Rand Paul Excites, Divides RNC Crowd

Tampa – Senator Rand Paul delivered a speech to the Republican National Convention peppered with red-meat language tailored for supporters of his father, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and Tea Party activists. Sen. Paul’s lines kept pace with the Republican attacks on President Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment, and his remarks on individualism unified the crowd in ovations. He doubled down on his controversial remarks that ObamaCare is still unconstitutional even though the Supreme Court ruled otherwise. Weak chants of "Paul '16! Paul '16!" could be heard at various times during his speech, particularly toward its end. 

When he talked about security and defense, though, the crowd split its reactions.

“To thrive we must believe in ourselves again, and we must never -- never -- trade our liberty for any fleeting promise of security,” he said, hinting at the Patriot Act and other security legislation that many Republicans have championed. 

His full remarks after the jump. 

When the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the first words out of my mouth were: I still think it is unconstitutional! 

The leftwing blogs were merciless. Even my wife said -- can't you pleeeease count to ten before you speak?

So, I've had time now to count to ten and, you know what? I still think it's unconstitutional!

Do you think Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas have changed their minds?

I think if James Madison himself -- the father of the Constitution -- were here today he would agree with me: The whole damn thing is still unconstitutional!

This debate is not new and it's not over. Hamilton and Madison fought from the beginning about how government would be limited by the enumerated powers.

Madison was unequivocal. The powers of the federal government are few and defined. The power to tax and spend is restricted by the enumerated powers.

So, how do we fix this travesty of justice? There's only one option left.

We have to have a new president!

When I heard the current president say, "You didn't build that," I was first insulted, then I was angered, then I was saddened that anyone in our country, much less the president of the United States, believes that roads create business success and not the other way around. 

Anyone who so fundamentally misunderstands American greatness is uniquely unqualified to lead this great nation.

The great and abiding lesson of American history, particularly the Cold War, is that the engine of capitalism -- the individual -- is mightier than any collective.

American inventiveness and desire to build developed because we were guaranteed the right to own our success. For most of our history, no one dared tell Americans: "You didn't build that."

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Taing family owns the Great American Donut shop. Their family fled war-torn Cambodia to come to this country. My kids and I love to eat doughnuts, so we go there frequently. 

The Taings work long hours. Mrs. Taing told us that the family works through the night to make doughnuts. The Taing children have become valedictorians and National Merit Scholars. 

The Taings from Cambodia are an American success story so, Mr. President, don't you go telling the Taings: "You didn't build that." 

When you say they didn't build it, you insult each and every American who ever got up at the crack of dawn. You insult any American who ever put on overalls or a suit. 

You insult any American who ever studied late into the night to become a doctor or a lawyer. You insult the dishwasher, the cook, the waitress. 

You insult anyone who has ever dragged themselves out of bed to strive for something better for themselves or their children.

My great grandfather, like many, came to this country in search of the American Dream. No sooner had he stepped off the boat than his father died. 

He arrived in Pittsburgh as a teenager with nothing, not a penny. He found the American Dream: not great wealth, but a bit of property in a new land that gave him hope for his children. 

In America, as opposed to the old country, success was based on merit. Probably America's greatest asset was that for the first time success was not based on who you were, but on what you did.

My grandfather would live to see his children become doctors, ministers, accountants and professors. He would even live to see one of his sons, a certain congressman from Texas, run for president of the United States of America. 

Immigrants have flocked to our shores seeking freedom. Our forbearers came full of hopes and dreams. So consistent and prevalent were these aspirations that they crystallized into a national yearning we call the American Dream.

No other country has a Dream so inextricably associated with the spirit of its people.

In 1982, an American sailor, John Mooney, wrote a letter to his parents that captures the essence of the American Dream:

"Dear Mom and Dad, today we spotted a boat in the water, and we rendered assistance. We picked up 65 Vietnamese refugees.  As they approached the ship, they were all waving and trying as best they could to say, 'Hello America sailor! Hello Freedom man!' It's hard to see a boat full of people like that and not get a lump somewhere between chin and bellybutton. And it really makes one proud and glad to be an American. It reminds us all of what America has always been -- a place a man or woman can come to for freedom."

