Tags: Rand Paul | Rand Paul | GOP | black voters

Rand Paul: GOP Brand 'Sucks' When it Comes to Black Voters

Rand Paul: GOP Brand 'Sucks' When it Comes to Black Voters
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By    |   Friday, 31 October 2014 09:43 AM

The Republican Party brand "sucks," Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said at a Detroit event this week, and the party's weaknesses are especially serious when it comes to its appeal to black voters.

"Remember Domino’s Pizza? They admitted, ‘Hey, our pizza crust sucks,' " Paul said at a Republican field office in Sherwood Forest, a predominantly middle-class, African-American neighborhood in Detroit, reports The Hill. "The Republican Party brand sucks and so people don’t want to be a Republican and for 80 years, African-Americans have had nothing to do with Republicans."

The problem is a matter of perception that "no one in the Republican Party cares," Paul said.

Paul has been speaking to African-American audiences to outline his proposals to reform what he calls a failed criminal justice program. He also has called for rebuilding blighted inner city neighborhoods.

The potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate said earlier this month that a Republican nominee can win one-third or more of the black vote if he or she campaigns for criminal-justice reform, school choice, and economic empowerment.

"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," the Kentucky Republican told Politico

"I think there is fully a third of the African-American vote that is open to much of the message, because much of what the Democrats have offered hasn't worked."

In Detroit, Paul commented that Republicans are fighting "40 years of us doing a crappy job, of Republicans not trying at all for 40 years, so it’s a lot of overcoming,” he said. “You got to show up, you [have] got to have something to say and really we just have to emphasize that we’re trying to do something different.”

As a senator, Paul has sponsored numerous bills that could prove relevant to black voters.

The Redeem Act, which he is co-sponsoring with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the only black Democrat in the Senate, calls for helping juveniles with criminal records to get jobs. Other Paul-sponsored bills include giving federal judges more flexibility in sentencing, and to eliminate disparities between punishment for cocaine- and crack-cocaine-related crimes.

“We look at incarceration and we see a disproportionate number of people of color in jail and then when we see statistics on drug use, it seems to be about equal among all the different races,” he said. “Blacks and Hispanics seem to populate our jails more.”

He also argued that the country has gone too far in the war on drugs and told of a friend's brother who sold marijuana in college years ago, but who still can't vote in his state.

Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer, responding to Paul, told MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" that the party is starting to take steps in the right direction, and that he's proud of the party, reports The Washington Times.

In a separate Detroit appearance, Paul also spoke this week at the Oakland County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner, saying Republicans need to go to places where they don't usually campaign, reports The Detroit Free Press.

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The Republican Party brand "sucks," Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said at a Detroit event this week, and the party's weaknesses are especially serious when it comes to its appeal to black voters.
Rand Paul, GOP, black voters
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2014-43-31
Friday, 31 October 2014 09:43 AM
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