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Red flag alert? Alan Grayson wants Rand Paul to be his next president

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Florida progressives may have been seeing red Monday morning.

When a local Sunday morning cable news show asked liberal U.S. Rep. (and possible Senate candidate) Alan Grayson what he thought about the GOP presidential field, the Orlando Democrat made a surprising endorsement.

Grayson wants Republican Rand Paul to be his next president.

“I look at the Republican field and I can’t see a single person in that field, with the possible exception of Rand Paul, who I actually want to be my president,” Grayson told host Ybeth Bruzual on the News 13 Orlando talker Political Connections.

“I look at this from the voters’ perspective,” he added, “and I say to myself, ‘these people do not have an answer to this very important question: What have you done for the people?’”

Paul, the Libertarian-leaning Kentucky senator, has campaigned for the GOP 2016 presidential nomination since April 11.

Grayson, regarded as one of the most liberal Democrats in Congress, has built a large progressive following. Many of them believe he is close to announcing a run for the 2016 U.S. Senate in Florida, as a primary challenger to U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, the moderate Treasure Coast Democrat already in the race.

Bolstering Grayson’s interest in the Senate seat were recent polls showing he may have a real shot at challenging Murphy to replace Marco Rubio, who is seeking the presidency.

The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, openly critical of Murphy, has been hoping Grayson will join the race. Other Democratic leaders see the 57-year-old Grayson, well-known for his blistering rhetoric, as too provocative for a general election, and instead have supported Murphy, 32, who is serving his second congressional term.

Many see Murphy, so far the only prominent Democrat in the race, as the stronger candidate.

Although Grayson is never one to shy away from speaking his mind, it will be interesting to see how Grayson’s latest comment – which is now available on YouTube — plays with the progressive left, his base, or affects his chances of entering the Senate race (if at all).

Kevin Franck, a representative for Grayson’s campaign committee, said the statement was certainly not an endorsement of Paul.

“Rep. Grayson definitely does not support Rand Paul for president,” Franck said in an email, “and he plans to vigorously support the Democratic nominee.

“Alan has never voted for a Republican presidential candidate in his life, unlike some people.” ​

The clip of Grayson’s comment is below:

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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