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Rand Paul defends tea party as 'mainstream'

Speaking before a crowd of around 250 in Northern Kentucky Saturday, Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul defended "tea party" members against charges that they are outside the mainstream.

"We cannot let them characterize us," Paul said. "There has been a concerted effort since the tea party began to rise, since my victory, to paint us as something we are not."

"There is nothing about our movement that is really outside of any kind of mainstream...." he said. "You are part of the mainstream."

Paul went on to call the deficit and interest payments on the national debt extreme, and advocate for term limits and a balanced budget amendment.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  |  July 12, 2010; 12:43 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing , Cast of Characters  
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Comments

The tea party bunch have a vague dissatisfaction, as if government was some alien force exerting power over them. Its a democracy. Conservatives were in power for a while, now they're not. Somehow to the tea party bunch that's just beyond unacceptable.
They come to the table with complaints but no solutions. You want the deficit lower? Tell me what you'll cut - and just saying "the fat" and "welfare" doesn't translate in to real numbers. You say you want to close the border - any concept of what that will cost? You want to "privatize" or "personalize" social security - how will you do that in a pay as you go system?
Sure, most Americans have a gripe with the federal government, of some kind. That doesn't translate in to real political change. Rand Paul is similar to his father: lots of ideas, some interesting, some silly, but Ron Paul never gets a bill out of committee, much less anything actually done. Palin lasted less than two years as the governor of a tiny state. Sharron Angle comes up with wacky ideas suggesting armed insurrection and invoking the Founding Fathers "values and vision" - that would be the Founding Fathers who would never have let a woman vote, much less run for office.
They're a Fox News created flash in the pan, and they'll fade from the scene even faster than Ross Perot's Reform Party, the last bunch that ran around claiming they'd take over Washington.

Posted by: fakedude1 | July 19, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Just remember in November. Do you truly want more of the same mentality and policies that brought this country to its knees? Do the right thing and throw the Tea Party overboard, back into the sea of right wing failure where it belongs!!

Posted by: rocknwroll | July 14, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul? Tea Party mainstream? No, honey. The Tea Party is a re-run of a bad dream we've seen before - these are the "fringe" right-wing loonies from the Republican party. Don't get it wrong...they aren't mainstream but they have gotten a lot more crazy. Tea Party folks and their leaders suffer from a serious parnoid-schzoid and delusional personality. The personality affects the entire movement. Seriously, someone should look it up in the DSM-IV manual. If they are mainstream as Paul suggests...he is actually saying that Americans are crazy. You better not identify with this type of group if you don't want to show yourself with your pants down.

Posted by: kitten2 | July 14, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

'Main stream' is correct. Main stream fascist.
Commies they hate, but fascists-----------well maybe.

Posted by: kacameron | July 13, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

I say the 86% of Americans that disapprove of Congress are the mainstream. They can’t all be independent voters so they must include Democrats and Republicans. The Democratic / Republican duopoly that runs America is out of touch. They continue to function in the same old way creating myopic, inane legislation and blaming failures on each other when in fact, it is both. Each time we have an election, nothing changes, regardless of which party has control. Enough is enough, we have to break this duopoly with election reform and encourage more political views. If the Tea Party, the Libertarian Party, the Liberal Party, the Socialist Party, etc. does that, that’s a good thing.

Do you eat at a restaurant where you only get a choice of column A or column B?

Posted by: Dick_Kahrs | July 13, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

There are many words that could describe the tea partiers, but racist would be the most correct.
If we had heard a peep out of them during George Bush presidency, we would offer them a tad of creditabilty.

I personally believe that Americans are the most misinformed people in the Western world, but they have been taught racism--it's a easy thing for them to recognize.
Mainstream America is not as ignorant and racist as the tea partiers would like to believe. Rand Paul is barking up the wrong tree.

Posted by: thelma1 | July 13, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

There are many words that could describe the tea partiers, but racist would be the most correct.
If we had heard a peep out of them during George Bush presidency, we would offer them a tad of creditabilty.

