Rand Paul Lights Up the Crowd at CPAC

Rand Paul speaks at CPAC

In what was likely one of the most anticipated speeches of the weekend, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who raised concerns about President Barack Obama’s drones policy last Wednesday during a 13-hour filibuster, offered conservatives a new brand of conservatism.

Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” played as Sen. Paul took the podium in an electric atmosphere where half the auidence was standing as a nod to the #StandWithRand theme. He noted that he only had 10 minutes to speak. “But just in case, I brought 13 hours worth of information,” Sen. Paul said as he held up two large binders to rousing applause. “I also came with a message for the President. A message that is loud and clear. A message that doesn’t mince words,” he added.

“Don’t drone me, bro!” someone shouted from the audience Before he went back into his speech, Sen. Paul replied, “Thats not exatly what I was thinking. However, I may have distilled my 13-hour speech into three words.”

“The message to the President is that no one person gets decide the law. No one person gets to decide your guilt or innocence,” he said. “My question to the President was about more than just killing American citizens on American soil. My question was about presidential power has limits.”

Sen. Paul hit on President Obama’s civil liberties record. “If we destroy our enemy but lose what defines our freedom in the process, have we really won,” he asked. “If we allow one man to charge Americans as enemy combatants and indefinitely detain or drone them, then what exactly is it that our brave young men and women are fighting for?”

He continued, “To those who would dismiss the debate as friviolous, tell that to the heroic young men and women who sacrificed their limbs and lives. Tell that to the 6,000 parents of kids who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tell them the Bill of Rights is ‘no big deal.’”

Sen. Paul continued on executive power and civil liberties for a few more moments before moving onto economic issues.

“Everthing that America has been — everything we ever wished to be is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing. That you can have your cake and eat it too. That you can spend a trillion dollars a year that you don’t have,” he explained. “This President seems to think that we can keep adding to a $16 trillion national debt. The President seems to think that we can continue to borrow $50,000 a second. The President just believes we just need to squeeze more money out of those who are working. He’s got it exactly backwards.”

He touched on the end of White House tours, a politically-charged decision that was recently announced due to the sequester.

But Sen. Paul noted that the Obama Administration just gave away $250 million to Egypt. “You know, the country where mobs attacked our embassy, burned our flag, and chanted ‘death to America’ — [Obama] found an extra $250 million to reward them. You know, the country whose President recently stood by his spiritual leader who called for ‘death to Israel and all who support her,” he said.

“I say not one penny more to countries who are burning our flag!” Sen. Paul said to loud applause.

Sen. Paul touched on other themes, including his call to eliminate the Department of Education, his support for the Second Amendment, the need to reform the tax code and reduce regulation. He also spoke about and the need to make the Republican Party more attractive to the “Facebook Generation.”

“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Sen. Paul noted. “I don’t think we need to name any names, do we? Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom. The new GOP will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere.”

He continued, “If we’re going to have a Republican party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP. We must have a message that is broad, our vision must be broad, and that vision must be based on freedom.”

“There are millions of Americans, young and old, native and immigrant, black, white and brown, who simply seek to live free, to practice a religion, free to choose where their kids go to school, free to choose their own health care, free to keep the fruits of their labor, free to live without government constantly being on their back,” he said as he ended his speech. “I will stand for them. I will stand for you. I will stand for our prosperity and our freedom, and I ask everyone who values liberty to stand with me.”

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