NATIONAL HARBOR – Sen. Rand Paul appeared at CPAC this afternoon promoting a “new” Republican party introducing conservatives to some of his more palatable libertarian ideas.
‘The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Paul said eliciting loud applause from young attendees. “I don’t think we need to name any names, do we?”
Paul was obviously referring to Sens. John McCain and Lyndsey Graham who vocally criticized Paul’s nearly 13 hour filibuster of the Obama administration’s drone policy.
Paul, however, steered clear from his criticism of Republican foreign policy, choosing instead to hit President Obama’s policies. The only time he mentioned the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was to remind attendees that American veterans had lost “life and limbs” to defend the principles of the Constitution.
Paul specifically reached out to a younger generation, asserting that the “Facebook generation” was willing to oppose bank bailouts, government waste, and prison sentences for non-violent drug users.
Paul also thrilled the conservative crowd with frequent mentions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He mentioned the Second Amendment – a popular applause line for conservatives, only to highlight the Fourth Amendment – a popular applause line for Libertarians.
Above all, Paul got a standing ovation for declaring that it was time for Obama to stop announcing millions of dollars of economic aid to Egypt at the same time as he was closing visitor tours at the White House.
The bottom line, Paul explained, was that the “inconsistent approach to freedom” was hurting the Republican party.
“If we’re going to have a Republican party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP,” he stated. “We must have a message that is broad, our vision must be broad, and that vision must be based on freedom.”