In a campaign looking for a jumpstart, Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul released a video Tuesday that attempted to grab some of the spotlight away from Donald Trump.
In the slickly produced video, Paul, a Kentucky senator, sporting a black T-shirt with the words “Detroit Republican” in white letters, destroys thousands of pages of paper – with a chainsaw, wood chipper and fire.
“Hey I’m Rand Paul, and I’m trying to kill the tax code all 70,000 pages of it,” he says before directing viewers to his website to learn more about his single-page tax code and 14.5 percent flat-tax policy. He then goes on to show the stack of paper, metaphorically representing the tax code, burning, being put into a wood chipper and Paul slicing it up with a chainsaw — all while the Jimi Hendrix rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” plays.
The video is part of a sort of soft relaunch of the Paul campaign, which has garnered a modest position in the crowded GOP primary. He currently sits between 5 and 10 percent in most national polls – enough to get on the stage for the first debate Aug. 6. Paul’s campaign pulled in $7 million, as of June 30, fifth among Republican candidates.
Paul isn’t the first candidate to literally take their political frustrations out on pieces of legislation.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, released an ad during his 2010 campaign that touted his endorsement from the National Rifle Association. In that ad, he promised to “take dead aim at the cap and trade bill” before looking through the scope of a rifle and putting a single bullet through a copy of the bill, “because it’s bad for West Virginia,” Manchin said at the end of ad. Manchin won with 53 percent of the vote.
Last year’s midterm elections seemed to be prime hunting season for candidates looking to take shots at legislation. Alabama Republican congressional candidate Will Brooke used a handgun, a rifle and a semi-automatic weapon to unsuccessfully shoot through a thick copy of Obamacare. In the end, Brooke, like Paul, resorted to destroying the thick stack of paper by using a woodchipper. Brooke was defeated in the June 2014 Republican primary.