Paul, Walker and Carson speak in Michigan

Sen. Rand Paul speaks at an event in Grand Rapids. (May 4, 2015)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls and a third may who may still declare his candidacy were in Michigan on Monday.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky spoke at an event in Grand Rapids in the morning. He was at a “Stand with Rand” event hosted by U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Grand Rapids, at Kent County Republican Party Headquarters.

“Michigan’s a tough state to win,” Paul said. “To win again, we’re going to have to be bigger, better and bolder. We don’t need to dilute our message. Some of our party says, “Oh, we just need to be more like the Democrats.’ I say to heck with that. What we need to do is take the liberty message and extend it to new people who haven’t heard about it.”

He also talked about what he brought to the office when he became a senator.

“I had never been in office, and they said how can you be a senator if you’ve never been in office before? I said, well, that’s precisely the strength I bring. Let’s bring new people in,” he said. “if they won’t balance the budget, let’s force them to do it with a constitutional amendment.”

During the event, Amash said he is backing Paul for president.

>>Photos: Candidates running in 2016 presidential election

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who may also be a Republican presidential candidate but has not yet announced he is running, was in Oakland County to speak at the Lincoln Day Dinner.

“For me, I think the pathway to a Republican president goes through the Midwest,” Walker said. “So part of the reason I’ve been here a couple times already this year is if I’m going to get in, I think it’s important both in March next year when there’s a primary, because even though everybody talks about the early states: Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada …I think with a good competitive field, I think this is going to be drawn out for some time, at least well into March.”

==Paul and Walker will be on this Sunday’s episode of “To The Point” at 10 a.m. on WOOD TV8.==

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a Republican who let his candidacy slip over the weekend, made a more formal announcement on Monday in his native Detroit.

Carson has gained increasing support among conservatives in recent years for his message of self-dependency and shrinking government social programs.

“We’ve gone far beyond what our Constitution describes and we’ve just begun to allow it to expand based on what the political class wants because they’d like to increase their power and their dominion over the people,” Carson said Monday. “I think it’s time for the people to rise up and take the government back.”

He was scheduled to immediately begin campaigning in Iowa, but is instead traveling to Dallas to be with his ill mother.

There have been rumors in recent weeks that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, also a Republican, is considering a presidential bid, though he has yet to announce a decision one way or the other. He did tell the Associated Press that he is not

Republicans U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, U.S. Sen Marco Rubio of Florida, and former technology executive Carly Fiorina have already announced their candidacy.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former First Lady and Secretary of State, is running on the Democratic ticket. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is an independent but caucuses with Democrats, has also announced he is running for president.

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