Rand Paul Says GOP Needs "Transformation"

By:  Jack Kenny
Rand Paul Says GOP Needs "Transformation"

The Grand Old Party has to become a brand new party if it is going to win national elections again, predicted Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky who is often mentioned as one of the party's potential nominees for President in 2016.

"I think Republicans will not win again in my lifetime," Paul, 51, said, "unless they become a new GOP, a new Republican Party. And it has to be a transformation. Not a little tweaking at the edges." Paul offered that assessment of the party's future in an interview with conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck. The interview aired February 13, but it continues to draw interest from those interested in the potential presidential candidate whose opinions often clash with conservative Republican orthodoxy. The libertarian Reason magazine published a favorable review of the remarks on its website February 17, noting that the magazine had already judged the son of 12-term Texas congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul to be "the most interesting man in the Senate."

"No national politician has done a better job over the past few years of presenting ideas about limiting the size, scope, and spending of the federal government than Paul," wrote Reason.com editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie. "From his repeated attempts to cut the federal budget by $500 billion in five years to his epic filibuster on drone policy to calling for a new approach to foreign policy to pushing industrial hemp, Paul is a standing challenge not just to the GOP establishment but to the larger Washington establishment. He's made more than a few missteps so far and he's far from perfect, but he's looking sharper and sharper from a limited-government perspective."

While the first-term senator remains one of the most vocal advocates of budget cutting, he noted that fiscal issues alone won't bring new voters to a party that has been faring poorly among the young and with minority groups. Republicans need to appeal to younger voters by stressing personal liberty and rights of privacy to keep government from collecting emails and examining their cellphone communications, he said. A frequent critic of federal drug policy, Paul said the GOP needs to take a fresh look at the impact the government's war on drugs has had on African-American and Hispanic communities. The primary goal, he told Beck, is to present the "ideas of liberty" to everyone.

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