Sen. Rand Paul tells CPAC that conservatives understand government is ''the problem'' at home, and that noone should think an ''inept'' government at home will succeed abroad. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, on Friday told the Conservative Political Action Conference that he seeks a foreign policy "unencumbered by nation building." Of all the potential candidates speaking at the meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Kentucky senator should feel most at home. He won the event's presidential straw poll the last two years, buoyed by support from young libertarian-leaning conservatives who plan to turn out in force again this year. The 52-year-old Paul, famous for his non-interventionist approach to world affairs, could find himself at odds with a growing hawkishness among other Republican hopefuls mustering support with their calls for more aggressive action against Russia and Islamic State militants. "At home, conservatives understand the government is the problem, not the solution," he said. He said that when it comes to foreign policy, however, he said that no one should think that a government "inept" at home could be successful abroad. The influence of libertarians can be seen this year on panels that will tackle criminal-justice reform and marijuana legalization, as well as more traditional topics such as abortion and President Barack Obama's signature healthcare act. Paul's family name has goodwill attached due to the multiple presidential campaigns run by his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, whose isolationist positions had a narrow yet noteworthy appeal in a segment of the Republican Party. Paul defenders say Paul has been clear about his support for action against Islamic State. The straw poll result will be announced on Saturday.