Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Sunday warned critics not to trash his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and defended their shared libertarian philosophy.

In an interview on NBC's “Meet the Press” Paul was asked about comments from his colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who suggested that Ron Paul's libertarian views could make it hard for his son to win mainstream voters in a presidential bid.

“You know, don't be trashing my dad too much,” said Rand Paul, when asked about those comments. “That's my dad, you know?

“But the thing is I would say that my dad was extraordinary in Washington in being genuine, being really liked by people on both sides, being close to people from the conservative wing of the party but also very close to the Congressional Black Caucus as well,” he said. “He went to Berkeley and had 7,000 kids on their feet. He went to Liberty University and had 7,000 conservative Christian kids on their feet. So that's a rare figure in politics.

“I would say I'm proud of my dad. And what I would say I'm trying to do is to try to bring that message to an even bigger crowd,” he added.

Rand Paul has said he is “seriously thinking” about a 2016 run.

His father ran for president in 2008 and 2012.