President Obama Defends Rand Paul from Democrats, “Rand’s an interesting guy”

President Barack Obama spoke to the Democratic National Committee this morning, and openly praised Senator Rand Paul’s actions in reaching beyond party lines. Obama pointed to Senator Paul as an example of someone trying to reach out to new constituencies, causing the audience to groan and the president to defend him. “No, Rand’s an interesting guy,” he said to laughs from the crowd. “No, he is.”

From Mediaite: 

“And Rand Paul said that the Republican Party is to show up on the south side of Chicago and shout at the top of its lungs that the GOP is the ticket to the middle class,” Obama continued, calling that instinct “encouraging,” adding, “I want parties to compete everywhere, I think that’s a good thing.”

Noting that he was just “back home” in Chicago the day before, Obama said, “I guarantee you that Senator Paul would be welcome there.” He added, “We are a friendly bunch. I mean, it’s a little strange if people show up and just start shouting at the top of their lungs, but we’re friendly and it would be OK.”

But ultimately, Obama told Republicans that can’t just “talk the talk,” they’ve got to “walk the walk” when it comes to supporting policies that help the middle class. “We have been walking the walk,” he said of Democrats. “And if Republicans are serious about taking on the specific challenges that face the middle class, if they are prepared to walk the walk, we should welcome them.”

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