[mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] looks to be on the verge of being forced out of the 2016 GOP primary field… to the extent that he was ever in it. One of the three super PACs raising money to support Paul, PurplePAC, which is run by Cato co-founder Ed Crane, is closing up shop because it is dissatisfied with [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ].

One of the three super PACs supporting [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ]’s presidential campaign has stopped raising money, dealing a damaging blow to an already cash-starved campaign.

In a Tuesday telephone interview, Ed Crane, who oversees the group, PurplePAC, accused Paul of abandoning his libertarian views — and suggested it was a primary reason the Kentucky senator had plummeted in the polls.

“I have stopped raising money for him until I see the campaign correct its problems,” said Crane, who co-founded the Cato Institute think tank and serves as its president emeritus. “I wasn’t going to raise money to spend on a futile crusade.”

 

Crane said the organization currently had over $1 million cash on hand, but no longer wanted to ask for contributions. “I just don’t want to do that to my friends,” he said.

The libertarian views that catapulted Paul to national prominence had “disappeared,” Crane said, leaving many of Paul’s longtime backers miffed.

Another [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] PAC, America’s Liberty, is also on the ropes because its head, long time [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] crony Jesse Benton, has been indicted for bribery.

Paul’s fundraising has been anemic. His campaign is estimated to have about $4 million and the three super PACS are thought to have about $13 million between them.