“We reached out to all the potential presidential candidates,” said Tony Krvaric, chairman of the local Republican Party. “[Paul’s] office was the first to confirm.”
Krvaric said a sellout is expected and his committee is looking for a larger venue than usual. (Last year’s dinner was at the Grand Del Mar, and earlier editions met at the Rancho Bernardo Inn. Monthly meetings are at the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley.)
“Potential future presidents always generate a lot of interest,” Krvaric said Thursday.
Krvaric said last year’s dinner had 600 attendees.
“This one is expected to be at least 800,” he told Times of San Diego. “Maybe up to 1,000.”
The event, which features local GOP awards, has raised as much as $200,000, the party has reported. In 2013, Rep. Darrell Issa made news at the dinner by announcing revelations about “whistleblowers” in the Benghazi investigation, when he led the House Oversight Committee.
Individual tickets to see the Tea Party favorite go on sale May 1 if “not already sold out by then,” Krvaric said, noting that tables start at $2,500 and info will be available “shortly” on the party website.
On SD Rostra, GOP activist Steve Rider wrote: “What great news and a bold one at that. So relieved to not have a certain sibling/son of a previous president. San Diego GOP is always at the forefront of key Republican activities. Great to see.”
But another commenter, Lorri Greene, noted how Paul had signed the Republican letter to the leaders of Iran, which has been denounced by Democrats and others.
She said: “How would Republicans feel if the same letter would have been sent by 47 Democrats if there were a Republican president? Thank you.”
In an NBC “Today” show interview, Matt Lauer asked Paul, 52, whether, if he were president, he would want a group of senators “undermining” his negotiations.
“Paul rejected the premise,” said one report, “claiming he signed the letter because he wanted to ‘strengthen the president’s hand’ by reminding Iran of the U.S.’s own hard-liners. Paul also reiterated that sanctions on Iran would have to be lifted by Congress.”
Sen. Paul, elected in 2010, is the ophthalmologist son of former GOP presidential candidate and Libertarian hero Ron Paul.
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