NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A year after his 13-hour filibuster won the hearts of young conservatives just a week ahead of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, the fandom for Sen. Rand Paul here has only grown.
Paul gave a speech Friday before the first standing-room-only crowd at the conference so far, asking a cheering audience, "Will you, America's next generation of liberty-lovers, will you stand and be heard?"
Following his typical style, Paul's speech focused largely on personal freedom, the Fourth Amendment, and rights he alleged are being usurped by the Obama administration, while avoiding the tricky topic of foreign policy, where his libertarian views are not as widely accepted by conservatives here.
Paul's biggest applause line of the afternoon — the biggest applause line at CPAC so far — came during his discussion of what he perceived as President Obama's failures, particularly at the National Security Agency. "As our voices rise in protest, the NSA monitors your every phone call. if you have a cell phone, you are under surveillance. I believe what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business," he said to loud cheers.
Paul continued an assault on Obama's record, getting laughs when he asked how history will remember the president, and later quoting Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters in asking whether former supporters of the president now believed they had "trade[d] your heroes for your ghosts? "¦ Did they get you to exchange a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?"