Paul: Should the Tea Party compromise?
February 2nd, 2011
12:02 PM ET
10 years ago

Paul: Should the Tea Party compromise?

Washington (CNN) - During his first speech on the Senate floor, Tea Party champion Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, brought up what may be a dirty word for some of his constituents: compromise.

"Many ask will the Tea Party compromise? Will the Tea Party work with others to find a solution?" the senator asked in a speech that was part history lesson and part Socratic inquiry.

Paul explained his Senate desk was once occupied by Henry Clay, a former Kentucky senator and secretary of state known as the "Great Compromiser." But in his speech, Paul questioned whether the compromises Clay made on slavery proved it was more important to firmly support what is right than to try to find common ground.

Instead, Paul pointed to Clay's cousin Cassius, a fierce abolitionist and fiery character who refused to budge on the issue of slavery.

"Now, today we have no issues, no moral issues that have equivalency with the issue of slavery. Yet we do face a fiscal nightmare, potentially a debt crisis in our country," he said. "Should we compromise by raising taxes and cutting spending as the debt commission proposes?"

The answer?

"Of course there must be dialogue and ultimately compromise, but the compromise must occur on where we cut spending," Paul said.

Filed under: Congress • Rand Paul • Tea Party movement
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. JOhn

    Comporomise is not where the REight got so lost. THe idea that the party is one and all must vote with thier party, against thier own ideas, agaisn their own pricinipals, all for the best intrest of the party. This mentallity is what is crippling Washington and the only thing holding our country back. We have nothing to fear, but repulicans themselves!

    February 2, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Lolo

    These tea partiers sure know how to pick em. This is pathetic. A man who did not even have his medical licenses up to date and they voted him in. What is America coming to. A bunch of Idiots.

    February 2, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. NJfinest2009

    The only compromise that Rand Paul should be doing right now is finding someone to do something with that freaking hair of his! He is such a waste of good air. He will do nothing to satisfy anyone, the Tea Party will have had enough of him in about 3-4 more weeks, The CNN ticker will read RAND PAUL IN TROUBLE...

    February 2, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Ju lin

    Compromise is NOT a four-letter word! Those who don't understand this are immature in both their reasoning and experience. Look to Nature: The mighty unbending oak is felled by a wind storm while the flexible bamboo bends and recovers to live on.

    February 2, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Pastafaria

    I worked in the House of Representatives for two years as a legislative aide before attending law school and four years in the Senate as a staff attorney afterwords. I don't know whether Rand Paul honestly thinks that he and his fellow tea party constituents actually have enough clout at this point in their tenures to even be in a position to make compromises, or whether Paul is just exaggerating his own importance for the benefit of the camera. What I can tell you is that the only way that incoming members of the tea party caucuses will have any relevance in the present Congress will be if they are willing to move in lockstep with their party's leadership, which will require them to make compromises not only within their own party, but also go along with compromises that their party leaders will constantly be making with the Democratic leaders in order to efficiently pass legislation. Rand Paul and his cohorts CAN decide for themselves whether or not to make compromises, but in the same way that someone jumping out of an airplane can decide to wear a parachute. In the interests of full disclosure I am a Democrat, and I'm sure that there is a noticeable bias in this post that reflects that. However, what I've discussed in this post has nothing to do with any particular party. If a freshman Democratic senator or congressman came in with the attitude reflected in Paul's speech he would be making the same mistake and risking the same consequences – I've seen it happen to Dem's who I otherwise respected and it was their own fault.

    February 2, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Marcus

    Mr Paul, here are 4 definitions of 'compromise':
    1. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.
    2. the result of such a settlement.
    3. something intermediate between different things: The split-level is a compromise between a ranch house and a multistoried house.
    4. an endangering, esp. of reputation; exposure to danger, suspicion, etc.: a compromise of one's integrity.

    And here are two definitions of 'blackmail':
    1. the act of attempting to obtain money (or other benefit) by intimidation, as by threats to disclose discreditable information
    2. the exertion of pressure or threats, esp unfairly, in an attempt to influence someone's actions

    Now please stop making the confusion.

    February 2, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Sgt Schultz

    Step 1 = take a history lesson on civility and who the Founding Fathers actually are. Step 2 = then you can talk about having a legit platform to represent that does NOT have a bunch of Partisan extremist nuts.

    February 2, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Publius13

    I hope Dr. Paul knows more about medicine than he know about economics.

    February 2, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    hey didn't get "stomped on the head" by your supporter did you, because the "C" word is one that I recall your Tea Party co-hearts would never use! It's their way or the highway and that is what you normally get when you have a group of folks with only tunnel vision and can't see the entire forest for the trees in front of them. Good luck with that sir.

    February 2, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Jon

    Ulp. He's done for. The Tea Party doesn't want compromise. It mostly wants to fight Obama, consequences be damned.

    February 2, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Peace

    We are now on the third month since these people were elected and still they are not aware why they were sent there for. How many times will people learn a lesson of not repeating the same mistake again!! Absurd!

    February 2, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Jeff in Virginia

    This picture that you use for the Tea Party is dishonest at best. A senior with an American flag, looking wistfully at a departing bus... This is bad social engineering.

    February 2, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Tony

    For the Tea Partiers, their idea of compromise is "we will do what we want" or "we will do what you want if you agree with us."

    Democrats need the Tea Party to stay true to what they are. Remember, Sarah Palin lost the election for Republicans in 2008. It is the job of the Tea Party to lose the election for Republicans in 2012.

    February 2, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. William

    I'm from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and I make no apologies for Senator (Dr.) Paul. He will make a difference in Washington, in a good way. He is exactly what is needed right now.

    February 2, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Apparently he hasn't figured out what the GOP did with some programs during their control - never planned on how to pay for them. He needs to show where his values are by what he wants to cut (first, how much and for how long). Only after that will we know what he is really thinking. Has he proposed any serious cuts in spending; serious means not whole departments.

    February 2, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This guy Rand Paul got into office on the backs of slaves by making racist statements. Thank God for the millions of white Americans who don't believe in racism, this country would be lost without them.

    February 2, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Gregory

    OK, don't compromise. Stalin didn't either.

    February 2, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. DAW, NC

    does he even know what compromise means??? it appears that he does not, lets put a spin on the word and say I want it my way or now way. sort of like a young spoiled child. am I drawing a comparison?????

    February 2, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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