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"Free Rand Paul" Rallying Cry for Liberty, Campaign Cash

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 24 2012

Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign is turning online to raise money from his son Sen. Rand Paul's run-in with the Transportation Security Administration Monday.

TSA employees detected an "irregularity" as Paul the younger, a Republican senator representing Kentucky, went through a security scan at Nashville International Airport on Monday. Paul refused a pat-down and was "escorted" out of the security area, TSA officials told The Hill, adding that he booked another flight and went through his next security check without incident.

The younger Paul's spokesperson first broke the news on Twitter, and the elder Paul, representing Texas in the House and running for president, reiterated it on his own Twitter account by saying his son had been "detained."

Despite the TSA's semantic dispute — Paul the elder says in a campaign email sent late last night that "the TSA finally caved after Rand didn't back down for two hours - and allowed him to go through the scanner again," while the TSA phrases it instead that Rand Paul was escorted to the front-facing part of the security area and went through the checkpoint only after securing a ticket for another flight, and not "detained" — the first family of ending the Fed seem to have won this particular battle. "Rand paul detained" was a top trending search on Google yesterday.

Late last night, Ron Paul's campaign sought to capitalize on the event in an email with the subject line "Free Rand Paul."

"As soon as word got out that Rand was being detained, grassroots Americans responded in outrage over this latest abuse of power by the TSA," the campaign email suggests.

Never one to leave money on the table, the elder Paul's campaign announced an "End the TSA" moneybomb to commemorate the event. Started late last night, it has already raised nearly $43,000.

With Miranda Neubauer