Sen. Rand Paul spoke with the Boston Herald prior to his talk at Harvard University. The Herald reports:
National Republicans — still smarting from Democratic drubbings in the last two presidential contests — face a stark scenario of “evolve, adapt or die” as they plot their next campaign to take back the Oval Office in 2016, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told the Herald yesterday in an exclusive interview.
Paul — an unapologetic libertarian seen as a likely GOP presidential contender — said the Republican Party has to rewrite its standard platform to woo minorities into a broad coalition that can win national races.
“I’ve been pretty harsh about where the party is now. I think we evolve, adapt or die because we’re winning a lot of Congressional seats but we’re not winning nationally. We win rural America and we lose the cities,” Paul said during a wide-ranging interview on Boston Herald Radio and a subsequent sit-down with Herald reporters and editors.
He admitted that Republicans are “not doing so hot” with blacks, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and other minorities, and pointed out that libertarian values focus on individual rights with broad appeal.
“When you protect the individual you protect the minority, so you protect minority rights,” he said.
A Tea Party favorite and a former ophthalmologist, Paul hasn’t been entirely welcomed by his colleagues, who have blasted him for what they see as an isolationist stance on national security and a hands-off approach to the war on drugs.
“I think any time a party loses, particularly twice in a row, and we lost 2008 and 2012 nationally, that there is a soul searching and there is a jockeying for position,” Rand said of the smack talk from pols like U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) “Whoever comes out as ultimately the one who leads the party is, I think, the one who can do something a little bit different.”
Added Paul with a smile, “I think debate is healthy. I prefer it if they don’t call me names. I hate to be called names.”