Rubio staff, tea party forces treading carefully before Tuesday
February 11th, 2013
03:56 PM ET
10 years ago

Rubio staff, tea party forces treading carefully before Tuesday

Washington (CNN) - Both sides from the dueling responses to the president’s State of the Union speech are treading carefully heading into Tuesday.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, is giving the official Republican response to the president’s speech. Rubio’s colleague, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, will deliver the reaction from the Tea Party Express.

Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at

But the speeches won’t happen simultaneously. A top official with the Tea Party Express, which is hosting Paul’s address, says the Kentucky senator’s speech will begin a few minutes after Rubio has finished his remarks.

Amy Kremer, the chair of the Tea Party Express, sees the twin speeches as a “victory” for the conservative movement.

“Tuesday night, we have two tea party senators responding to the president's State of the Union address. That is historic,” exclaimed Kremer.

Rubio and Paul both rode the tea party wave into the Senate in 2010. Since his election, the Florida senator has distanced himself somewhat from conservative activists on the issue of immigration reform. Paul remains a self-described tea party Republican.

Rubio’s top press aide, Alex Conant, was nearly as effusive about Paul’s upcoming address.

“Glad that he’s doing it,” Conant told CNN. “As far as we’re concerned, the more people responding to the president, the better.”

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    As the Tea Party prepares their signs and slogans they need to remember that spelling rule... "it's the African nation that only has one g in the name". But they changed... Really...

    February 11, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    these two clowns already have their speeches written and will blather on about this and that, regardless of what the president says in the SOTU

    February 11, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Jackson

    Amy Kremer, the chair of the Tea Party Express, sees the twin speeches as a “victory” for the conservative movement.


    Oh yeah, the response to the State Of The Union four years ago did a lot for Jindal's career, didn't it?

    And, if the GOP thinks a Cuban will help with their Latino problem, it just further shows how out of touch with the world they really are.

    February 11, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. ghostriter

    Rubio will complain about the president's immigration plan.....right before introducing his own that is the same as the presidents.....

    Paul Paul. Expect a lot of talk about socialism, the nanny state, etc. But not alot of substance.

    February 11, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    I'm just hoping Paul or Rubio have a Bachmann moment and stare into the wrong camera. That was priceless!

    Lord knows they and their parties have about as much intelligence as the Moonbeam from Minnesota ...

    February 11, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Ken in MD

    Why does the "Tea Party Express" get to speak? They're not a political party. They're a Lobbying group. Does the NRA, AARP, AAA, etc all get to speak after the SOTU?

    February 11, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    @ghostriter: "Paul Paul. Expect a lot of talk about socialism, the nanny state, etc. But not alot of substance."

    And complain about how bad he has it, all the while enjoying the infrastructure and civil society the rest of us pay for.

    BTW, anybody know if Rand Paul is not accepting his Senate salary and benefits? If he is – or ever does – he's one fo the 47% of the leeches the Repubs love to whine on about ...

    February 11, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. freedom

    Clowns? This president and his admin are like a Las Vegas side show. Not even the main attraction. As a matter of fact – he goes there quite often.

    February 11, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. sassysticks53

    "Amy Kremer, the chair of the Tea Party Express, sees the twin speeches as a “victory” for the conservative movement."

    lol! They will be victorious in making fools of themselves. Bobby Jindal anyone?

    February 11, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. TheVoice2

    Two speeches it takes for the crazy, and another one for the very crazy!!

    Same ole talking points, they hate Obama, he is a socialist, reduce the deficit at the expense of the middle class, tax cuts for the rich, deregulate Wall Street, same old ideas with need messengers, we already know that trickle down ecomonomics don't work and America voted against it just a few months ago.

    One last thing, the teaparty will continue to cost the GOP election after election. Another Dem in 2016!

    February 11, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    I cannot help but wonder how willing the Republicans would be to tolerate not one but two nationally televised rebuttals to a SOTU speech from a Republican president. What's most appalling is that Republicans feel like they have some sort of inalienable right to do two rebuttals, and they had better be televised by the liberal biased media.

    February 11, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Sarah Palin. Marco Rubio. Rand Paul.
    All in one day.
    Thanks, but no thanks, CNN.
    Not interested.
    Not now. Not ever.

    February 11, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. Moose

    @ Al as usual your thoughts lack thinking, take a day off, you dont have to be stupid every day of your lifre

    February 11, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Sniffit


    In this corner, we have the Trojan Token...known for his deft footwork and lightning fast fake jabs....

    And in the other corner, the Randroid...batcrap crazy and so empty-headed that nobody's even been able to knock him out cold (altho his sentience is also questionable at best even when conscious).

    However, this is no boxing match, folks. They have both been training to catch a runaway greased pig so that if the Trojan Token catches it, he can give it a tan, but if Randroid catches it, he can send it flowers in the morning.

    February 11, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    Tea Party=Not very good @ governing. 'Tis easier to destroy than to build.

    February 11, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Why does the "Tea Party Express" get to speak? "

    This episode of societal decay brought to you by the letter $.

    February 11, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |

    Give them micrphones and watch them dig themselves into deep holes.Mitt the twit style.

    February 11, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. ray

    who are these tea party people????????? i kow , a bunch of white racists. racists, racists, raciats at the highest level. these are the people who wants to take back this country> hahahaha from who??

    February 11, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. DaveC

    You know the Republican Party is in bad straits when Rubio is a moderate.

    Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford must be spinning in their graves. Take it from a die hard Reagan Republican; I am utterly ashamed of what the Republican party has become. To call them a laughing stock is to mild. They make the Democratic party in the 70s and early 80s look like they knew what they were doing (believe me, they didn't). I keep waiting for someone in the Republican party to stand up and say STOP IT NOW! but they just keep on going like lemmings over a cliff.

    February 11, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. papanez

    Two rebuttals.... That ought to be rich. Speaking of rich, why isn't Mutt rebutting the speech? SHOW US YOUR TAXES!!!

    February 11, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Ram Riva

    a victory for the Tea Party and a defeat for the Grand Old Party.....

    February 11, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. freedom

    @Rudy NYC
    Republicans have diverse individuals with a common underlying philosophy – freedom, liberty, and prosperity. The more people speaking about this on the national stage – the better!

    February 11, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Sal

    Rubio & Rand: the first 2 STALKING HORSES foolishly charging out of the gate too soon, while SNAKE-IN-THE-GRASS, Ryan is smiling big-time.

    February 11, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |