Rand Paul says the Republican Party's brand "sucks"
He says the party makes African-Americans feel unwelcome
It might not be the term that Republican Party leaders prefer, but Sen. Rand Paul had a choice word about the GOP’s brand: It “sucks.”
While in Michigan on Wednesday spreading his message about building a more inclusive party, Paul – as he has many times before –acknowledged that Republicans need to collectively improve their image.
“Remember Domino’s Pizza? They admitted, ‘Hey, our pizza crust sucks.’ 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 Kentucky Republican said, according to The Hill.
His comments came in remarks at a GOP field office in a predominantly black neighborhood in Detroit.
The Domino’s analogy is a staple in his speeches about broadening the party’s appeal, but he hasn’t been quite as candid in his use of language.
Earlier this month, Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “the biggest mistake” Republicans have made in the past several decades is not aggressively courting African-American votes.
It’s a message he’s been carrying for the past year as he lays the groundwork for a likely presidential campaign. He told Politico recently he thinks Republicans can win a third or more of the African-American vote in 2016 if the party embraces his method of advocating for education and criminal justice reform among other efforts to address poverty and unemployment.
“We’re also 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 Wednesday. “You got to show up, you got to have something to say and really we just have to emphasize that we’re trying to do something different.”
Following Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential loss, in which he carried only 6% of the black vote, the Republican National Committee has also attempted to retool its outreach by opening up multiple offices in urban areas and hiring more staff specifically tasked with targeting African-American voters.