I personally believe that Americans are the most misinformed people in the Western world, but they have been taught racism--it's a easy thing for them to recognize.
Mainstream America is not as ignorant and racist as the tea partiers would like to believe. Rand Paul is barking up the wrong tree.

Posted by: thelma1 | July 13, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

There are many words that could describe the tea partiers, but racist would be the most correct.
If we had heard a peep out of them during George Bush presidency, we would offer them a tad of creditabilty.

I personally believe that Americans are the most misinformed people in the Western world, but they have been taught racism--it's a easy thing for them to recognize.
Mainstream America is not as ignorant and racist as the tea partiers would like to believe. Rand Paul is barking up the wrong tree.

Posted by: thelma1 | July 13, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

There are many words that could describe the tea partiers, but racist would be the most correct.
If we had heard a peep out of them during George Bush presidency, we would offer them a tad of creditabilty.

I personally believe that Americans are the most misinformed people of the westrn world, but they have been taught racism--it's a easy thing for them to recognize.
Mainstream America is not as ignorant and racist as the tea partiers would like to believe. Rand Paul is barking up the wrong tree.

Posted by: thelma1 | July 13, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, Rand Paul has a screw loose. So do all his supporters. Come on, a party named after a sexual act by gay males, and they they run around with bags of tea hanging from their hats????

Posted by: dhssresearcher | July 13, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The White House has been recently spreading Propaganda as fast as possible Barry and Michelle are both spouting RACIST againt the Tea Party. That will prejudice Black people against the one Party that will welcome them into it with open arms. What's more the individual does not have to take a pledge like NAACP and that other black party.

Posted by: jackolantyrn356 | July 13, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

The White House has been recently spreading Propaganda as fast as possible Barry and Michelle are both spouting RACIST againt the Tea Party. That will prejudice Black people against the one Party that will welcome them into it with open arms. What's more the individual does not have to take a pledge like NAACP and that other black party.

Posted by: jackolantyrn356 | July 13, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Here's the short version of the same video, showing only the part where he calls them "mainstream":

http://peekurl.com/vvpw89c

It's hilarious because right when he says they're mainstream they show how they aren't mainstream. Check it out.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | July 12, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about conservative and liberal solutions. Opposing one and not the other because of political convictions. Making the nation hostage to one version of politics. THIS IS RIDICULOUS! Solutions work when they work. No political ideology can change that. The US has been a particularly difficult place to craft solutions to economic and social problems because of the great diversity of its population, which often itself was the source of many of these problems. Have we become so dumb and out-of-touch that we have forgotten the many times this lesson has been taught in our history. Reagan was correct that sometimes government is the problem, but only sometimes. Sometimes it's the solution. Sometimes only non-govenmental solutions will work, eg., dealing with the impacts of urbanization on ethnic groups and neighborhoods. The US is the home of one major philosophical movement, Pragmatism. We seem to have lost touch with that heritage, however. Thst is not only sad but does not bode well for the country's future.

Posted by: kenzimmerman | July 12, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about conservative and liberal solutions. Opposing one and not the other because of political convictions. Making the nation hostage to one version of politics. THIS IS RIDICULOUS! Solutions work when they work. No political ideology can change that. The US has been a particularly difficult place to craft solutions to economic and social problems because of the great diversity of its population, which often itself was the source of many of these problems. Have we become so dumb and out-of-touch that we have forgotten the many times this lesson has been taught in our history. Reagan was correct that sometimes government is the problem, but only sometimes. Sometimes it's the solution. Sometimes only non-govenmental solutions will work, eg., dealing with the impacts of urbanization on ethnic groups and neighborhoods. The US is the home of one major philosophical movement, Pragmatism. We seem to have lost touch with that heritage, however. Thst is not only sad but does not bode well for the country's future.

