Ahead of 2016, Rand Paul has a top voice in liberal politics concerned for the Democratic Party.
Bill de Blasio, New York City's first-term mayor, told journalist Mike Allen he thinks the Kentucky senator is the most formidable opponent for Democrats. Speaking at a Politico Playbook breakfast Wednesday morning, the mayor said his party needs to refocus its message on economic populism. Though he disagrees with Paul on a "host of issues," de Blasio said the likely presidential contender will be a force in the GOP.
"He evinces a certain authenticity that any good Democrat should worry about," de Blasio said. And as long as Paul isn't swayed by his fellow Republicans, he'll be a strong contender. "To the extent that there is a libertarian philosophy that he sticks to regardless of political convenience, I think that makes him a stronger candidate than many."
The mayor was in Washington to expound on his post-election op-ed last week, where he argued that, after a tough wake-up call in the midterm elections, Democrats must find their collective "backbone" in tackling economic inequality. Because 2014 campaigns didn't emphasize economic issues, he said, voters weren't inspired to get to the polls.