Rand Paul to Give Tea Party Response to Obama

Sets up contrast between him, Rubio

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 9, 2013 6:07 AM CST

(Newser) – The Tea Party will again have its own official response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night, and it has picked Rand Paul to deliver it, reports CNN. The Kentucky senator will speak after Marco Rubio delivers the GOP response. "We are giving a voice to the Tea Party movement when the mainstream media and the Republican establishment wants to write us off as dead," says the chairperson of Tea Party Express.

The selection of Paul is "not surprising but still significant," writes Allahpundit at Hot Air. After all, both he and Rubio are expected to be presidential candidates, and Rubio has previously been a Tea Party favorite. "You can see both of their 2016 primary strategies shaping up here: Paul will run to the right while he tries to build credibility with centrists and Rubio will run a bit further to the center while he tries to maintain his credibility with the right."

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Rand Paul addresses a town hall meeting Tuesday in Hartford, Ky., in this file photo.
Sen. Rand Paul addresses a town hall meeting Tuesday in Hartford, Ky., in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
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