Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and the 2013 SOTU Response

By Jedediah Bila

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.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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Is it real what Emily Thomas is claiming
10 years ago

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Jonathon Kerkhoff
10 years ago

If Rubio is the Republican nominee I will either join the 4 million Republicans who did not vote last election or vote third party. Mr Rubio started his political career by catering to the illegal immigrant movement, an action he continues to take.

10 years ago

Truthfully, the only response I’ll read and take heart in after the SOTU is the one from Sarah Palin. Truthful, thoughtfully reflective, to the point and gracious yet forceful is she. And you can always tell she’s hit a home run when the media goes nuts. The other two may have hearts in the right place, etc….but they’re still inside the beltway and they’re still tippy-toeing around this administration. Oh, they’ll push just enough without offending….but I’m pretty tired of that. It’s time to go for the jugular. Man, if only PTO moms ruled the world….we sure get stuff done!! Someday….someday….

Les Balty
10 years ago
Reply to  MomsUnite

I liked what Sarah Palin had to say, but I equally enjoyed comments from Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. I think more voices are needed and fewer speaking in euphemisms. We need plain spoken champions for restoring Constitutional government. I would like to hear more from Louie Gohmert and Ted Cruz. It’s time to return to the actual texts of our founding documents. They were written in English and can be read in an afternoon. One example: Cheerleaders making banners with Bible verses on them for football players to crash through are NOT Congress, and they are not making a law respecting an establishment of religion. Stopping them IS prohibiting their free exercise. The problem is all the lawlessness from the Federal government enabled by government officials who disregard their oaths of office.

10 years ago

Just don’t want to see half-a-dozen no chance candidates ripping each other apart in primaries, soaking up $$$$ that should be used to defeat Democrats instead of supporting the clueless, hack campaign advisers, who lie to them about their viability.

Len Bliss
10 years ago

Does not federal law require television stations that transmit the SOTU by the Democratic President
to transmit rebuttal speeches of similar length to opposing viewpoints?
If CNN and everyone transmit the Democratic speech, are they not required to cover the GOP and the Tea Party responses? Or suffer the consequences of loss of license?

Nancy from NJ
10 years ago

I don’t see a problem with the two speeches. I think it is a great idea. We get a double chance to counter the leftist speech of the President with great, sound conservative commentary. t is silly to say this will further divide…they are both Republicans that are backed by the Tea Party too!! Both of these men are a great asset to the Conservative movement! Great idea and can’t wait to hear their comments!

10 years ago

With these two speeches, the stage is set for 2016. These two guys are definitely on the top 5 list for who will ultimately be the Republican candidate for president. I’m surprised Gov Christie is not providing the New Jersey response to “round out” the 2016 field (excuse the pun, I’m not fat-ist – I’m round myself). I would be proud to have any of these three gents represent the party and run against Hillary.

Bill Steward
10 years ago

Rubio may be giving the speech, but he was picked by the GOPe to give the GOPe response… I would doubt, very much, if his speech articulates anything other than the GOPe’s Moderate ideology… As Jedediah said, Rubio is articulate, which only means that you can’t take anything said at face value… Politicians know how to word speeches so they sound close to what you’re wanting to hear but, in application, won’t even resemble it… Listen, instead, to what is NOT being said, more than to the vague rhetoric of what IS being said…

10 years ago

So if we ever see another POTUS from the Republican party, will the SOTU speech be responded to by a Tea Party Rep?

10 years ago

More voices the better, indeed.

10 years ago

You could have a hundred responses to Obama’s speech and it wouldn’t make any difference, because the MSM will do its best to utterly ignore the responses, no matter who they come from.

Doubters should check out how the MSM covered Dr. Ben Carson’s keynote speech at the National Prayer Breakfast last week. In case you missed it, Carson spoke truth to power, vigorously attacking Obamacare, political correctness, the tax system, and other favorites of the liberal left.

The Washington Post had at least five separate articles (going by number of distinct authors) about the prayer breakfast, but zero mentions of Dr. Carson.

The New York Times had at least four articles about the prayer breakfast, zero mentions of Dr. Carson.

CNN’s article about the breakfast barely mentioned Carson, giving only a vague gloss on his subject matter (“…delivered a keynote address that covered a broad range of topics…” , ”…touched on taxes, deficit, education and health care…”).

MSNBC – zero mentions in its prayer breakfast article.

AP, ditto.

NPR – are you kidding?

Among the media’s greatest powers is the power to ignore. If you only report the leftist line, people won’t consider the possibility of an opposing point of view, so you don’t have to go to the trouble of evaluating that opposing point of view. If nobody hears it, it doesn’t have to be refuted.

This is what we’re up against.

10 years ago

I agree, more voices are good. That’s why Pinch and Porch should be allowed to give the official unofficial response to the SOTU responses.

10 years ago

Well said. They shouldn’t be conflicting.

10 years ago

Looking forward to both responses.

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