A thorny issue for Paul. He sees himself as a "different kind of Republican" and has encouraged his party to abandon its fixation on "amnesty," saying the concept has trapped Republicans from embracing compromise. Yet in 2013, he voted against an immigration overhaul pushed by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham. He introduced a bill that tried to undo President Obama's executive orders to delay deportation of some immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
FOREIGN POLICY/NATIONAL SECURITY
Paul favors a smaller U.S. military presence overseas and opposes domestic surveillance programs, drawing from a libertarian ideology that has put him at odds with GOP donors and policymakers who see him as too soft for the world stage. He started to rein in those tendencies with the approach of his campaign. Paul cited the rise of violence in the Middle East to call for a declaration of war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, arguing that Congress alone has the constitutional power to declare war. And in March he proposed an increase in military spending. He opposes U.S. policy on the use of military drones.
He opposes a federal ban on gay marriage, arguing states should decide for themselves, and says the Republican Party has room for people on both sides of the issue. Paul was criticized recently for a 2013 interview that resurfaced online in which he said he has never used the term "gay rights" because he doesn't believe "in rights based on your behavior." He also told pastors of a "moral crisis that allows people to think that there would be some other form of marriage." He's backed legislation that sought to ban abortion, yet upset some social conservatives by saying U.S. public opinion is too divided to change federal laws.
BUDGETS AND ENTITLEMENTS
The government is too big and needs to give money back to the taxpayer. That's the essence of Paul's position. He wants to lower the tax rate on overseas corporate profits that are returned to the U.S., and use such money for roads and bridges. He'd create "economic freedom zones" where individual and corporate income taxes are eliminated or drastically reduced in poor areas.
Kentucky was the first state in the country to adopt the Common Core standards for English and math in 2010, the year Paul was first elected to the Senate. Paul has since come out strongly against the standards as they've become a flash point in national politics. Paul says the standards represent a chipping away of local control of education, despite the fact each state must vote to adopt them.
Paul has denounced the government's new emission regulations as part of Obama's "war on coal." On the other hand, he supports some coal regulations. During the debate on whether to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, Paul was one of 15 Republicans who voted for a measure that said humans contribute to the planet's global warming problems.
He wants to restore voting rights to nonviolent felons, end mandatory minimum sentences, end sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine and make it easier for people to expunge their criminal records.