February 12, 2013
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) will give an official Tea Party retort after US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address is delivered on Tuesday, but the lawmaker says he doesn’t expect his remarks to widen a rift among conservatives.
For the third year in a row, the Tea Party movement will respond to the democratic president’s annual address, and this year they’ve chosen Sen. Paul to present the remarks. But even though the senator has been considered a likely candidate for the 2016 GOP race, Paul has also been portrayed as a politician with the ability to drive the Republican Party apart.
A stingy libertarian and an opponent of Big Government and federal intervention of all sorts, Paul has been described by some members of the press as being capable of either reviving the floundering Republican Party or else killing it on his own. In comments delivered during the last year, he has made a handful of remarks that challenge the status quo of his own political party and has dared other right-wingers to make a change. He insists that his State of the Union response won’t be one that divides, though.
“I see it as extra response, I don’t see it as necessarily divisive,” Sen. Paul told CNN over the weekend.
If his remarks do make some Republicans weary, the GOP has elected Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) to lead the party’s official response, also to be delivered Tuesday evening after Pres. Obama’s address. But while Sens. Paul and Rubio have both been labeled as products of the Tea Party movement, they don’t agreed on all that much ideologically.
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