Before Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) began his speech, hundreds of student volunteers from Young Americans for Liberty handed out signs, stickers, and bracelets that said “Stand with Rand” in honor of Paul’s recent filibuster.
When Paul walked on to the CPAC stage, the room erupted in cheering and applause. Almost all of the attendees in the room immediately stood. Paul began by discussing his recent fame over the last few days. “My 13-hour filibuster was a message to the President – ‘Good intentions are not enough.'”
Paul then acknowledged that the filibuster was about much more than drones. Primarily, it is about the importance of the Bill of Rights. He attacked President Obama for canceling White House tours, then sending $250 million to Egypt, prompting loud boos from the audience.
“I do want to help the President,” interjected Paul amidst loud applause. He offered alternative programs the President could have cut before White House tours, citing absurd scientific studies commissioned by government funding. “Does it really take $3 million dollars to discover that monkeys, like humans, act crazy on meth?”
Paul also touched on more libertarian ideals, saying we need to “ask the Facebook generation” if we should legalize drugs or promote government bailouts. “It’s time for us to revive Reagan’s law. For liberty to expand, government must shrink. For the economy to grow, government must get out of the way.”
Paul also vowed to propose a new budget this month. Drawing loud cheers from the audience, Paul argued that his budget will eliminate the Department of Education. He promised that his budget will cut the corporate income tax in half, propose a flat income tax of 17%, and cut regulations that are “strangling American business.”
He also articulated the importance of embracing change. “The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered.” In order to move forward, “liberty must be the backbone of the GOP” – in both the economic and personal sphere. Amid chants of “Stand With Rand,” Paul left the stage looking even more likely to mount a presidential run in 2016.