Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had to miss a Christian conservative summit in Iowa over the weekend, where several other prospective 2016 candidates appeared, because he had a family commitment, the senator told the event's organizers. However, Paul was later spotted hobnobbing at a party in the Hamptons alongside liberal actor Alec Baldwin. The news "raised some eyebrows" in the key state of Iowa, the Des Moines Register reports.
The senator's staff told the Register that Paul did, in fact, have a family commitment in New York. While there, Paul and his wife attended the Hamptons party -- which was a fundraiser for the East Hampton Library, according to the New York Post -- at the request of his political adviser.
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Paul consequently had to skip the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, hosted by the Family Leader. Attendees at the summit this year included Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. The Kentucky senator did help sponsor the event and sent a video to air at the conference, the Register reports.
Furthermore, Paul certainly isn't ignoring the Hawkeye State -- earlier this month, he made a three-day trip to Iowa, where he attended several events and met with various constituencies.
While he wasn't able to join his fellow potential GOP presidential nominees over the weekend, Paul did share his thoughts about some of them.
Asked about Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., Paul said, "bridges," alluding to the scandal surrounding Christie's staff over politically-motivated bridge lane closures.
Paul had some kinder associations for some of his other colleagues, calling Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., "Thoughtful and part of the answer to making our party bigger -- a good new face for our party."
He said that Democratic Sen. Cory Booker -- with whom he's worked on some issues -- is "affable, amiable, [and] tries to get beyond partisanship."
President Obama, he said, is "Affable but often ineffectual," while he called former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "yesterday's news."