Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul hasn't officially yet declared himself as a presidential candidate, but he told activists that the GOP needs "a libertarian moment" when it comes to its next nominee, not just another "Chamber of Commerce Republican."
"Chamber of Commerce is fine, I was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, but a Chamber of Commerce Republican is not going to win a national election,” Paul told the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas at the state GOP convention Saturday, reports Politico.
"I’m not saying we give up on what we believe in, but we have to expand what we believe in.”
Paul, who shares some of the libertarian leanings of his father
, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, said that libertarian and traditional conservative values complement each other, and libertarianism "infuses traditional conservatism with the excitement, the energy, the outreach that we need.”
And all around the country, whether its establishment party supporters, or poor people, Paul said they all tell him the same thing, that "it's time, time for this libertarian moment, this liberty moment."
The movement, he said, is no longer something that scares away voters.
"It's what [makes] people say, we can’t run the same-old same-old, we’re not going to win with the same-old, same-old," Paul said.
Also during Saturday's breakfast meeting, Paul, who has supported attracting non-traditional votes to the Republican Party, outlined a message to disadvantaged people, calling for reforms for the criminal justice system so it doesn't unfairly target minorities and the poor. He also spoke of school choice and promoting policies that help economic development in poorer areas.
“You have to show up, you have to show you care, people have to believe that you care and then we’ll win, be the dominant party,” he said. “In Texas you are, but we’re not nationally.”
Later Saturday, he was to attend the opening of a GOP engagement office in his home state in the city of Louisville in "an African American section of town where we haven’t been for 100 years.”
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