CPAC 2013: Youth-favorite Rand Paul chastises ‘stale and moss-covered’ GOP

Fresh off his filibuster that captured the hearts of libertarian conservatives, Sen. Rand Paul told attendees Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the Republican Party has become “stale” and must return to basic constitutional principles if it wants to ignite a political revolution.

Mr. Paul was the star of the conservative “Facebook generation” youth movement that paraded across CPAC’s stage Thursday, joining others such as Sens. Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and Tim Scott — all of whom were elected after President George W. Bush left office.

“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Mr. Paul said. “The new GOP, the GOP that will win again, will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and personal sphere. If we are going to have a Republican Party that can win, liberty needs to be the backbone of the GOP.”

Like the Republican Party as a whole, the 8,000 conservative activists gathered at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, just outside the Capitol Beltway in Maryland, are debating which direction the GOP should go after a second consecutive presidential defeat.

The title of this year’s conference is “America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives — New Challenges, Timeless Principles,” and from the stage, activists heard a series of speakers who won office in the 2010 and 2012 elections debate what the GOP needs to do to regroup.

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