Paul on topping recent 2016 GOP polls: ‘It’s better than being last’

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Ahead of a speech on privacy at University of California, Berkeley, Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday he’s not sure whether it’s good luck or bad luck that he’s found himself atop recent polls on the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

“It makes you more of a target, I guess,” the Kentucky Republican told National Journal, joking that “I tell people it’s better than being last.”

“You become a target where people want to characterize who you are, and I’m not really content with letting others characterize who I am,” he said. “Because your opponents generally don’t characterize you in a favorable fashion.”

Mr. Paul recently won the CPAC/Washington Times presidential preference straw poll and a New Hampshire Republican conference poll, and also sits atop a new CNN/ORC International poll of 2016 GOP contenders along with Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

He is scheduled to speak Wednesday about the National Security Agency and privacy.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m worried,” he says in prepared remarks, according to Politico. “If the CIA is spying on Congress, who exactly can or will stop them? I look into the eyes of senators and I think I see real fear. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I think I perceive FEAR of an intelligence community drunk with power, unrepentant, and uninclined to relinquish power. I am honestly worried — concerned about who is truly in charge of our government. Most of you have read the dystopian nightmares and maybe, like me, you doubted that it could ever happen in America.”

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