Rand Paul Steals Show From Marco Rubio at CPAC

Libertarian Sen. Rand Paul stole the show from under Sen. Marco Rubio’s nose at the opening session of the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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Kevin Lamarque / REUTERS

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland March 14, 2013.

National Harbor, MD — Libertarian Sen. Rand Paul stole the show from under Sen. Marco Rubio’s nose at the opening session of the Conservative Political Action Conference, criticizing a “stale and moss-covered” GOP and calling for a new focus on liberty.

The back-to-back pairing of Rubio and Rand was seen as the most significant matchup of the annual conference, pitting two likely 2016 Republican contenders before the party’s conservative base. The result pointed to the growing schism in the Republican Party between resurgent libertarians and more traditional Republicans.

The two men -Paul age 50, Rubio just 41- laid out divergent visions of an inclusive Republican Party. Rubio called for a focus on economic opportunity and a muscular role overseas. Paul called for a reduction in the size of the U.S. government at home and abroad.

Speaking first, Rubio railed against China in a case for continued American leadership in the world, warning of anti-democratic and anti-dissident actions, including cutting off access to the Internet and forced sterilizations.

“This is what they do to their own people,” Rubio said. “We want that to be the leading country in the world? …That’s what’s at stake in America’s greatness.”

Minutes later, and with hundreds standing attentively listening to his every word, Paul echoed his warnings about drone strikes that earned him national fame last week for his 13-hour filibuster.

But Paul, whose supporters flooded the standing-room-only ballroom audience with thousands of “Stand with Rand” posters and stickers, went further, calling for the Republican Party to shift away from neoconservative foreign policy. He warned that the Republican Party is “encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom.

“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered — I don’t think we need to name any names, do we?” he said, though the target, Sen. John McCain, was clear.

‘The new GOP,” Paul said advocating for a smaller U.S. presence abroad and a smaller government at home, “will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere. If we’re going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP.” He pledged to introduce a budget in the coming weeks to balance the budget in five years that would also slash the income tax in half, and create a flat tax at 17 percent.

The contrast between the pair couldn’t be more obvious or consequential for the party struggling to remake itself after two straight presidential defeats.

66 comments
roark183
roark183

@roark183 Marco Rubio cannot be trusted with the Presidency. In 2010 he ran as a Tea Party candidate. Then he voted for the NDAA.

roark183
roark183

@roark183 Rand Paul is not the turncoat that Rubio is. Rand voted NO on NDAA. He stood on his feet himself for 13 hours against NDAA drones.

arvay
arvay

I think there's a great opportunity here for a common cause between libertarians and progressives on number of issues. Especially foreign policy, not so much on taxes. Worth exploring.

mikewallacesc
mikewallacesc

There are 2 glaring problems with your story:
1)  Paul is not a Libertarian Senator.  He is a Republican Senator.
2)  Neoconservatives are not "more traditional Republicans."  Hence the 'Neo" part.  Traditional Republicans are men like Charles Lindbergh Sr,  "Mr. Republican" Robert Taft, and "Mr. Conservative" Barry Goldwater, all fervent non-interventionists.

BradLinzy
BradLinzy

Marco Rubio is a manufactured "star"... He is there to keep the GOP from moving away from it's imperialistic foreign policy approach and toward a peace and freedom-loving approach where diplomacy and setting a good example at home replace military hegemony and meddling in foreign affairs.

I stand with Rand.

RioSam
RioSam

I would stand with Rand Paul...and vote for him as well...

CourtneyBlack
CourtneyBlack

Go Rand! The old-fart republicans are an anchor. Time for a positive change.

MrLibertea
MrLibertea

Rand Paul on Libya in response to POTUS on the eve of the intervention way backin 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrrV_Txg47Q

How right he turned out to be! President Obama, Rubio, and the neocons (McCain, Graham, et al)? Well: abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/egyptian-christian-died-libya-prison-buried-18718939

Notice the constitutional themes that supported his filibuster are presaged in the Libya response and how hewing to the Constitution too would have saved us from the mess in Libya. 

TheDisclosure
TheDisclosure

Rand starting to sound some more like Ron. And he's getting the backing. Fox news let him in, now they can't ignore him. Great move by the Paul family. True constitutionalism.

TruthHunter
TruthHunter

"TWO straight presidential defeats"?  That's your closer Zeke?  I would have though you could have come up with a more effective way to hit the GOP that that, no?

VizioPerson
VizioPerson

Rubio believes that the Hispanic community will follow him simply because he is of Hispanic descent. He's going to be extremely disappointed.

jmac
jmac

Both these candidates are religious and think life begins at conception.   Rand Paul has even offered amendments stating life begins at conception as a way to  overturn Roe v. Wade.

Women vote.  They might not have had the vote when JarrodDowell's Constitution was  written, but they have it now.  



grape_crush
grape_crush

> The contrast between the pair couldn’t be more obvious or consequential for the party struggling to remake itself after two straight presidential defeats.

a) Hard to make any solid predictions this far out, but it looks like Rubio will need to pull some Romney-esque base-pandering out if he wants the GOP nomination while Paul will likely emulate the successes of his father in his quest for the same.

b) CPAC organizers locked out crazies like Pam Geller in an attempt to show a less twisted, more establishment face. And here the Paulites come strolling in, disrupting all that staging.

c) CPAC is only relevant to its audience and some political reporters who don't seem to be able to find anything else to report on.

