Rand Paul: GOP is 'stale and moss-covered'
March 14th, 2013
04:05 PM ET
1 year ago

Rand Paul: GOP is 'stale and moss-covered'

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who's become somewhat of a political celebrity after his nearly 13-hour filibuster last week, took the opportunity to critique his own party Thursday while speaking before a large crowd of conservatives.

"The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered," the Kentucky senator said at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "I don't think we need to name any names, do we? 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."

Paul is seriously thinking about a presidential bid in 2016, CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash reported last week. And entering the annual conservative gathering on Thursday, his camp was setting expectations high.

The first-term senator viewed the speech as an opportunity to establish himself as a mainstream Republican leader, a source familiar with his remarks told CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar. Until now, his most ardent following has come from the libertarian wing of the GOP.

For the Republican Party to win, he said, "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 added.

Paul also railed against the president for the government's increase in spending and debt in the last four years and ticked off examples of what he considered wasteful federal spending, including a grant that funded a study involving rattlesnakes and robotic squirrels.

Paul filibustered last week John Brennan nomination's to become CIA director, during which Paul gained a huge following online for his questioning of the Obama administration's drone program.

He demanded an answer from the administration over whether the president had the authority to order a drone strike against an American terror suspect on U.S. soil. Attorney General Eric Holder responded the following day, saying the answer is "no."

But Paul said his stand-off was about "much more."

"Do we have a Bill of Rights," he said. "Do we have a Constitution and will we defend it?"

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: CPAC • Kentucky • Rand Paul • Senate
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    This wackjob should bring 9 9 9 back .The tea potty fell hook ,line and sinker for that stunt too.

    March 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    I think I heard the same tripe from a homeless guy yelling at everyone on their way to work this morning. He was standing on the corner, waving around a giant bottle of Scope and smelled like peanut butter and urine.

    March 14, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Can you hear the war drums, folks? The battle lines are being drawn. The Rovian establishment neo-con types want to stick to their message, which has been hijacked in recent years, BTW. They think the message is not being presented as well as it could.

    On the other side of the battle field, the Randian libertarians want to change the message to some thing that is "broad" and based on freedom. They think the message is weak on the idea of liberty and freedom.

    What I find most fascinating about all of it is that *both* sides are wrong. Both messages are offensive to the majority of voters.

    March 14, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    And Aquabuddah said unto the masses "herpa derp liberty yabba dabba, derp derpa freedom drones derp herp derp."

    March 14, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. The Real Tom Paine

    When his party stops proposing idiotic amendments that limit freedom, then people might listen.

    March 14, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Boomer in Mo

    Rand Paul is a self-involved nut but he is right about the GOP. A bunch of old white guys who have not had a new idea in decades.

    March 14, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. sharon conway

    Rand Paul believes in freedom and liberty all right. Except for women, senior citizens, blacks, poor people. Yeah, he's a real freedom fighter.

    March 14, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    First we had no new idea's Marco Rubi-on. And, oh goody ... now it's freedom and liberty protector Rand-y Ayn-dy.

    Yep. Flat and unmotivating bloviating. (See, I do know my Bill O'Reilly speech-isms).

    March 14, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Donna

    A not so veiled swipe at John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who deserve a good swipe once in a while.

    March 14, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    "stale and moss covered"? He couldn't have described himself and his tea tards any better.
    Does he realize that he is speaking about himself? This is the man who invokes the name of (Heil) hitler at the drop of a hat. This is the racist who wants to take the country to the pre civil rights of the 60s and tell women what they need to do about their reproductive rights.. This is the man whose goons attack women and he keeps quiet. This is the man who is really NOT a doctor. This is the man who wasted 13 hours of taxpayers money making sure that a question that had already been answered about drones was discussed again.
    Your party cannot "embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere" because your party, shrub #43 singlehandledlt, destroyed our economy, started two unnecessary wars, flew over Katrina destroyed New Orleans, took more vacation days (1/3 of his presidency) than any other president ever. This is the lunatic from the party of keeping women, gays, Blacks, Latinos, the poor, poor children, veterans, the elderly down by squashing their "entitlements".
    ThIs is the guy with the worst hairpiece in the history of congress. Even issa's doesn't look that fake.
    There's nothing "broad" about your ideas because your brain is so closed that an earthworm couldn't get through!
    You will NEVER BE PRESIDENT and if they try you for vp just remember what the lying altar boy did for the twit's campaign . . . . Nothing!

