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Sen. Rand Paul to deliver tea party State of the Union response

February 08, 2013|By Lisa Mascaro

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)  will deliver the tea party response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday -- making his remarks after another “tea party” favorite, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), delivers the official Republican response.

This is the third year the tea party movement has fielded an official reaction to the president, as the Republican Party’s internal divisions continue to spill into the open.

Amy Kremer, chairwoman of Tea Party Express, said the conservative organization was excited that Paul would be following Rubio.

“Americans are fed up with Washington politics that fail to address America’s fiscal woes,”  Kremer said. “Both Sen. Rubio and Sen. Paul will articulate pro-growth messages that will resonate with the American people.”

Paul and Rubio were tea party favorites during the 2010 midterm election, besting establishment-backed candidates as they rode a tea party wave that ushered record numbers of conservatives into Congress.

Both men are seen as potential heirs to the GOP’s leadership mantle. Rubio is widely expected to be a 2016 presidential candidate, while Paul is building on the movement launched by his father, libertarian former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a past presidential candidate.

In 2011, the tea party debuted its first response with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), and last year Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain spoke for the group.

Paul’s response will be delivered from the National Press Club and carried live on the Tea Party Express website.

lisa.mascaro@latimes.com

Twitter:@LisaMascaroinDC

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