First on CNN: In tea party response, Paul will urge GOP to embrace immigrants, cut spending
February 12th, 2013
02:56 PM ET
9 years ago

First on CNN: In tea party response, Paul will urge GOP to embrace immigrants, cut spending

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul will call on his fellow Republicans to be more welcoming of immigrants Tuesday night in a speech where he will also sharply criticize President Barack Obama and his congressional colleagues for failing to reduce the nation's debt.

"We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future," the Kentucky Republican is expected to say in the tea party response to Obama's State of the Union address, according to an advanced text of his remarks acquired by CNN. "We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We must be the party that says, 'If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.'"

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

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Paul's comments about immigrants comes as GOP leaders and activists grapple with what the party's position should be on how best to address the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. A handful of Democratic and Republican senators including Marco Rubio are working on immigration reform legislation. Rubio will deliver the official Republican response following Obama's speech and Paul will give the tea party response once the Florida senator finishes his remarks.

Paul, who is critical of both Democrats and Republicans in his speech, will urge the president and Congress to allow $1.2 trillion in cuts to domestic and military programs – known as sequester – to happen as a step towards reducing the debt.

"Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America's credit rating," Paul is expected to say. "Both parties will have to agree to cut, or we will never fix our fiscal mess."

And the Kentucky Republican will call out Democrats and Republicans for participating in a culture that he alleges fails to keep the taxpayers' best interests in mind.

"It is often said that there is not enough bipartisanship up here," Paul will say. "That is not true. In fact, there is plenty. Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses. It is time for a new bipartisan consensus. It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud."

The Tea Party Express, a political action committee that champions conservative principles, is sponsoring Paul's speech which will originate from the National Press Club in Washington.

Paul and Rubio are both expected to seriously consider running for the White House in 2016, adding more intrigue to the back-to-back speeches.

Filed under: Rand Paul • State of the Union
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. George Washington

    Another Paul shifting position when their prior policy stances are flat-out rejected by most Americans....
    What happened to the Libertarian closed boarders stance that is central to their mantra?

    February 12, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "NO AMNESTY and No Pathway to Citizenship for illegal aliens. We don't want them here. We want our Federal Government to do their job and enforce the law. Deport all illegal aliens. That is the law."

    Yeah yeah, we know, we're afraid they might move in next door or show up in your Church. YAWN.

    February 12, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. joe99percent

    False choice: We either have to round them all up or give them amnesty. That's BS. We don't have to do either one. Once they figure out they're never getting citizenship many will go back where they came from.

    February 12, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. DaveC

    Hey Rand, good luck on this one. The tea party appealing to immigrants. That is like the KKK recruiting at NAACP events. Nice try but no luck. Leopards don't change their spots just because they move to a different part of the forest.

    All of a sudden every elected republican (tea party or otherwise) is singing praises of the immigrant cause. The problem is that all this singing has no substance. When these republicans get asked about specifics they all start backpedaling because they don't want to offend their "base". To heck with their base! The republicans lost the last election because of their base and will keep losing elections because of their base. Their base is killing them. Take the good ideas of the tea party, jettison the bad ideas and abandon the tea party period. Then the republicans will start winning elections.

    February 12, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "This one really gets me. My grandparents came here and observed ALL the laws, including the one that made them citizens. They learned the language, obeyed all laws and paid taxes. Giving amnesty to all those here illegally is a slap in the face to me and my grandparents. Why work hard? Why try to accomplish anything? Just say "I'm from Mexico" and you can have anything you want."

    You were right on the money, Sniffit.

    February 12, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America's credit rating,"

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Most "pundits" couldn't take a 3rd grade math test if you handed them an abacus....and we're supposed to buy what they have to say about economic theory? TOO. FREEKIN. FUNNY. 'I'll cite partisan undits and bobbleheads cuz all the real experts disagree with every mouth fart that I belch."

    February 12, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Roye

    Only now the Tea Bagger-Repubs "embrace" minorities, only after Pres. Obama got 80% of their votes. The Tea-pubs are so out of it that they think pandering is acceptable and even legit. Fools one and all.

    February 12, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. livingston

    What a bunch of hypocrites they are. Do they really think they are fooling anyone? Up until now the only way they would notice a immigrant is if they tripped over one. Now they want to be their 'best friend'. Well, guess what will happen to anyone how isn't male, white and republican if they ever get voted in office in the next election? They have proven they will lie to get what they want, so it won't be pretty!

    February 12, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Sunbelt wrote:

    Name Lynn, did you not read anything in that article? He was talking about embracing your people, and I don't think it's that much to ask that if you come to this country that you abide by the laws and learn the language. I think a lot can be done for illegal immigration positive and fair for both sides, and for those who think Paul is lying open you eyes Obama has lied about just about everything that comes out of his mouth. .... ....
    Please quote one lie for Pres. Obama. According Rand Paul's exremely made over libertarian ideology, telling lies is a first amendment right of freedom of speech.

    February 12, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Serious Malak

    The problem has always been with ILLEGAL immigration. Legal immigration is great for the country. I guess this whole thing was lost when the media first began proclaiming it as the "immigration debate". Nobody was ever debating over legal immigration, just the illegals.

    February 12, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC


    NO AMNESTY and No Pathway to Citizenship for illegal aliens. We don't want them here. We want our Federal Government to do their job and enforce the law. Deport all illegal aliens. That is the law.
    Do you mean mass deportations? Fine. How do you go about deporting all of them? How much would it COST? How do you force other countries to absorb an estimated 11 million people? How many years or decades do you think it would take? Think before you speak.

    February 12, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. don

    The Tea Party is over, and we are now drinking coffee, with cream. LOL. This guy is another loser with stupid ideas. Wow, these guys are living in the 1930's. AGAIN, guys wake up, this is 2013, and who cares how things USED to be, that was then, and this is now. Get a grip, because the world has changed, whether you like it or not.

    February 12, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Malory Archer


    Americans have a problem with 11 million illegals in their country whom they do not want to support, and they have told their government this loudly and clearly, yet their government refuses to listen to it's own citizens.


    If the government actually did something about those 11 million illegals they'd lose the funding of their corporate masters who hire said illegals at the expense of Americans. All the fed needs to do is make extremely punitive laws with a minimum mandatory 10-year sentence, and confiscation of all assets. The problem would be solved overnight, but that will never happen because it would cost Conglomo, Inc. too much $$$.

    February 12, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. rla

    Letting illegals abetted by political parties and ethnocentric groups and economic blocs is a slap in the face to citizens who are asked to obey the law. The illegal complex is what is wrong about America- they make wrong -right and laws obsolete-- Think about that!

    February 12, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. JustAO

    You are the party that embraces greed in business and exclusion of rights for all. Look at the policies GOP puts on the table and tell me otherwise. If you like segregation and Great Recessions, ,keep voting for GOP. American history has a way of recording the wrongs that have gone on in our society and most fingers point toward GOP laws.

    February 12, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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