Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) previewed a potential 2016 GOP presidential showdown Thursday with back-to-back, dueling speeches offered competing — and starkly different — visions of the Republican Party’s future.
Their highly anticipated speeches to activists at the Conservaative Political Action Conference reflected the broader GOP identity crisis — and the party-wide effort to recalibrate in the face of disappointing losses for the GOP in 2012.
Rubio and Ryan have shared many steps on their roads to success — both Tea Party favorites, they rose to national prominence after elections they won as underdogs.
But their CPAC speeches indicated they may be pursuing support in different wings of the GOP, paths that could put them on a collision course in time for 2016.