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. us_1776

    What a joke !

    Paul, the Eisenhower Republicans beat you TEA racists to the punch.

    They are falling all over one another trying to embrace Latinos.

    You're both a bunch of phonies.


    February 12, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. jfc1

    wow, the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in traditional GOP states should be fun this year

    February 12, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    "We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity".

    Really? Than explain how the Red states are the dominant takers when it comes to federal dollars, and the Blue states are always giving more. Make sure Governor Christie is in the room when you give your explanation.

    February 12, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. penguin

    We do need to make cuts, but we also need to raise revenue. Our government also needs to contribute to the creation industries. The Vanderbilts and Carnegies of this country made large amounts of money on railroads. These railroads were built over land given them by the Federal government. Alcoa made huge amounts of money by making aluminum- a process needing huge amounts of energy. This energy was made available by the TVA creating dams to generate cheap electricity. The private sector would never have been able to acheive this. And it is generally agreed we have the best agricultural system in the world- this "industry" only exists because the government provided the education (land grant colleges), the irrigation infra structure, and the subsidies needed. Our government has played a vital role in our economic development.

    February 12, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Al

    There is nothing wrong with embracing, besides there are to many of them to deport. Let them stay and let them pay a fine to get their green cards, the reason they came is for a better life, the problem is they didn't come as the Department of Immigration dictates that immigrants should come into the country. And if they are willing to work and not be dead weight let them join the work force, but don't allow for dead weight.

    February 12, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. boungiorno

    bipartisan How about a Budget im sick and tired of worrying about nonsense of immagrints they know the path thats needed to stay here in USA LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE IF ILLEGAL IMMAGRANTS DONT FOLLOW LAW THEY SURELY WILL WHEN THEY GET BACK IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY

    February 12, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Carrie

    So the poor American can go to h*ll, but we promise the illegals citizenship and anything else for their vote. Nice they care so much about people that were born here.

    February 12, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Dear Mr. Paul: Not all Latinos have immigration issues. Do you think other people, llike say, European illegal immigrants, will be more likely to vote Republican after this shameless attempt? Not a chance. It's not a matter of giving lip service to a very diverse group of people. It's a matter of respect and you, sir, haven't given them any. Good luck with your opportunistic pandering but it will no translate into votes. Think about an alternate career, you will need it soon.

    February 12, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    The one thing neither RAndroid nor the Trojan Token will say tonight: "The GOP/Tea Party will not, under any circumstances, vote for a path to citizenship if it looks like Obama will be able to take credit and we can't paint ourselves as somehow the lone saviors of immigration reform so that it hopefully fixes our demographic problem."

    Check the WaPo poll showing that is EXACTLY what GOPers/Teatrolls believe. 60% of GOPers support a path to citizenship if Obama's name is not on it in the question. That sinks to 39% if he's involved. They are nothing if not consistently disingenuous and self-serving.

    February 12, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. Old Shoe

    Welcome Immigrants???? Oh, my bad, I thought that was Bush's plan and Obama's plan all along, since they had a do nothing plan to stop anyone.

    February 12, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. obsthetimes

    You can't embrace illegal immigrant and cut spending. Educating, clothing and providing world class medical care for millions of new immigrants will cost trillions of dollars.

    February 12, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. QS

    The word of the day today kids, is "pandering".

    February 12, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Know what you won't hear from either Randroid or the Trojan Token tonight? "Our party will not support a pathway to citizenship unless we get to take all the credit and use it to, we hope, fix the problem we created by acting like racist turds for 60+ years and running our candidates on the southern strategy."

    In other words, you won't hear the truth.

    February 12, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Bob

    Again: They are NOt immigrants they are illegal aliens in violation of our laws in fact a LOT of them have entered illegally a second time (no one publishes this fact) which is a felony. Why don't our politicans tell the truth? This is a second amnesty (no matter what you call it) and yes there will be a third.

    February 12, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "No he knows reality. Times and our population are changing. Get onboard or get to sit in the back of the bus. The other possible outcome could be whites getting minority set asides. Karma baby...Whites get to live off the government for a change."

    61% of people receiving social assistance are white. Now, please, take yourself and your racism for a nice long walk off a short pier.

    February 12, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Scott

    Being pro-immigrant and opposed to the civil right act are both generally accepted libertarian principles, neither of which have anything to do with racism.

    February 12, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Devin

    It's worth mentioning that people cant steel jobs. That is just one more person to provide a good or service to. More people, means more production, means more wealth. Go for it Rand i'm so proud to one of your supporters!

    February 12, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Galactus93

    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.

    February 12, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Shorter GOP/Teatrolls: "We'll let you live here and force you to pay our taxes, but too many of you are brown and fit into other classic Dem-voting demographics for us to support you having voting rights. If you'd like taxation without representation, vote GOP."

    February 12, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. joe99percent

    So now Paul is waving the white flag of surrender. Also known as AMNESTY. This is a bad idea now matter how they try and package it. It will only encourage millions more illegals to come across what used to be our border. The message: never mind our laws – just wait it out long enough and your in.

    February 12, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. roro

    Rand Paul is dangerous and a bigot. The President hasn't given his SOTU address yet, but he's already attacking it. Not to mention the schism in the Republican party. Having two different Repubs responding (JOKE) proves what a mess that party is in.

    February 12, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Sunbelt

    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. He talks a big game with all of this but he hasn't done one thing for you, except use your votes and raise your taxes. The key to win an election it seems is to say your going to do something whether you do them or not.

    February 12, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Colorado

    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.

    February 12, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Terry

    He means embrace service sucking bottomfeeding illegal aliens.

    February 12, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. SkepticalOne

    As you can see from the comments, your supporters in the TEA party, the party of angry old white men, don't like brown people. Your message is correct but it will never sell to your base.

    February 12, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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