The Tea Party scored its two biggest triumphs last year with the election of Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Both were discouraged from running by leaders of their own party. Both had to overcome the determined opposition of the Republican establishment to make it through their primaries in the first place.
Paul and Rubio were both uncharacteristically honest about the need for entitlement reform, going so far as to contemplate means-testing Social Security even though they needed the votes of senior citizens. Paul was running in Kentucky, where about 60 percent of the registered voters are Democrats. Rubio stood for election in Florida, a retirement mecca.
Both won in November by double-digit margins and have pressured Republican leaders from the right on spending now that they are in office. Rubio has railed against increasing the federal government's debt ceiling. Paul has proposed his own five-year plan to balance the budget and has chastised Paul Ryan for not going far enough. Both senators voted against the budget deal struck by President Obama and House Republicans.
Their similarities stop at the water's edge. True, when Obama decided to wage "kinetic military action" against Libya, both senators recognized it for what it was -- war -- and demanded that Congress authorize the intervention. But Paul and Rubio diverged sharply from there. ...
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Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Rand vs. Rubio
Rand vs. Rubio; The American Spectator