As part of my new interview series The Charm Offensive, I sat down with Founder of the The Libertarian Republic, Austin Petersen. Petersen’s shares his insights on libertarian fusionism, the friction between the liberty-wing and social conservatives, and the coming battle between Rand Paul and Bush III.

 

00:23 Let’s talk 2016. Recent polls suggest that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ties with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky for the Republican nomination. These two candidates represent opposite factions of the GOP wing, each fighting for what remains of the party’s soul. If these two proceed forward, what political leverage do you foresee each candidate using against the other?

00:45 AUSTIN RESPONDS

3:29 Tiffany: Senator Rand Paul’s grassroots support among his father’s evangelist movement has waned. Some argue he plays politics too much, some argue he’s too socially conservative and others feel he betrayed his father by supporting Mitt Romney.

Since 2012, the Republican National Committee has reformed its nomination process, sought to limit GOP debates and tie caucuses directly to their convention delegates, damaging grass roots efforts to defy party mandates.

The rules for electing a candidate now benefit well-funded party favorites. Rand Paul is the outlier. Without that grassroots support for a liberty-minded candidate, does he stand a chance against Bush and his corporate backers?

4:20 AUSTIN RESPONDS

7:07 Tiffany: The GOP is in an interesting position with the Hispanic vote. They came out in support of George W. Bush and Romney got only 20% or so of the vote. They are a huge demographic and if the GOP seeks to take that voting bloc from Democrats, they will have to appeal to the conservative side of that demographic.

How do you think the liberty movement would respond to a Vice Presidential candidate of either Senator Marco Rubio or Senator Ted Cruz if Rand Paul was nominated?

7:46 AUSTIN RESPONDS

9:31 Tiffany: Senator Paul is in a difficult position. He must appease each faction of the ideologically shattered GOP. Social conservatives vs. Neocon militarists vs. the Constitutionalist and libertarian wing. What would it take for the socons and neocons to support him?

10:06 AUSTIN RESPONDS

12:17 Tiffany: So who do you support for 2016?

12:28 AUSTIN RESPONDS

14:35 Tiffany responds

14:46 AUSTIN LETS US IN ON A SECRET

15:05  To check out Austin Petersen’s work, visit the Libertarian Republic on Facebook or Twitter at @TheLibRepublic. We’ll also have a discussion about Rand and the future of liberty in American on Liberty.me/discuss. Hope to see you there!