Hung and Thuan Tringh are brothers and friends of mine. They came to America on one of those leaky, overcrowded boats. They were attacked at sea by pirates. Their family's wealth was stolen. Thuan spent a year on a South Pacific island existing on one cup of rice and water each day until he was allowed to come to America. Now both of these men and their families are proud Americans. Hung owns his own business and Thuan manages a large company. They are the American Dream.

So, Mr. President, don't go telling the Tringh family: "You didn't build that."

When the president says, "You didn't build that," he is flat out wrong. Businessmen and women did build that. Businessmen and women did earn their success. Without the success of American business, we wouldn't have any roads, or bridges, or schools.

Mr. President, you say the rich must pay their fair share. When you seek to punish the rich, the jobs that are lost are those of the poor and middle class. 

When you seek to punish Mr. Exxon Mobil, you punish the secretary who owns Exxon Mobil stock. 

When you block the Keystone Pipeline, you punish the welder who works on the pipeline. 

Our nation faces a crisis. America wavers. Unfortunately, we are one of a select group of countries whose debt equals their gross domestic product. 

The republic of Washington and Jefferson is now in danger of becoming the democracy of debt and despair. Our great nation is coming apart at the seams and the president seems to point fingers and blame others.

President Obama's administration will add nearly $6 trillion to our national debt in just one term. 

This explosion of debt is unconscionable and unsustainable. Mr. President, we will not let you bankrupt this great nation!

Republicans and Democrats alike must slay their sacred cows. Republicans must acknowledge that not every dollar spent on the military is necessary or well-spent, and Democrats must admit that domestic welfare and entitlements must be reformed.

Republicans and Democrats must replace fear with confidence, confidence that no terrorist, and no country, will ever conquer us if we remain steadfast to the principles of our Founding documents. 

We have nothing to fear except our own unwillingness to defend what is naturally ours, our God-given rights. We have nothing to fear that should cause us to forget or relinquish our rights as free men and women.

To thrive we must believe in ourselves again, and we must never -- never -- trade our liberty for any fleeting promise of security.

Author Paul Kengor writes of a brisk evening in small-town Illinois. Returning home from a basketball game at the YMCA, an 11 year old boy is stunned by the sight of his father sprawled out in the snow on the front porch. "He was drunk," his son later remembered. "Dead to the world, crucified." The dad's hair was soaked with melted snow, matted unevenly against the side of his reddened face.

The boy stood over his father for a minute or two. He simply wanted to let himself in the door and pretend his dad wasn't there. Instead, he grabbed a fistful of overcoat and heaved his dad to the bedroom, away from the weather's harm and neighbors' attention.

This young boy became the man - Ronald Reagan - whose sunny optimism and charisma shined so brightly that it cured the malaise of the late seventies, a confidence that beamed so broadly that it pulled us through a serious recession, and a faith that tugged so happily at all hearts that a generation of Democrats became Republicans.

The American Dream is that any among us could become the next Thomas Edison, the next Henry Ford, the next Ronald Reagan.

To lead us forward, away from the looming debt crisis, it will take someone who believes in America's greatness, who believes in and can articulate the American dream, someone who has created jobs, someone who understands and appreciates what makes America great, someone who will lead our party and our nation forward. 

I believe that someone is our nominee: Governor Mitt Romney.

As Reagan said, our freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction. If our freedom is taken, the American Dream will wither and die.

To lead, we must transform the coldness of austerity into the warm, vibrant embrace of prosperity.

To overcome the current crisis, we must appreciate and applaud American success. We must step forward, unabashedly and proclaim: You did build that. You earned that. You worked hard. You studied. You labored. You did build that. And you deserve America's undying gratitude. For you, the individual, are the engine of America's greatness.

Thank you.

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  • The Derider||

    "To thrive we must believe in ourselves again, and we must never -- never -- trade our liberty for any fleeting promise of security"

    Does this mean he's against taxes to fund any sort of military, or am I being too literal?

