Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, March 14, 2013
Stacks of black binders filled with policy notes in hand, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) made quite a splash when he appeared on stage this afternoon at the 40th AnnualConservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
The junior senator from Kentucky endeared himself to the CPAC audience last week when he launched a 13-hour talking filibuster on the Senate floor on the Obama administration’s use of drones on American soil. Referencing this historic moment, Paul launched his speech by exclaiming, “I was told I got 10 measly minutes but just in case I brought 13 hours’ worth of information.”
He noted that his historic filibuster last week was about more than the use of drones on American soil, but also whether presidential power has limits and if President Obama has overstepped these limits. “Yes, the filibuster was about drones, but also about much more. Do we have a Bill of Rights or not? Do we have a Constitution or not and will we defend it?”
Acknowledging the “Facebook generation” in the crowd, Paul noted that today’s youth wants leadership that will make sure they can have a prosperous future.
“They can detect falseness and hypocrisy a mile away … they doubt that social security will be there for them,” he said. “They worry about jobs, and money, and rent, and student loans. They want leaders who won’t feed them a line of crap or sell them short.
The junior senator from Kentucky also took a few jabs at one of his colleagues, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Paul said. ”Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom. The new GOP 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. We must have a message that is broad, our vision must be broad, and that vision must be based on freedom,” he continued.
While he is generally considered to be more mainstream than his father, former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX), Paul stated that the GOP has to rely more on its conservative principles if it is to ever be successful in Washington again.
“The Republican Party has to change, by going forward to the classical and timeless ideas enshrined in our Constitution,” he said. “When we understand that that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then we will become the dominant national party again.”
“We are the party of jobs and opportunity. The GOP is the the ticket to the middle class,” Paul added.
Paul, who joked that he skipped a lunch date with President Obama so he could speak at the conference, also pointed out how ridiculous it is that the federal government can spend $3 million to study the effects of “monkeys on meth” yet it can’t afford to give sixth graders a White House tour.
“Does it really take $3 million to discover that monkeys, like humans, act crazy on meth?” Paul asked.