Rand Paul Says the Republican Brand Sucks

Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul appeared on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer on Sunday. Paul, who has been campaigning across the nation for conservative candidates ahead of Election Day, backed up some sharp criticism for the direction of his own political party.

Schieffer asked, “You said and this is your quote, the Republican brand sucks. That’s a pretty unusual rallying cry in an election year.”

Paul’s response emphasized the need for Republicans to reach out to the African-American community in more ways than one.

“We have a wall, or a barrier, between us and African-American voters. So I spent the last year trying to break down some of that wall and say look, maybe what the Democrats have been doing for you — or maybe you’re being taken for granted — maybe it’s not working…”

To Schiffer’s question, “What can you offer African-American voters?” Paul highlighted his bipartisan effort to reinfranchise individuals with past nonviolent felony convictions and steer the rest of his party away from restrictive voter ID policies.

He added, “By being for all these things it reinforces a stereotype that we need to break down.”

On the topic of what Republicans and Democrats could work together on, Paul laid out a few reforms for the 114th Congress:

  • Criminal Justice reform
  • Reduced sentences for nonviolent drug offenses
  • Reinfranchising individuals with nonviolent felony convictions

To close out the 10 minute interview, Paul contrasted his diplomatic style against Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s:

“We live in a world where we have so much cacophony of voices on TV sometimes yelling back and forth. And I think there’s a resurgence of people who want a little more civility in discourse.”