“It’s amazing to me to be lectured to and hear about how awful the Tea Party is.”

So began Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) defense of the Tea Party on the Senate floor yesterday. And he took off from there, inviting detractors to visit an actual rally and chastising Democrats for trying to blame the Tea Party for the delay in approving a budget bill.

“They want to blame it on the Tea Party because in their secret caucus meetings they’ve done a poll that says the Tea Party could be the villain. Call them extreme, call them all Tea Partiers, say the Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party,” he said. “Well you know what the Tea Party believes in? Good government. We Believe in balancing the budget. We believe in reducing spending.”

Earlier, he talked about the false sense of compromise. “They say that compromise is the ideal,” Paul said. “They tell the Tea Party you need to compromise. But you know what the comprise is? They want to raise your taxes. … That’s what they’re talking about.”

He then asked a simple question about the budget wrangling: “Will the deficit be more this year than last year?”* In short, he said, yes, and the trend will continue.*

Watch the eight minute speech below:

(H/T: Right Scoop)

*An earlier version of this story summed up Paul’s answer as “no.” That has been corrected.

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