JarrodDowell
JarrodDowell

Someone please tell me what is so crazy about sticking to the constitution??? I have not heard 1 single legitimate honest rebuttal. All I hear is, "you're a poopy head, nuh uh, you're a poopy head. I'M TELLING MOM!!!" As Stimpy would say, "You IDIOT!"

Sparrow55
Sparrow55

Speaking of  “stale and moss-covered,” what's that dead thing on top of Rand Paul's head? 

MrObvious
MrObvious

Perfect. Another election where the wacky will drag the more moderate to the right so they can outwack themselves and then fail the dance to the middle.

noway0531
noway0531

"If we’re going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP.”

Unless you're gay or pregnant of course. Oh, Rand.

retiredvet
retiredvet

"Your Grandfather's Republican Party. Now with 100% more anti-social personality disorder."

MediaMayhem
MediaMayhem

@jmac

1:  You will need to understand we have religious freedom in our country. 
2:  You will need to understand this freedom is most importantly preserved with the action of respect.
3:  You will need to understand this 2013 we have millions of media outlets its not hard to inform people the act of
     reproduction reproduces.




 

DannyAyers
DannyAyers

@jmac that's funny Gallup announced two months ago the Nation is more prolife than it has ever been. Now 50%, 10% undecided. They also stated in their research that the young are becoming more and more prolife because of advanced technology that can easily show an unborn child in a womb even in 3d. Children can now live outside the womb at an even earlier gestation and we now know they feel pain at 20 weeks. The abortionists are so concerned that they are trying to find young people to be the face of their organizations because of this increasing rift with the Young. Religious? I think that also still describes over 60 percent of Americans, maybe not in your New York borough.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@JarrodDowell 

If "sticking to the Constitution" was so simple we wouldn't need The Supreme court to interpret it over and over again. Even when it was written various framers had differing views on it's specific meanings. These debates are ever ongoing.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

@JarrodDowell Oddly the people who keep talking about sticking to the constitution are quite vague when it comes to things like the equal protection clause, or the general welfare clause or that pesky sixteenth amendment.


MediaMayhem
MediaMayhem

@noway0531 I'm a republican I don't care if your gay or pregnant; it's your life. I also support euthanasia; it's your life. I only wish I had a doctor to recommend you to.   

TyPollard
TyPollard

@noway0531 

Yep. Defining what "liberty" means is the problem. To some, liberty means no government at all except for defense and protection of personal property to others it means whatever they personally think it means.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@MediaMayhem @jmac MM, you have the right to practice your religion as you desire (within certain limits). You do not have the right to impose that religion on anyone else, and certainly not through laws.

It's right there in that Constitution your side claims to love so much.

jmac
jmac

@MediaMayhem @jmac  Does that include my religious freedom, MediaMay?  Does that include the religious freedom of a Muslim who might want to tell you what to do with your daughter should she stray?  When a religion takes over a political party it's not good for anyone and is certainly not a sign of respect for those who might not have that religion.  

grape_crush
grape_crush

@MediaMayhem@jmac > You will need to understand we have religious freedom in our country. 

And when your religious freedom conflicts with my personal liberty, what then?

> You will need to understand this freedom is most importantly preserved with the action of respect.

I would respect your practice of religious freedom more if you would respect my personal liberty.

> You will need to understand this 2013 we have millions of media outlets its not hard to inform people the act of reproduction reproduces.

Unfortunately, that makes no sense whatsoever. And all this 'you will need...' carrying on; it's not as if jmac is ignorant of anything.

jmac
jmac

@DannyAyers Unfortunately for me, I live in Texas.  Probe anyone lately,Ayers?    Guess what?   I'm pro-life.  We're all pro-life, including those of us who think the death penalty in American is atrocious.    I'm just not for you making a decision that needs to be made by a woman and her doctor.  As in all issues, this issue is not black and white, unless it's from a Republican pulpit.  

noway0531
noway0531

@MediaMayhem @noway0531 Awesome! I wish more republicans believed in liberty. I don't need to be euthanized now (haha) but when I get old and sick I would like to make my OWN decision on whether I live or die. 

noway0531
noway0531

@convertedToConservatism @noway0531 Abortion is not pleasant, I'll give you that. Do you know what is also unpleasant? War. Do you believe those innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki deserved to die? If you do, why are the lives of innocent Japanese people (including children) worth less than "unborn children" in the U.S.? If you don't believe they deserved to die, do you believe the U.S. was wrong for defending itself? Unfortunately, all life can't be protected at all costs. Sometimes tough decisions need to be made. The best we can do is control our own lives based on our own set of beliefs and values. 

La_Randy
La_Randy

@MediaMayhem @Sue_N @jmac 

That is the point.

 Your religion should not matter to the government and no policies that enshrine religion into law should exist. 

MediaMayhem
MediaMayhem

@Sue_N @MediaMayhem @jmac I don't recall clamming a side. I would like no how I have imposed any of my religious practices on you. I haven't! you haven't even asked me what religion I am.