As you likely have heard, Senator Rand Paul will be delivering the Tea Party response to President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union this week, while Senator Marco Rubio will be giving the official GOP response.
My email inbox has already been flooded with concerns that this will cause further division within the Republican Party.
The Hill reports Rand Paul’s response:
“To me I see it as an extra response. I don’t see it as necessarily divisive,” Paul, who is delivering the Tea Party message, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I won’t say anything on there that necessarily is like, ‘Oh, Marco Rubio is wrong.’ He and I don’t always agree. But this isn’t about he and I. This is about the Tea Party —which is a grassroots movement, a real movement with millions of Americans who are still concerned about some of the deal making that goes on in Washington. They’re still concerned about the fact that we’re borrowing $50,000 a second,” he added.
“None of the things I ran on as part of the Tea Party have been fixed. We’re still going down a hole as far as the debt crisis looming and so we really have to talk about spending and we want to make sure there’s a voice for that.”
I couldn’t agree more.
First off, why the assumption that Rubio and Paul will deliver conflicting messages that will promote division? Sure, delivery styles will differ and each may choose to focus on one issue more prominently than another, but I would hope that they will showcase themselves as part of the same limited-government, freedom-loving, stand-up-for-the-Constitution team.
Secondly, Rubio and Paul have the capacity to reach and resonate with different viewers. I want as many people listening with open ears and open minds as possible, and that includes conservatives, libertarians, moderates–you name it. I consider both men to be good speakers with the ability to articulate principles that stand in opposition to a big-government ideology.
Why limit yourself with one solid representative on SOTU night when you can have two?
Finally, I agree with Paul 100% in that this isn’t about Marco Rubio or Rand Paul. It’s about making the case for liberty, limited government, and pro-growth policies. It’s about providing a clear, bold, unapologetic alternative to the Obama agenda. Both men can do that. And if they do it right, their messages should complement each other quite nicely.
I, for one, think that the more strong, articulate voices we have out there right now, the better.
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