Posted by: kenzimmerman | July 12, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Tea Party-- "A group of basically conservative Americans who have been mislead by their spokespersons to believe that more tax cuts, spending cuts, reduction of services to the public, elimination of funding for rebuilding of the economy, will result in the miraculous rebirth and regrowth of the American Economy. Each fails to realize the "Plan" offered by the Tea Party/Party of NO! is exactly the approach taken by the administrations in power following the beginning of the Great Depression. How long did it take for that recovery? I guess we could start another war, and perhaps this time raise taxes to pay for it, unlike the Bush Years, thereby spurring our economy on. Wasn't it WWII that got us out of that particular mess? It is easy for the GOP to block every attempt to correct the problems we are dealing with, and then blame the party in power. The hard part will come if they actually convince the voting public that they actually had a solution. You think it is bad now, just watch what happens to our economy if all of these GOP prognosticators are correct. They have no clue, just left over buzz words from the Reagan years.

Posted by: atc333 | July 12, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I am not a Tea Party member, but I love everything they stand for. We FINALLY have an activist group on the conservative side!

No group can be judged by its individual members. I don't care if you are judging Harley Davidson riders by the Gypsy Jokers, judging Christians by the KKK, or judging the Tea Party by Rand Paul. It is not the member actions, but the stated goals of the group that matter. The Tea Party has the right goals.

Posted by: raplano | July 12, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I do not believe in any politician and in any Party, all of them use us only for his benefits.They say NOTto the voting in favour of an extencion for all for the unemployed people. They approved money for another Countries and for the Bnaks too, but not for the people who was voted for they and that just now that people do not have money neither to eat.

Posted by: reynaldowilliam | July 12, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Since his initial self revealing blunders in the press and on national TV this man has done nothing but run and hide from anything that might even vaguely resemble the main stream media. Is this the kind of moral courage we want in a leader?
He is a classic ideologue, blinded by his own utopian delusions.
The irony of the myopic opthamologist.

Posted by: Liam2 | July 12, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Since his initial self revealing blunders this in the press and on national TV man has done nothing but run and hide from anything that might even vaguely resemble the main stream media. Is this the kind of moral courage we want in a leader?
He is a classic ideologue, blinded by his own utopian delusions.
The irony of the myopic opthamologist.

Posted by: Liam2 | July 12, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul orbits Jupiter.

Do readers here realize that he plans to offer legislation -not a Constitutional amendment mind you but legislation- to vitiate the Constitutions' 14th Amendment?

Here's the catch... Before he can do this the nutter must swear an oath to DEFEND the Constitution.

Will he lie when he takes his oath?

Posted by: tojby_2000 | July 12, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party are the "lunatic fringe"? I think not. They are YOUR parents. And they have already lived through one left wing attack on this country. It was called the 60s. Now they will be giving their children a good slap on their butts this November.........................just as many of them should have received all those years ago!

Posted by: wxyz6200 | July 12, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Question to all Tea Party members: Please show me where in the constitution it says the federal government must help Louisiana, Alabama, or Florida pick tar balls off its beaches?

Posted by: esheehy | July 12, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Is it out of the mainstream to protest against out-of-control government spending. Dangerously irreversible deficits? Taxing the middle class out of exististenc? If you think so, then I'm fringe, lunatic, racist(because everyone who disagrees with Obama is). Though, I vote for Democrats and Republicans, voting for the man and his experience and ideas before party.

Posted by: jobro2 | July 12, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Tea Partier from the word go and damn proud of it. I fully support and will defend to my death the parts of the US Constitution I agree with

Posted by: jsfry

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Why don't you defend the entirety of the Constitution rather than "the parts you agree with"? Every other patriotic American has done the same. Also don't forget our constitution is a living document; you need to be willing to defend the 14th amendment as much as the 2nd or you can kindly GTFO and use the flag as a diaper while you waddle your fat behind to Mexico or anywhere else.

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 12, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't this moron get a better rug?

