That’s the question raised by a photo posted on Paul’s Facebook page and Twitter feed Friday, where a caption says: “Just landed in California! I know it’s going to be a good trip because we started with tacos and In-N-Out burgers!”
The tacos appear fresh on his beans-and-rice combo plate, but Paul holds a burger in a Double-Double wrapper. His campaign didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Contacted via Facebook, In-N-Out advised Times of San Diego to call its marketing department Monday.
Paul delivered the keynote address at the Republican Party of Orange County‘s annual Flag Day dinner in Irvine on Friday — his second visit to that historically conservative county since declaring his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination on April 7.
“We were the party of emancipation,” Paul was quoted as telling a room of 900. “We were the party of civil rights. We can be that party again.”
On Saturday night, he’ll be the featured speaker at the Lincoln Reagan Dinner hosted by the San Diego County Republican Party at the Bayfront Hilton. But between 5:15 and 6 p.m., he’ll sign copies of his book at a “Stand for Rand Meet and Greet” at the hotel.
If the Kentucky Republican committed a fast-food faux pas by combining Mexican and In-N-Out fare, it wouldn’t be the first for would-be presidential contenders.
In fact, regional food pandering is part of the campaign trail as chow.com noted in a 2012 post titled Mitt Romney’s Grits Conversion.
A comedy site even made hash over Hillary Clinton’s April stop at a Chipotle outlet in Ohio, where she ordered a chicken burrito bowl:
Paul’s appearance Friday comes one day after he addressed the College Republicans National Convention in Washington, D.C., where he said that “We need to be a more diverse party” and “We were the party of emancipation. We were the party of civil rights. We need to be a party that believes in the entire Bill of Rights.”
Paul has introduced several bills to make changes to the criminal justice system, which he has said “is in desperate need of reform” because so many black Americans are being imprisoned for nonviolent drug crimes.
Paul’s bills would create a judicial process for adults to seal non- violent criminal records on the federal level; allow judges to depart from mandatory minimum sentencing laws “if they find it is in the best interests of justice to do so”; and restoring the voting rights of every nonviolent felon in the nation.
“As president, I will continue to work across the aisle to reform our criminal justice system in the hopes of tearing down the wall between the two Americas and giving everyone a shot at the American dream,” Paul said, referring to a 1967 speech made by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when he spoke of “two starkly different American experiences that exist side by side.”
The 52-year-old Paul was elected to the Senate in 2010, the first office he sought.
He had previously combined a career as an ophthalmologist with political activism, working on behalf of his father Ron’s campaigns for the House, Senate and presidency and founding Kentucky Taxpayers United, which examined Kentucky legislators’ records on taxation and spending and encouraging votes against tax increases.
Besides Paul, many of San Diego County’s top elected Republicans will attend the annual GOP awards banquet.
California Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte, Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey, and Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen were set to attend, according to a letter from county GOP Chairman Tony Krvaric.
“Both announced Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, Rocky Chavez and Tom Del Beccaro, will also be there,” he wrote.
With tickets going for $250, the GOP counts on the dinner as a major fundraiser. Tables could be had starting at $2,500.
Just arrived in California. It’s going to be a good trip because we started with Tacos and In-N-Out burgers! pic.twitter.com/LLUkwP7I4A
— Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) June 12, 2015
“The money raised stays right here in San Diego County to help elect Republicans to every office possible,” Krvaric wrote. “Contrary to what some believe, we don’t receive any money from the state or local Republican Party organizations. (We also don’t send any money to them.) So if you want us to stay on offense here in San Diego County, participate in the dinner.”
Krvaric stressed that no GOP presidential candidate has yet been endorsed by the San Diego County group.
“[But] the reality is that Sen. Rand Paul could very well be our Republican nominee for president and defeat Hillary Clinton! Do not miss the opportunity to hear from him,” he said.
The Lincoln Reagan Dinner is the one time per year where everyone in our center-right coalition comes together. Whatever minor differences we may among fellow Republicans, they pale in comparison with what Democrats have in store when they are in charge. Be a table sponsor and show that you are part of our coalition and winning TEAM.
Krvaric said the hashtag #lrdinner would be used for Twitter comment Saturday night.
Updated at 12:20 a.m. June 13, 2015
— City News Service contributed to this report.