    March 14, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    No kidding and so is Paul, Rubio ,Cruz ,backmsnn and the rest of the gop garbage !!!!

    March 14, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Mark in Seattle

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sniffit

    I think I heard the same tripe from a homeless guy yelling at everyone on their way to work this morning. He was standing on the corner, waving around a giant bottle of Scope and smelled like peanut butter and urine.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sure sounds like he has more to offer than any of the gop/tp clowns.

    March 14, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Before we go any further with the Rand Paul BS ...

    Having found no place left for me in the Grand Old Party, there is no way in hell I would EVER vote Libertarian as a second Grand Old Party alternative.

    March 14, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Michael Riggs

    It's sad all of you bashing rand Paul on here are the low info voters that screwed this country up. stop looking at him as a republican and look at what he is talking about his policies. He wants to end the endless wars he wants to give you the people the ability to keep your money, he wants to remove goverment from marriage and bed rooms which in turn will allow anyone to be married as the tax requirements will no longer take into effect marriages. He wants to remove marijuana from the class 1 narcotics list which would impact minority and the poor in an amazing way and lead it to becoming legalized and taxed bringing in billions in revenue, and he wants to restrain the federal governments power to no mess things up anymore because I'm sure we all agree the goverment is screwing everything up and if so why should we allow them to do so much
    I'm a veteran of Iraq and I very concerned American please inform yourselfs of facts instead of hiding from them .

    March 14, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....and do you know why Rush Limbaugh doesn't have guest in his show? Because he's a Blowhard who can't debate the issue

    How many whiny GOP-TeaBaggers on this forum and at this idiotic CPAC will sign a pledge to refuse all government assistance, Social Security, and Medicare?

    Now is the time to step up and walk your talk!

    I'm waiting.............

    March 14, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. sonny chapman

    These guys who delude themselves that they're the Second Coming of the Founding Fathers make me puke. They've got egos bigger than than the Grand Canyon.

    March 14, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Rand Paul is like a character straight out of a Sinclair Lewis novel: a caricature of what is wrong and selfish in this country, willing to say anything to gain power over others. He's a cross between Elmer Gantry and Buzz Windrip, with a dose of Shad Ladue. Once you look past his promises, you see its all about him. Not the country,not our Constitution.

    March 14, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    The implication is clear........the GOP has to leave the social issues behind, and concentrate on fiscal and governing issues.

    March 14, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Moose

    Im sure all you jerks are proud of the inept loser bammy enjoy it you voted for it,

    March 14, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Logic N LA

    Rand Paul is a libertarian trying to highjack the GOP- and they are letting him! His views, should he run will be brought to light and there goes another extremist off into the dust.
    Get to know this man of privelage by reading the plaform of the Libertarian Party.

    March 14, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. DumbasRocks [R]s

    [R] party covered in "moss"? Back on the farm we called it something else......

    March 14, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Bill

    Paul is a clown. And if he is the face of the "new" GOP, the democrats can sleep soundly at night and not worry about the 2016 election. The nation is not ready for an Aqua Buddha president.

    March 14, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Libertarian For RP

    The only way this country is going to be fixed is to get Senator Paul in the White House to fix the mess made by both the Republicans and Democrats.

    March 14, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "The implication is clear........the GOP has to leave the social issues behind, and concentrate on fiscal and governing issues."

    And on that opint, Rick, you and I can finallyk agree on something. The problem for the GOP/Teatrolls is that without some of their most incendiary social justice issues and domestic policy issues, they're gong to have a real problem maintaining a unified and motivated base. They know this, which is why they're clinging to those social issues more desperately than ever, enacting non-starter symbolic legislation about abortion or contraception and trying very hard to create and grow new social/domestic issues, using doublethink to turn things like the contraception mandate into religious persecution (it's clearly not) or the Voting Rights Act into persecution of white people. They can't help themselves.

    March 14, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Libertarian For RP

    sharon conway

    Rand Paul believes in freedom and liberty all right. Except for women, senior citizens, blacks, poor people. Yeah, he's a real freedom fighter.
    __________________________________________________________

    And everything you posed is a complete lie.

    March 14, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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