The chairman of the Republican Party on Thursday said that Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) filibuster of CIA Director John Brennan was “completely awesome.”
During a stop on his listening tour in Iowa, Reince Priebus was asked if Paul’s filibuster over President Barack Obama’s use of drones had energized the party.
“Listen, I think it was completely awesome,” the RNC chairman said. “I was excited about it myself. I couldn’t go to bed. I’m still excited about it.”
“You know what I’m excited about?” Priebus continued. “I think our party needs some unity sometimes and it’s not easy not having the White House and sometimes you’ve got scrap and claw for issues that can unify a party. Now, that’s not totally unity, but this was great issue in standing up against the president, asking some simple and important questions. And I was happy to see so many other Republican senators support Sen. Paul.”
According to the Des Moines Register, conservative activists in Iowa told Priebus that they wanted to see more integration betweenformer Rep. Ron Paul’s “liberty movement” and the Republican Party.
“Clearly I think in Iowa we have a liberty movement that we need to grow, that we need to welcome in our party,” Priebus agreed. “Constitutional Republicans, liberty Republicans, is a big piece of a growing party that’s young, that cares about issues like freedom, the Constitution. And obviously there’s a core here.”
Not all Republicans, however, displayed the kind of “unity” over Paul’s filibuster that Priebus seemed to be hoping for.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) took the the Senate floor on Thursday to blast Paul’s action as a political stunt.
“To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you?” Graham pointed out. “They had a drone program back then, all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up. What are we up to here?”
Watch this video from the Des Moines Register, broadcast March 8, 2013.