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Is Rand Paul A Libertarian?

The Senate candidate from Kentucky says "not quite":

In my mind, the word “libertarian” has become an emotionally charged, and often misunderstood, word in our current political climate. But, I would argue very strongly that the vast coalition of Americans including independents, moderates, Republicans, conservatives and “Tea Party” activists share many libertarian points of view, as do I. I choose to use a different phrase to describe my beliefs I consider myself a constitutional conservative, which I take to mean a conservative who actually believes in smaller government and more individual freedom.

David Boaz reacts:

[M]ajor-party politicians are nervous about being tagged with a label that seems to imply a rigorous and radical platform covering a wide range of issues. But if you can call yourself a conservative without necessarily endorsing everything that William F. Buckley Jr. and the Heritage Foundation or Jerry Falwell and Mike Huckabee believe, then a politician should be able to be a moderate libertarian or a libertarian-leaning candidate.

Matt Welch chimes in.