After facing a tough loss to President Barack Obama in 2012, the Republican Party evaluated the blunders, gaffes and outreach errors made that lost them the presidency. But a mere nine months into Obama’s second term, one plagued by a slew of scandals, one person is convinced the Republican Party has pulled ahead — Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Paul spoke at the Liberty Political Action Conference on Thursday night and discussed a host of issues, even taking the time to share a kind word about President Obama. But throughout Paul’s speech, one theme continued to emerge: the Republican Party is winning.
“Does anyone remember Charlie Sheen when he was kind of going crazy last year?” Paul asked the crowd. “He was going around, jumping around saying ‘winning, winning, we’re winning.’ Well I kind of feel like that. We are winning. And I’m not on drugs but we’re winning, I think we really are.”
From President Obama’s decision to seek Congressional approval before a military intervention in Syria to the public outcry over the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, Paul reassured the room that despite the challenges the GOP faced in the last election, 2013 is proving to be the year the Right pulls ahead.
Here are 3ways the GOP is winning, according to Paul.
Paul and many of his fellow conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have been outspoken proponents of military intervention in Syria. But, the President’s decision to seek Congressional approval before deploying troops proved to be a big victory for both the GOP and the liberty movement. The Tea Party darling noted that the majority of both his constituents and Americans oppose involvement in Syria, and the President approached members of Congress asking for their opinions on whether or not to take action.
“For the first time we had something really extraordinary happen,” Paul said. “We had a debate and I think we won the debate. We really won the debate.”
After NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden released documents proving the government spied on citizens — though President Obama denies the surveillance programs exist — many lawmakers like Paul said the NSA’s actions were a violation of Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.
This, the 2016 hopeful said, opened many voters’ eyes, and while Democrats like Hillary Clinton advocate for such violations of civil liberties, the Right the party advocating for the right to privacy.
“I think the public is with us in general on these issues,” he said. “I think also, from a partisan point of view as a Republican, these are ways we grow the Republican Party. When you say you’re for the right to privacy, I think we expand who we are as the Republican Party, we bring people in. I always tell people, it’s like President Obama won all the young people, he got 73 percent of the youth vote.
“It’s like well, you know, he’s losing it right now with a lot of this but if we want to get the youth vote, it’s not like we have to change our message. But they don’t care so much about taxes or regulations. They don’t have that much money to care about. But they all have a cell phone and they’re all on the Internet. They do care about whether the government should be looking at their searches on the Internet or listening to their phone calls or recording their phone records. We could become the right to privacy — the party of privacy. The party that doesn’t believe in big government surveillance.”
Though the sequestration was not well received by all Republicans, Paul said it is a policy that should not be broken given what it has accomplished thus far. President Obama may have claimed that because of the $1 trillion in automatic cuts meat would rot as inspectors were laid off and airplanes would crash because of a lack of air traffic controllers, but it forced agencies to eliminate wasteful spending.
“I think we’re also winning in regards to cutting spending,” Paul said. “Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that the sequester is not actually really cutting spending but it is cutting the rate of growth of spending. I didn’t vote for it because I didn’t think it was enough, but now I’m trying to hold firm to it so we don’t break the sequester and actually spend more than the sequester.”
But though the Kentucky Senator was quick to tout the GOP’s successes, he did have some advice for how the Republican Party can succeed int he 2014 midterm elections and beyond.
“I think if we approach these issues with passion and zeal…the passion and zeal to defend basic justice and the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, I think we will be the winning party.”