Politics

Rand Paul: Tea Party won’t branch off GOP, become third party

Laura Donovan Contributor

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said he doesn’t think the Tea Party will ditch the GOP and become a third party, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

In an interview published Thursday, Paul said the Tea Party movement has broadened conservative politics.

“Right now it is a great advantage to us in the Republican Party because it has grown the Republican Party,” Paul said.

But when asked whether he foresees the Tea Party movement transforming into a third, viable political party, Paul answered, “I don’t think so.”

Paul said the movement will exist “as long as government continues with excessive spending.” In his new book, “The Tea Party Goes to Washington,” Paul traces big spending back to Republican former president George W. Bush.

“Any self-described conservative who ‘misses’ the last president and his version of the Republican Party should probably quit subscribing to that label,” Paul wrote. “If judgment is based on spending and the budget, then Bill Clinton should be considered preferable to Bush, given that he spent less money than his successor.”

Paul is against President Barack Obama’s “big government agenda,” but disagrees with the notion that Tea Party members oppose the president for his race.

“The Tea Party doesn’t see politics in black and white,” Paul wrote, “but black and red — even as its critics continue to see racism when it simply does not exist.”