The Washington Times - February 8, 2013, 03:21PM

Sen. Rand Paul will deliver what’s being billed as the official tea party response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, the Tea Party Express announced Friday afternoon — putting yet another top 2016 GOP presidential contender head-to-head with Mr. Obama.

Republican Party officials picked Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican and another potential 2016 presidential hopeful, to give the official Republican response, so elevating Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, to the tea party response will show several contrasts.


“We are happy to see that the Republicans have selected Tea Party conservative Senator Marco Rubio to deliver their response. Both Senator Rubio and Senator Paul will articulate pro-growth messages that will resonate with the American people,” said Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express.

Tea Party Express is the group that two years ago backed Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann’s response to that year’s State of the Union.