It’s often difficult for conservatives to win over some of the most liberal detractors. But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has managed to get the attention of the liberal Bill Maher, as the HBO “Real Time” host said Friday he believes the Tea Party darling can “give Hillary a run for her money.”
While discussing the results of last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll — which Paul won with more than 30 percent of the vote — Maher and panelists Amy “Tiger Mom” Chua, blogger Andrew Sullivan and author Salman Rushdie agreed that Paul could be the guy to take down former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“He could give Hillary a run for her money,” Maher said.
The group agreed that while many Republicans at CPAC argued the United States should become involved in conflicts abroad, Paul advocated for non-interventionism, which appeals to many young people.
“I think Rand Paul’s attempt to say what most people in this country really understand, which is we don’t need to run the world. We don’t want to run the world. America would be in a better place if we’re less interested in our own power and more interested in freedom,” Sullivan said.
The Tea Party darling has emerged as a favorite among liberty-minded young people and has become a staunch defender of Fourth Amendment rights and the right to privacy, especially in light of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.
And it’s Paul’s ability to win over young voters, Rushdie asserted, that will help in defeat the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016.
“If he can break into that, then he’s got a chance,” the author said.
Sullivan noted that Clinton’s appearance as a neocon could hurt her if she makes a run for the White House.
“She’ll come off like a neocon,” the blogger said. ” Because, in fact, she is a bit of a neocon.”
And Chua agreed.
“He’s so independent-minded,” the “Tiger Mom” and Yale Law professor said. “I think with Hillary Clinton, you just feel like it’s just going to fit into certain familiar things. And he just is a little unpredictable. He doesn’t care what people think. And that’s appealing to a lot of people.”
Watch the panel discuss Paul below.