Rand Paul is taking on an opponent that most Republican Presidential candidates are unwilling to tangle with: Donald Trump.
As countless Trump foes have learned over the years, it's not easy to out-insult the current GOP front runner, but Paul says he will not be bullied by a candidate who Paul says is not a true conservative.
"Donald Trumps life has been as a progressive Democrat. And that's fine but when someone has a late life conversion you wonder whether it's real or an act," Paul said.
The latest back and forth began Wednesday when Paul released a new ad featuring old clips of Trump speaking in favor of Democratic policies.
In the ad, Trump says, "I'm liberal on health care. I support universal health care. I love Hillary Clinton. I'm biased because I've known her a long time."
Trump, comparing himself to Democrat-turned-Republican Ronald Reagan, wasted no time firing back with a lengthy response, including these statements: "Rand Paul is doing so poorly in the polls, he has to revert to old footage of me discussing positions I no longer hold... Recently Rand Paul called me and asked me to play golf. I easily beat him on the golf course and will even more easily beat him now... Rand's campaign is a total mess... I didn't know he had anybody left in his campaign to make commercials who are not currently under indictment!"
Campaigning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Thursday, Paul didn't back off, even as Paul's campaign strategist sent out a statement saying in part, "Ronald Reagan spent 20 years a conservative before running for President, not twenty minutes ... Donald Trump couldn't set the intellectual conservative agenda of anything ... He is devoid of ideas other than he likes the idea of power and getting attention for foolish statements and bluster."
Some are wondering if this is a good strategy for Paul who has seen his poll numbers slip in recent weeks, since other Republican candidates who have criticized Trump, such as Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham, have not gotten much of a bounce for their efforts, though they have been the subject of withering attacks by Trump.