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Rand Paul says first vote he needs toward 2016 White House bid is his wife's

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FILE: Dec. 6, 2013: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the Detroit Economic Club held at the Motor City Casino, in Detroit, Mich. (AP)

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul tapped his brakes this weekend on a potential 2016 presidential run, saying his wife has yet to support the idea.

“Where’s my cellphone? Can I call my wife?” Paul said jokingly after a speech Friday night in Detroit. “There are two votes in my family. My wife has both of them, and both of them are ‘no’ votes right now.”

Whether the popular, first-term senator was totally joking or just playing coy remains unclear, with early polls showing him, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio consistently among the Republican Party’s top potential 2016 White House candidates.

Paul trails Christie by less than 2 percentage points and trails Democratic frontrunner Hilary Clinton by 9 points, according to an averaging of polls by the website RealClearPolitics.com

“If I’m a very able politician, I’ll tell you in a year whether I’m able to persuade my wife. Right now, I don’t know yet, but I thank you for your interest,” said Paul, who has a strong libertarian following and who has expressed interest in a White House run.

He has already been to the early voting state of Iowa, where in May he headlined the Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Paul was in Detroit this weekend touting his economic plan, which attempts to help the bankrupt city and other financially struggling U.S. governments through lowering taxes to encourage growth.

He said cutting corporate, payroll and income taxes would put more money "in the hands of those who earn it and pointed to his bill calling for "economic freedom zones." He wants a flat tax of 5 percent in certain neighborhoods.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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