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Paul, Rubio duel for soul of tea party

(WASHINGTON TIMES) The tea party, at its highest levels, is not ready to bestow its unquestioning love on one of the two Republican responders to President Obama’s  State of the Union address Tuesday — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

But there are signs that Mr. Rubio is distancing himself from the tea party, following the lead of powerful Republicans who have concluded the tea party is more like an albatross than a lucky charm around the GOP’s neck.

“Both Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, from our standpoint, are elected officials who are fighting for tea party values of fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government,” Jenny Beth Martin, cofounder of the national Tea Party Patriots, told The Washington Times.