The Tea Bags are mainstream GOP and nothing else. They are NOT a grass roots movement that sprang up all of a kind. That's what they want Americans to think. This is just another GOP trick to try to rebrand its outdated and racist ideals.

Posted by: EdSantaFe | July 12, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

How about defending the Civil Rights Act as "mainstream"?

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 12, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

If the Tea party manages to help Republicans limit Obama to one term, that party will have the same fate as anyone who drinks too much tea . . . they will be expelled in one long wiz . . and then the 'party' will be gone for good . . . puff, like Keyser Soze. But wait! Look how the Gingrich Revolution saved Bubba for a second term.

Posted by: Hamilton3 | July 12, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Pjohn and all the rest who think Tea Party supporters are lunatics. I voted for John kerry in 2004 and McCain in 2008. Prior to that I've voted for both parties. I am also a supporter of the Tea Party movement. In a rally in Chicago, I stood next to three Mexican-American school teachers who were tired of the out-of-control spending in Illinois and across the country. People who think that the majority of us are racists, right-winged, et cetera, are narrow-minded in their view of most Americans. Shame on all of you!

Posted by: jobro2 | July 12, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I voted for John kerry in 2004 and McCain in 2008. Prior to that I've voted for both parties. I am also a supporter of the Tea Party movement. In a rally in Chicago, I stood next to three Mexican-American school teachers who were tired of the out-of-control spending in Illinois and across the country. People who think that the majority of us are racists, right-winged, et cetera, are narrow-minded in their view of most Americans. Shame on all of you!

Posted by: jobro2 | July 12, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Kinda depends on what stream your swimming in. The only real issue the tea-baggers have is that Obama is President. The movement started the day he won the nomination. Funded by extremist right wing nutjobs, they have lied, exaggerated and relentlessly attacked Obama.

The fact is, Obama was elected by a large majority of America and that makes him mainstream and the fringe right opposition "out of the mainstream".


Posted by: thebobbob | July 12, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I think jsfry was being tongue in cheek.?.

Posted by: VAreader | July 12, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Something I left out...

More airtime = More tolerance / acceptance from an otherwise stoopid public

Posted by: dc1020008 | July 12, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

When you're an out-on-the-ledge member of the far-right lunatic fringe like Rand Paul, well, yes, the tea-baggers might look 'mainstream.'

For the saner segments of America, not so much.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | July 12, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

This is what's wrong with America today. A radical fringe group on the right wing gets more newsmedia airtime than regular mainstream groups of people and people on the left get no airtime, unless they happen to be on Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann's shows.

Then the people on the right wing fringe appear to be OK people because the stoopid public thinks they represent them.

So, regular folks start thinking it's OK to be obese and be a gun-toting knucklehead racist.

Posted by: dc1020008 | July 12, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

There obviously is something wrong with the water this guy is drinking!

Posted by: Sirius2 | July 12, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

There obviously is something wrong with the water this guy is drinking!

Posted by: Sirius2 | July 12, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I've never met an extremist or a racist who thinks they are extreme or racist. Everyone thinks their own personal thinking is mainstream.

So, Mr. Paul, it really is how others see and define you that tells you something. And guess what- your philosophy is NOT mainstream.

Posted by: VAreader | July 12, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

There obviously is something wrong with the water this guy is drinking!

Posted by: Sirius2 | July 12, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

swatkins, leave jsfry alone, he's hilarious! I'll defend to the death the parts I agree with? If I had a talk show I'd have this person on immediately, it would be too good to pass up. And jsfry as far as I can tell teabaggers and repiglets don't agree with any part of the Constitution unless the've slipped in parts about the rights of huge corporations and rich people and how if you're a republican president you're equal to a king and can invade soveriegn nations on a whim. bush and cheney despise the Constitution js, you sure you're on the right side?

Posted by: red2million | July 12, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

lol, look at the purple pimpernel in the front row.

