Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) responded to a Senate-floor attack on the Tea Party Thursday by inviting Democrats to bring their vision to an actual Tea Party.
“It's amazing to me to be lectured to and hear about how awful the Tea Party is and what the Tea Party represents from folks who have never been to a Tea Party” event, Paul said after Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) delivered a broadside against the conservative grassroots movement.
“Come on down to a Tea Party,” said Paul. “Bring your Huey Long rhetoric, a chicken in every pot, a windmill in every background — a windmill in every backyard, bring it on down to the Tea Party, let's have a discussion,” Paul said.
Paul was referring to Huey Long (D-La.), a populist senator and governor in the 1930s known for his "share the wealth” philosophy.
Menendez’s 20-minute speech blasted what he said was the Tea Party’s vision.
“Tea Partiers see an America in which the burden of balancing the budget should be borne by senior citizens, students, middle-class families, while protecting subsidies to big oil companies and giving even more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans,” he said.
The Senate is preparing to vote Thursday afternoon on a compromise funding bill for fiscal 2011 that Paul says he will oppose.