HOLLIS, N.H. — Rand Paul arrived in the Granite State Friday just hours after he declared war against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump in an interview with liberal talk radio host Alan Colmes.
"We'll be, we'll be slaughtered, in a landslide," the Kentucky senator, speaking to a general election matchup between Trump and the Democratic nominee, told Colmes during a late-afternoon segment. "That's why my every waking hour is to try to stop Donald Trump from being our nominee."
But if Paul's stump speech was any indication, Trump is likely to continue on without so much as a scratch.
Rather than turning his sword toward the brash billionaire, Paul stuck to his campaign's original message — "Defeat the Washington Machine. Unleash the American Dream" — and hammered away against the GOP establishment.
"The loudest voices in Washington for more spending are the McCains, the Grahams, the neoconservatives [and] the Rubios," he told about 200 voters packed into a snow-covered barn.
He continued, "Where did we get the EPA? Richard Nixon. Where did we get the doubling of the wetlands? The first George Bush."
"Where did we get the doubling of the Department of Education? The second George Bush. Believe me, you're not going to get change if you get a Bush, or a Christie or a Rubio."
At one point, Paul did shift his focus back to the New York businessman. "Trust in Trump and he will fix the world for you, but he'll want more power; that scares me."
"It worries me to no end," he said. "I think if you end up with a Trump [nominee], you're going to be sorrier than you ever have been."
Still, the majority of Paul's attacks against Trump have already been used and re-used by Republicans this election cycle: his praise of eminent domain, his inability to answer to basic questions about foreign affairs, his divisive rhetoric and policy prescriptions, and so on and so forth.
And in New Hampshire, where the real estate mogul is polling at 30 percent support among GOP voters, it is unlikely that such attacks will suddenly stick.