Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., reminded Tea Party activists that it's possible to disagree with President Obama without resorting to using divisive rhetoric.

"There are times, and I don't think it is our movement, but there are times when people are using language that shouldn't be used," Paul said. He pointed out that he "recently criticized" someone for using that language, but said he wouldn't name the person.

"I will say, that we can disagree with the president without calling him names," he said.

Paul was likely referring to Ted Nugent, whom he publicly criticized after the rocker called Obama a "mongrel."

Paul made his remarks Thursday at an event celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Tea Party; it was sponsored by the grassroots group Tea Party Patriots.

Paul said it's important for activists to reach out and make the party bigger with a positive message.

"Our message has to be a happy message," Paul said. "One of optimism, one of inclusiveness."