruz, and Cruz might as well eat worms. Cruz has not yet replied to Paul's proclamation that he's "done for" in the Senate, although we won't be the least bit surprised if Cruz gets on the Twitter machine to say "Mr. Trump is absolutely right about Rand Paul, oh yes he is!"

[CNN / Politico / The Hill / TPM]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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