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McDonnell says Rubio’s remarks will be ‘official’ answer to State of the Union

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell says there will be only one formal response to President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday: that of rising GOP star Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

When asked by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien why Republicans needed two responses to the commander-in-chief’s annual address to Congress and the American people, McDonnell said, “Everybody’s free to say what they want to say about the president’s response.”

“The official response, obviously, is Marco Rubio. He’ll lay out the Republican contrast and the vision for America.”

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is also set to respond to Obama on behalf of the tea party, which McDonnell barely acknowledged.

“There will probably be a tea party response, and a progressive party response, and a LaRouche Party response,” he said. “I bet there’ll be thousands of responses.”

McDonnell also took a trip down memory lane with O’Brien, reminiscing about his delivery of the Republican response to Obama’s speech in 2010. Then, McDonnell eschewed the traditional template of talking to a camera, opting instead for a more town hall-style approach at the Capitol in Richmond with a live audience.

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