Rand Paul speaks to a crowd during the Red, White & Blue Picnic at Reid's… (John Dunham, Messenger-Inquirer…)
WASHINGTON -- On the eve of the GOP convention in Tampa, Republican leaders in Congress tapped Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a tea party favorite, to deliver the weekly address.
The choice gives a nod to the strength power of the libertarian flank of the party and political currency of the Paul family brand. His father, the GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, is holding an alternative event Sunday outside the main convention hall, and the senator has a speaking role at the convention on Monday.
“Today there’s a war going on for the heart and soul of America,” the young Paul said in Saturday’s address. “As the president campaigns against those who have succeeded, as the president vilifies those who employ millions of workers, he condemns the very system that made America great.”
Paul goes on to quote Thomas Paine, whose writings have served as inspiration to tea party activists, and rails about policy positions that are not always at the forefront of his party’s legislative priorities, including the “out of control, unaccountable Federal Reserve.”
Elected to Congress on the 2010 tea party wave, Paul remains a pivotal figure among libertarians and the flank of the GOP that shares those views, and is often considered an heir to his father’s legacy.
The senior Paul is not running for re-election after nearly 24 years in Congress.
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