Rand Paul debate preview: Hit Donald Trump harder

Updated 2:25 PM EDT, Wed September 16, 2015
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Story highlights

Rand Paul doesn't think his campaign's stagnating because he attacked Donald Trump at the first Republican debate

The Kentucky senator threw the kitchen sink of attacks at Trump on Tuesday when speaking to CNN's John Berman on "The Lead"

Washington CNN —  

Rand Paul plans to go after Donald Trump in a big way at Wednesday’s CNN Republican presidential debate.

The Kentucky senator threw a wide range of attacks at Trump on Tuesday when speaking to CNN’s John Berman on “The Lead.” Paul said Trump was out of line with the Republican Party on eminent domain, Obamacare and tax issues – something Paul said he planned to showcase during CNN’s Republican debate on Wednesday evening.

“When Americans know that, when conservatives know that, they’re going to run away with their hair on fire,” Paul said, pledging his attacks would focus on issues, not personality or looks. “I really haven’t called him ugly. I haven’t been calling other candidates ugly.”

Paul wasn’t shy about confronting the GOP front-runner in the first debate either. He began by interrupting from the flank of the debate stage an exchange between Trump and the moderators, who were questioning Trump on why he wouldn’t then pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. Paul, who No. 8 in CNN’s poll rankings, has had trouble raising money and expanding his appeal beyond the libertarian core that remains well organized in early voting states.

The Kentucky senator christened Trump a “fake conservative” and said that Americans concerned about national security should pause when thinking about supporting the New York businessman.

“Do we really want someone in charge of our nuclear arsenal who goes around basically using the insults of a junior high, or a sophomore in high school?” said Paul on CNN. “That’s not the kind of person we want to be practicing the diplomacy of the United States.”

As far as debate prep, Paul said he’ll go shooting in the morning to take the edge off.

“I will be out shooting target practice in the morning,” he said. “I will be shooting the tax code with some friends tomorrow morning, and that will be my preparation.”