  • ||

    or am I being too literal?

    I am thinking too literal. Rand is pretty close to a constitutional libertarianism.

    Constitution does allow for a military and taxation.

  • ||

    Also considering Rand's record it is pretty easy to know what he is talking about.

    He has been a champion of civil liberties in regards the war on terror and limits it has imposed.

    "too literal" is more of an intentional misinterpretation in a lame attempt to score points for TEAM blue.

  • Sevo||

    Corning| 8.29.12 @ 9:04PM |#
    ..."too literal" is more of an intentional misinterpretation in a lame attempt to score points for TEAM blue."
    And, not surprisingly, that attempt is from TD; noted sophist and idiot.

  • ||

    am I being too literal?

    Only if you think security can ONLY be gained by sacrificing liberty.

  • ||

    Fuck off, joe, you pathetic scumbag.

  • Sevo||

    The Derider| 8.29.12 @ 8:54PM |#
    "Does this mean he's against taxes to fund any sort of military, or am I being too literal?"
    No, just your normal, ignorant self.

  • ||

    Hey joe: If you wear high heeled shoes, do you almost make it into the five foot club?

  • ||

    Kind of tame really.

    Pretty obvious he was only hitting notes that resonated to Republican rank and file.

  • Paleo-ConAvenger||

    He used that rhetoric to warm them up and have them listen. This was Ron's weakest attribute, public speaking.

  • ||

    More like "Rand Paul Sexually Excites, Splits Open RNC Crowd" amirite?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wish I had the stomach to watch the commentary from Fox News and MSNBC on this. MSNBC couldn't possibly acknowledge that he's more on point with the left's supposed anti-war stance than the actions of their current champion, and Fox News has to watch what they say because Paul could be the future of the party.

  • Farturo||

    Rand Paul delivers RNC speech from bowels of Hell...

    (WTF is going on with the background?)

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    I'm all for laughing at Obama where appropriate -- I still think his Nobel Peace Prize and possible status as a Lightworker are fucking hilarious, for example -- but I can't be alone in wondering if "You didn't build that" references are still funny or politically useful?

  • ||

    Yes, they are, whether you take them the way the most extreme cons take them or charitably accept the "out of context" interpretation, the "You didn't build that" statement displays a mindset of this administration that is just plain insulting.

    The plain fact is that the taxes of business people and productive working men and women "did build that" (ie the infrastructure that BHO was supposedly referring to).

    They also paid the taxes necessary to pay for the "community organizers", the welfare recipients* and the public union parasites as well.

    *I realize that sometimes people are down and out and that for many reasons they find their only resort is public assistance. For the most part those I have known are grateful for this support and know full well whence this largess comes.

  • ||

    To lead us forward, away from the looming debt crisis, it will take someone who believes in America's greatness, who believes in and can articulate the American dream, someone who has created jobs, someone who understands and appreciates what makes America great, someone who will lead our party and our nation forward.

    I believe that someone is our nominee: Governor Mitt Romney.

    He had me until here. I mean, how the hell?

  • Broseph of Invention||

    He did kind of grease us up for that penetration with the Reagan praise. It would have been better if he said "believes in Americans' greatness", but then he'd be lying.

  • ||

    I thought he was going to leave it unspoken who that person might be... with the implicit promise that it would be him in '16 or '20.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    That would have been a shrewd twist. But alas, Ron Paul raised a son who's too polite.

  • Brutus||

    The only things I can think of are:

    1) He's positioning himself as a reliable party guy for 2016 or 2020, or

    2) He think Romney is feeling the political winds blowing and they are pushing him into a true smaller-government direction.

  • ||

    I hope that's true.

    The fact is, it doesn't matter what the President wants, if the Congress, particularly the HofR, doesn't vote for it, it doesn't matter.

    The House of Representatives has the power of the purse and has had the power to vote balanced budgets throughout its entire life. They have failed to do so because the price of what they have promised to the hoi-polloi has almost always exceeded the amount that can be extracted from the productive sector of society.

