Rand Paul: Republican has to undergo “a transformation”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) fears that the Republican Party will not win another presidential election unless it undergoes “a transformation” by developing a message that can reach young people and minorities:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) made a bold prediction about the remaining presidential elections in his lifetime during an interview with Glenn Beck that aired Thursday.

“I think Republicans will not win again in my lifetime … unless they become a new GOP, a new Republican Party,” Paul said evenly. “And it has to be a transformation. Not a little tweaking at the edges.”
The primary goal, Paul said, is to present the “ideas of liberty” to everyone.

“There are many people who are open among all these disaffected groups, who really aren’t steadfast supporters of Obama or an ideology,” Paul asserted. “I think they’re open to listening, but we have to have a better message and a better presentation of it.”

“There is a struggle going on within the Republican Party,” Paul admitted. “I tell people it’s not new, and I’m not ashamed of it. I’m proud of the fact that there is a struggle. And I will struggle to make the Republican Party a different party, a bigger party, a more diverse party, and a party that can win national elections again.”

For his part, Paul has been reaching out to young voters by talking about civil liberties. The Kentucky senator has also done more than most Republicans to reach out minorities, pushing a measure to eliminate mandatory minimums for drug offenders. He’s even pitched his criminal justice reforms at a historically black college, a venue that most Republicans would avoid.

Paul has also urged the Republican Party to turn away from its hawkish, Bush-era foreign policy platform. Though he’s met significant resistance from the Old Guard GOP, Paul’s noninterventionist message appeals to a war weary nation.

That’s not to say that Paul has all the answers to expand the appeal of the Republican Party, nor is he the only one pushing reforms that would reach out to disenfranchised parts of the population. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), for example, is pushing a positive conservative reform agenda that presents the United States, not just the GOP, with a new path to tackle issues like poverty and tax reform.

This sort of fundamental “transformation” and messaging change may make some Republicans uncomfortable, but they have to learn that they can the party offer reforms without betraying core conservative principles. This isn’t just a good idea, it’s a necessity if the party faithful want to continue winning elections.

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