U.S. Sen. Rand Paul warned pundits Monday not to read too much into comments he made about his wife possibly vetoing a run for the White House in 2016, but he did say “it’s not a slam dunk that I’m running.”
Paul, who has said repeatedly that he is seriously considering a run, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that comments he has made about his wife, Kelly, being opposed to the idea are largely a joke.
“There’s two votes in my family,” Paul told the audience at the Detroit Economic Club last week. “My wife has both of them, and both of them are ‘no’ votes right now.”
Paul has used some variation of that joke whenever he has been asked about a 2016 run while traveling around Kentucky.
On Fox News Sunday, Paul reiterated that he is considering a run, but he added that he is “also very serious about the family considerations.”
“And, you know, just — just look at what happens daily to any politician in America,” Paul said. “You talk about how uncivil things are. I mean, they really are. They do take a toll on family.”
When asked about the joke about his wife having both votes, Paul noted that when it comes to politics, “obviously people don’t have much of a sense of humor.”
“It’s a fairly common joke,” he said. “I didn’t invent that.”
The state’s junior senator said that he and Kelly Paul are having an ongoing discussion about whether he should run, and it will be a while before they reach a conclusion.
Paul has said for months that he is considering a bid and followed that up with requisite trips to early-voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina.
Earlier this month, the Herald-Leader reported that Paul allies have settled on Louisville as the base for a presidential run.
The senator said Monday that a lot of preparations underway are to both ensure that the option for running is still available if he chooses to go that route and to prepare for a re-election campaign. Paul has said he will run to keep his Senate seat in 2016.
“There’s a lot of overlap between that and running for re-election,” Paul said.