Posted by: johng1 | July 12, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Paul and friends get more and more bizarre. There is no 'us' but a inchoate groups that include those with explicitly anti-American agendas, theocrats and far christian right activists, militias, open gun rights persons, anti taxers and on and on and on. There are no common agendas or platforms across these many personal interest groups and the more those who who pretend to have a 'leadership' role (like Paul) talk to the country the less this movement seems rationale to many Americans who are just starting to recognize what is happening.

Of course, within this massive umbrella pushed as the 'Tea Party' by the media as a way to generate more clicks and sensationalist headlines, there are many honestly disenfranchised persons as well.But until the 'movement' can hold onto and communicate a coherent thought and focus, they will continue to degrade the political system and be pandered to by the media and Republican national politicians alike. After all, 3 persons screaming 'no' and showing posters of Auschwitz are much easier to write about than 50 persons offering a well reasoned 'yes.' And for those who are honest in their frustration and wish...need...for change, you might want to pick better representation than Rand Paul.

Posted by: DrLou1 | July 12, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Given what we learned elsewhere in today's paper about KY, I would heartily encourage Rand to share his dietary secrets with his fellow citizens, rather than attempt to defend the irrational thinking of fat, lazy teabaggers.

Posted by: abqcleve | July 12, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Yeah...right. And the KKK is "mainstream" too. Clearly, Rand Paul is a raving lunatic...the perfect cult leader for his flock of gullible sheep.

Posted by: wilder5121 | July 12, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What I don’t get is why the news media is treating these tea-party bigots like they’re some kind of legitimate entity by giving them up and up coverage, unless the media themselves endorse racism and ignorance to the max.

If anything, those people don’t deserve an ounce respect, let alone any form of media hype to broadcast their bigotry.

Posted by: richdj25 | July 12, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

vigor, so they say. But Paul Rand has usurped the teabag label as his own, and is now branding everything he does as the teabagger brand.

Posted by: swatkins1 | July 12, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

jsfry wrote: "I'm a Tea Partier from the word go and damn proud of it. I fully support and will defend to my death the parts of the US Constitution I agree with."

.

.

.

Uh....Dude....In order to be a good and decent human being, the proper way to say that is that you will defend someone else's constitutional rights to the death, not yours. What you wrote makes you a selfish butthead. Do you not understand that? The gist of the "defending your right to do something under the Constiturion" statement is to honor the constitution, and everyone else who is protected under it. But you apparently only see what your rights are, and are willing to die to defend only YOUR interpretation of what you feel is important. You are the epitome of what the tea party (AKA the republican party) is reviled for among 80% of this country.

Posted by: swatkins1 | July 12, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Maybe mainstream at a Klan convention

Posted by: rcc_2000 | July 12, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"There has been a concerted effort since the tea party began to rise, since my victory, to paint us as something we are not."
__________________

Good spellers?

Posted by: bs2004 | July 12, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

1) Speaking before a crowd of around 250? This does not merit news coverage, I spoke before more people at church on Sunday. Where's my news story?; 2) Teabaggers are a bunch of retards.

Posted by: motogp46 | July 12, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Tea Partier from the word go and damn proud of it. I fully support and will defend to my death the parts of the US Constitution I agree with

Posted by: jsfry | July 12, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Tea Partier from the word go and damn proud of it. I fully support and will defend to my death the parts of the US Constitution I agree with

Posted by: jsfry | July 12, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

They are lunatics who are racist and hypocrites. Asleep under the catastrophic reign of error of that moron w they are now awake under adult leadership which apparently they cannot stand. Go back to bed you Rip Van Winkles you.

Posted by: davidsawh | July 12, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"There is nothing about our movement that is really outside of any kind of mainstream...." he said. "You are part of the mainstream."

The entire premise of the Tea Party movement is that they are NOT the mainstream.

Posted by: vigor | July 12, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

If the Tea Party i sin the mainstream, the right has gone over the falls.
The "edukaton" State strikes again.

Posted by: pjohn2 | July 12, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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