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Rand Paul Discusses 2012 Aspirations, Libya, Budget

Senator Rand Paul says he wants the Tea Party to be represented in the 2012 election and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that.Paul told the Louisville Rotary Club Thursday he is considering a run for the presidency in 2012, but will not run against his father.“I think the primary and elections are about who can articulate the message best and that’s sort of what we had a primary here in Kentucky about and that there will be a primary nationally about" he said. "I just want to be part of that, whether it’s actually as a candidate or just trying to help decide who the candidate is; I just don’t know that yet.”The freshman Senator’s speech focused mostly on his plans to cut debt and gradually increase the age to receive Social Security benefits.Paul then added that the Tea Party will exist for as long as the national debt remains a prominent issue in politics.“I think the tea party sticks around as long as the debt is a real problem, and as long as the debt is perceived as being the number one problem," he says "I think the tea party sticks around.”The senator spoke briefly about the conflict in Libya and criticized the president for not involving congress more heavily in the decisions to enforce a no-fly zone over the country.Paul says there won’t likely be a government shutdown due to budget disagreements in Washington. He says there are other alternatives to a shut down besides raising the debt ceiling. One measure he supports is paying debt interest with new revenue.