Less than a month ago, Rand Paul wouldn't talk about Donald Trump.
On a break from the presidential campaign trail in mid-July, Paul demurred as reporters asked him about the bombastic GOP frontrunner at events in Elizabethtown and Louisville.
"I think what I have to do is be my own person and do what I do, and I continue to do the same thing," said Kentucky's junior U.S. senator, refusing to weigh in on Trump's controversial comments about immigrants.
But beginning with Thursday night's Republican debate and continuing through the weekend, Paul appears to have settled on a strategy of attacking Trump in an attempt to right his listing campaign.
On Sunday, Paul told host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that he questioned whether Trump was a true conservative, pointing out Trump's past support for some of President Barack Obama's policies.
"I came out of the Tea Party movement," Paul said. "And part of the Tea Party movement is, we were upset with fake conservatives and Republicans who truly weren't conservative: Republicans who were for Obamacare and Republicans who were for the bank bailout. Well, that's Donald Trump. He's been for all these liberal policies, and now because he can stand up and say vulgar things, he's a truth teller?
"Well the truth is, what is he for? I have no idea whether he's conservative. He really could be a liberal for all I'm concerned. I have no idea what his real philosophy is other than he's for promoting himself."
Paul's reversal of strategy comes amid a time of great turmoil for the senator's efforts to win the Republican nomination.
His spring roll-out was beset by missteps, and he has endured months of bad press and flagging poll numbers. Last week, two of his top allies were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy charges stemming from an alleged bribery scheme during his father's 2012 presidential campaign.
While campaigning in South Carolina over the weekend, Paul referred to the indictments of the two men who were running his super PAC as a "minor hiccup," according to Buzzfeed.
On Thursday night, less than 24 hours after Jesse Benton and John Tate were indicted, Paul came out swinging at Trump in the opening minutes of the first GOP debate.
Paul is not the first Republican candidate to try this strategy. So far, the others have not fared well.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry have been critical of Trump's comments about immigrants and U.S. Sen. John McCain, but neither has seen any reward in the polls for doing so.
But Paul's timing might be better than that of his rivals given that Trump's escalating feud with Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly seems to have struck a nerve with a number of conservatives.
Trump followed up his tense debate exchanges with Kelly by seemingly implying in an interview with CNN Friday night that Kelly was tough on him because she was menstruating.
"You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever," Trump said.
The unlikely front-runner and real estate developer has denied he was referring to Kelly's menstrual cycle, telling a number of outlets that "only a deviant" would think that.
But the rest of the Republican field and at least one well-known conservative personality appear to have had enough.
GOP candidates Carly Fiorina and Scott Walker criticized Trump for his remarks, and conservative commentator Erick Erickson disinvited Trump from his RedState gathering in Atlanta over the weekend.
On Fox News Sunday, Paul didn't mention Kelly by name, but while discussing Trump he did say, "I don't think we should reward vulgarity and I don't think vulgarity equates with insight.
"Because you can shout and call people names and call someone stupid and call someone fat, is that really what we're going to make the decision on for who's going to be our nominee?"