    Most of the presidents (before Lyndon Baines Bush) who have allowed huge deficits to go through have done so in the face of a veto-proof (because there have always been plenty of Demopublicans who have been willing to vote with the Republicrats to pass budget busting bills) CONgress.

  • Nick M||

    Me too. I was going to say the exact same thing. I think we should have seen it coming though. After all, this was Mitt's coronation.

  • Charlotte Falcon||

    Compared to Obama, Romney is FA Hayek.

  • Beowulf||

    I think "You didn't build that" still resonates with a lot of people. kind of like "extremism in defense of liberty is no vice" and "I was brainwashed" - not meaningful in and of themselves, but code words for real concerns

  • Auric Demonocles||

    He doubled down on his controversial remarks that ObamaCare is still unconstitutional even though the Supreme Court ruled otherwise.

    Not controversial. Just true. I was saying this before the case was decided: the outcome of the case has no effect on the Constitutionality of the law, just on how the government is going to act. If the SC suddenly declares it Constitutional to make laws banning political speech and outlawing guns, they're wrong and it doesn't change the Constitution.

  • califernian||

    Hell practically everything the federal government does is unconstitutional IMO.

  • Brutus||

    Batshit crazy MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell outdoes himself looking for the RACIST!!! angle:

    MARTIN BASHIR: We have seen an early draft of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s forthcoming oration. Can I quote something from you? “For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems, he hasn’t been working to earn re-election. He has been working to earn a spot on the PGA Tour.” How about that?

    LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Well, we know exactly what he’s trying to do there. He is trying to align to Tiger Woods and surely, the — lifestyle of Tiger Woods with Barack Obama. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. They find every way they possibly can to –

  • Brutus||

    BASHIR: Lawrence — don’t you think — don’t you think that what he’s really trying to do is to suggest that the president is not paying attention to the central issues that come with the responsibility he has? Is he really – Mitch McConnell really making a connection with Tiger Woods who, of course, has become infamous for chasing various cocktail waitresses around Las Vegas and so on?

    O’DONNELL: Martin, there are many, many, many rhetorical choices you can make at any point in any speech to make whatever point up want to make. If he wanted to make the point that you just suggested and I think he does want to make that point, they had a menu of a minimum of ten different kinds of images that they could have raised. And I promise you, the speech writers went through, rejecting three or four before they land order that one. That’s the one they want for a very deliberate reason. That — there’s – these people reach for every single possible racial double entendre they can find in every one of these speeches.

  • Brutus||

    Larry's just wetting himself to hang the racist sign on folks. Has anyone seen Tony and Larry in the same room??

  • ||

    Wha? Huh? WTFuck? Wow, what a fucking hack.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I have, but I promised I wouldn't tell anyone what I saw. Why do you ask?

  • Brutus||

    The people you aren't telling what you saw hereby thank you.

  • ||

    Wow, great speech. Well, except for the Romney stuff.

  • ||

    Romney is the parties pick, he had to say that. And, it was not Romney stuff, it was more of a Romney fluff.

    It was a great speech, and I actually do feel some optimism for the first time in my life that freedom minded people may gain some serious political power.

  • widget||

    Obama doubled the Department of Education's budget. Heather MacDonald describes just one task the department has found to do since.

    http://www.city-journal.org/20.....pline.html

    Here's a question for Mitt Romney. How many pink slips will be delivered to the Department of Education on your first day in office?

  • ||

    It's weird that Rand was allowed to speak and Ron was not.

  • Sevo||

    Ron is leaving; Rand beat an RNC-approved candidate.
    Pretty sure the necessary and sufficient condition for speechifying is whether you can get elected as an R.

  • wef||

    Romney will likely lose. Paul is positioning. Truly, if Romney loses the rupeblicon pity will have a figurative bloodbath. Ojalá - insha'Alla.

  • Charlotte Falcon||

    Romney won't lose...too many things going against Obama. The country is dumb, but not dumb enough to re-elect Obama.

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