Rand Paul compares Tea Party to abolitionist movement

Will Rahn Senior Editor
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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul delivered his maiden speech on the Senate floor Wednesday morning. In it, the newly inaugurated Republican compared the Tea Party to the anti-slavery abolitionist movement.

Paul said that he had been assigned the same desk once used by Senator Henry Clay, “the great compromiser,” but then noted that he preferred the Senator’s cousin, the famous abolitionist Cassius Clay, reports Slate’s David Weigel.

“The activists who didn’t compromise — William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Cassius Clay — are heroes because they didn’t compromise,” Paul said. Although he acknowledged that nothing compares to the great issue of slavery, Paul still drew a parallel between the foremost cause of the Civil War and America’s growing deficit. “”Should we compromise by raising taxes as the deficit commission proposes?” he asked rhetorically before stating that America has a “spending problem” that will not be solved by increasing revenues.

“Can the Tea Party work with others to find a solution?” Paul said. “The compromise must come in where we cut spending. The compromise that we as conservatives must acknowledge is that we can cut some money from the military. The compromise that Democrats must acknowledge is that they can cut domestic spending.”

Weigel called the speech an “amazing debut” in his Twitter feed later that morning.