Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told viewers of the CNBC Republican debate to watch him filibuster and fight the budget deal on the Senate floor, but his filibuster consisted of an eighteen and a half minute speech that was really only 15 minutes long.
Video of the Paul “filibuster:”
This is not what Rand Paul promised viewers during the Republican debate when he said, “I will stand firm. I will spend every ounce of energy to stop it. I will begin tomorrow to filibuster it.” When Paul made that statement, he knew he couldn’t filibuster the bill because Mitch McConnell had already filed a cloture motion.
His Senate colleagues, who have grown tired of the Republican senators who are running for president using the floor of the Senate as a tool for publicity, largely ignored Paul and did not join with him.
What Sen. Paul was trying to call a filibuster was time that Mitch McConnell had already set aside for such dramatics. McConnell fully intended not to hold the final vote until after midnight. A filibuster is intended to slow down or halt the Senate. What Paul was doing was not a filibuster.
Rand Paul’s filibuster was as lifeless as his presidential campaign.
His filibuster was a joke, and this time, people were not fooled. The budget deal passed as scheduled. Sen. Paul didn’t get the media attention, or the donor dollars that he desperately needed.
Paul has seemed disinterested in his presidential campaign since the rise of Donald Trump and Ben Carson buried him in the Republican field, and his attempt to sell a speech as a “filibuster” was as lazy and halfhearted as the candidate himself.