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Sen. Rand Paul: Limited Washington experience isn’t always bad

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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is brushing aside the notion — aired recently by former Sen. Bob Dole — that he and some of his GOP counterparts in the Congress are too green to be the nation's next president.

"I was a physician, and then a U.S. Senator, and people said, 'You need to be a state legislator and a mayor and all of these other things before you're in the U.S. Senate,' and I absolutely disagree with that because I think in some ways, when you have people who are career politicians, they've been beaten down by the system and are so part of the system that they can't see all the problems of the system," Mr. Paul told reporters Tuesday after an event on school choice in Chicago.

Mr. Dole, the GOP's 1996 presidential nominee, said last week that "first termers" — including Mr. Paul and fellow Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas need to get some more time under their belt in Washington before they are ready to be commander-in-chief.

"I don't think they've got enough experience yet," Mr. Dole told the Eagle newspaper of Wichita, Kan.

Mr. Paul, Mr. Rubio and Mr. Cruz are among a number of Republicans who are thought to be considering running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

On Tuesday, Mr. Paul suggested his limited experience in Washington is a plus and that some people can spend too much time in the nation's capital.

"I think that over long periods of time, people lose their zeal for change in Washington, and they become part of the system," Mr. Paul said.

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