RNC Chairman: Rand Paul’s filibuster ‘completely awesome’

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus weighed in with enthusiasm on Sen. Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster over the possibility of drone strikes on U.S. soil.

"Listen, I think it was completely awesome," he told the Des Moines Register during a visit to Iowa. "I was excited about it myself, I couldn't go to bed. I'm still excited about it."

He said in the Thursday interview that it was the sight of Republicans coming together that cheered him.

"You know what I'm excited about? I think our party needs some unity sometimes," Priebus said. "[I]t's not easy not having the White House. And sometimes you've got to scrap and claw for issues that can unify a party. Now, and that's not totally unity, but this was a great issue in standing up against the president, asking some simple, important questions, and I was happy to see so many other Republican senators support Sen. Paul."

While several GOP senators did rally to Paul's side -- including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- as Priebus acknowledged, the whole caucus was not on board. Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) strongly condemned the filibuster.

Paul dropped his block on the nomination of John O. Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency after receiving a letter Thursday from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who said definitively that an American not in combat could not be killed by a drone on U.S. soil. Brennan has since been confirmed by the Senate.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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