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Rand Paul: My wife says 'no' to presidential bid (+video)

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(Read caption) Sen. Rand Paul: Why he won't run in 2016
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Speaking in Detroit the other night, Sen. Rand Paul was asked if he’d run for president in 2016. It’s a question he gets a lot these days.

He’s the maverick Republican/libertarian US senator and son of another maverick Republican/libertarian who ran for the White House three times and shook up the GOP in the process – retired US Rep. Ron Paul. Senator Paul is just a couple of points behind front-runner New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for the nomination, according to the RealClearPolitics.com polling average.

Paul has taken a couple of pokes at Mr. Christie recently, accusing the New Jersey governor of “embracing Obamacare, expanding Medicaid in his state [which] is very expensive and not fiscally conservative." He also has suggested that Christie’s recent easy reelection “was, in large form, based on that he got a lot of federal money for his state.”

But back to that question Friday night about whether he’ll enter the 2016 presidential race.

"Where's my cellphone? Can I call my wife?" Paul joked. "There's two votes in my family. My wife has both of them and both of them are 'no' votes right now."

“If I’m a very able politician, I’ll tell you in a year whether I’m able to persuade my wife. Right now, I don’t know yet, but I thank you for your interest,” he said.

Like his father, Paul is a medical doctor (eye specialist). His wife is Kelley Ashby, a former political consultant. The couple has been married for 23 years, and they have three sons.

In a Vogue magazine profile of Paul, Ms. Ashby expressed concern about the effect a presidential race would have on the family.

"In this day and age it's mostly about character assassination," she said. "When I think of the tens of millions of dollars in opposition research that they'd be aiming right at us and our family – that's what it's about."

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