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Why Rand Paul Didn’t Attend the Speech

Last week I discussed the potential impact of Senator Rand Paul’s growing influence on the Republican Party. That prompted an exchange with the senator that we subsequently published. The senator has now written again to correct the record on one point. We’re happy to let him do so.

Last week, I responded to Mr. Tobin’s article, and I am grateful to COMMENTARY for allowing this exchange on their pages. I think it is important people realize disagreements on some particular policy points, like foreign aid, is not a disagreement on our relationship with our ally Israel. In fact, it hurts the pro-Israel cause to state otherwise.   

During his response to my letter, Mr. Tobin brings up one glaring and obvious error that I simply must correct. I did not “skip” the address to Congress by Prime Minister Netanyahu. I was trapped on the Senate floor by Harry Reid. You see, all week I had been leading a filibuster in defense of the Fourth Amendment and against certain onerous provisions of the Patriot Act. At that moment, I was attempting to force a vote on my amendment to protect gun owners, as provisions of the Patriot Act have harsh Second Amendment problems that Republican supporters try to hide.

On the day of the speech, I was forced to be at my desk on the Senate floor all day, or lose my filibuster and chance of forcing these votes. I literally was on the floor all day, for 8 hours straight. I was only able to use the bathroom through the help of another senator who guarded the floor while I left for 5 minutes.

Senator Rand Paul, Washington, D.C.


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