Rand Paul

As the measles outbreak continues to spread, political leaders with an eye on the White House in 2016 spent much of the week jumping into, and then trying to bail themselves out of, the vaccine debate.

Some brushed the issue off as an unnecessary media circus, but it's worth taking a look at its deeper political meaning. Here are five things the vaccine politics kerfuffle of 2015 tells us about the emerging field of presidential candidates for 2016.

1. Vaccination politics are a problem for Republicans — not Democrats.

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul introduced a resolution Wednesday in the U.S. Senate declaring war against the Islamic State. 

Paul said he believes the president should have come to Congress before authorizing military action against the terrorist group.

"Our founding fathers wanted to make it difficult to go to war," explained Paul.  "They wanted to have the authority of Congress, you had to have some consensus from the public at large before going to war, and they didn't give the power unilaterally to the president.  The president for the last four or five months has been acting illegally and unconstitutionally."

The U.S. began air strikes in Iraq and Syria a few months ago.  Senator Paul argues the current war must be made valid or be ended. 

The Bowling Green Republican says he does support a military campaign against ISIS, claiming the American embassy and consulate are threatened.

With no fanfare, Rand Paul announced Tuesday he’s running for a second term in the U.S. Senate in 2016.

Everyone knows Sen. Mitch McConnell had a great election night in Kentucky last week. As for the state's other Republican senator, Rand Paul, that's a different matter.

That's because while McConnell was cruising to a big re-election win on his way to becoming Senate majority leader, things did not go so well for Paul. He was hoping Republicans, who already control the Kentucky Senate, would also take over the state House — a result that would grease the path for a state law allowing him to run for both re-election and the presidency at the same time.

48states, Wikimedia Commons

Fort Knox will not receive child immigrants, despite being mentioned by lawmakers, including Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Kentucky 3rd District Representative John Yarmuth issued a statement Monday stating the Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed it is not considering Fort Knox for housing of children fleeing violence south of the border. The Depart of Defense had submitted Fort Knox as a site large enough to house the immigrants, but HHS has final say.

Abbey Oldham/WKU Public Radio

Republican efforts to win control of the Kentucky House got a boost from a national figure Saturday.

The incoming U.S. House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, was in Bowling Green to raise money for the Republican Party of Kentucky House Trust. McCarthy visited the commonwealth at the request of the state’s 2nd District Congressman, Brett Guthrie of Warren County.

Speaking to reporters before the fundraiser, Rep. McCarthy said what happens in state legislatures can often trickle up to the nation's capital.

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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul warns Kentuckians that the rapid expansion of Medicaid recipients in the Commonwealth through the Affordable Care Act may result in the closure of some hospitals.

The Republican made his comments at a press conference in Owensboro Wednesday.

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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will be ​in Paducah Tuesday performing pro bono cataract surgeries.

Lawsuit over Hemp Seeds Heard Today

May 16, 2014
Barbetorte, Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner says he’s looking forward to a court hearing today over his department’s lawsuit against the federal government. James Comer sued three government agencies—including the U.S. Justice Department—over a 250 pound shipment of hemp seeds being held by federal customs officials in Louisville.

Though Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is currently the front-runner to gain the Republican nomination for President in 2016, he might encounter even more resistance from traditional conservatives after a video surfaced in which he draws parallels between former Vice President Dick Cheney’s role at Halliburton and the Iraq War.

In the video – originally pointed out by Mother Jones magazine – Paul says the following while speaking at Western Kentucky University on April 7 2009, five years ago to the day:

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