As he considers a potential presidential run, Sen. Rand Paul does not harbor any concerns about a crowded and growing field because, he says, he brings "something unique" that sets him apart and could be the key to winning back the White House.
"I think in some ways, if I were to do this, my view is the more the merrier. I also think I bring something unique to the table.
"We have not been able to win elections because we are not broadening the party," Paul said Wednesday in an interview on "Kennedy," the Fox Business Network's new program.
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"For example, I am a big, huge advocate of privacy, that the [National Security Agency] has gone too far," which, he said, "will attract a lot of young people to our movement."
In addition, Paul pointed to his public stance that the war on drugs has had a disparate racial outcome, as well as his support for school choice, would bring minority voters to the GOP.
"I don't think we will get there [to a Republican winning the presidency] if we nominate the same old, same old," the Kentucky senator told host Lisa Kennedy.
It is an argument he has been making for more than a year as he seeks to draw distinctions between his brand of conservatism and that of fellow Republicans.
"If Republicans have a clue and do this and go out and ask every African-American for their vote, I think we can transform an election in one cycle," he told Politico
last summer as he was driving across the important primary state of New Hampshire.
As he lays the groundwork for a presidential campaign, Paul and his staff are honing the "different kind of Republican" theme.
"America has intractable problems and it's going to take a transformational leader to fix them. Senator Paul is going to be the bold, transformational figure in this race," Chip Englander, who has been hired as Paul's campaign manager, told The Washington Post
In addition to speaking to largely African-American audiences, touring college campuses, and espousing views that appeal to the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, Paul is using his position in the Senate to put actions behind his words, reports The Wall Street Journal
In the last few weeks, Paul attended an event honoring black Republicans in Congress, held a joint press conference on legislation to tighten civil forfeiture laws with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat and co-chairman of the House Progressive Caucus, and is even working with liberal Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer on legislation that would fund infrastructure projects by permitting companies to bring overseas earnings back to the U.S., according to the Journal.
Paul also is teaming up with Boxer on a "moderate" Iran sanctions bill, reports the National Journal
. The bill would impose new economic sanctions if an agreement on Iran's nuclear program is not reached by the July deadline.
Some have viewed with skepticism Paul's outreach efforts, saying they are nothing but political posturing.
"I would not invite him, because he will use that in his campaign, he will get an applause line.
"He's one vote and he's not going to persuade the Tea Party or the Republicans. It will just be an appearance. It won't have any impact on the party," Joe Madison, a radio show host and former NAACP board member, told The Grio
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