Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday stood by his comment that the GOP brand “sucks,” but said he sees “a lot of avenues for Republicans to break through” with young and minority voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
The Kentucky Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the members of his party “have a chance” when they discuss issues like privacy rights, criminal justice reform, poverty and long-term unemployment with traditionally Democratic constituencies.
“But our brand is so broken, we can’t even break through, you know, the wall that’s out there,” Paul said. “And this is the same with Hispanic voters, it’s the same with young people in general.”
Paul drew attention Thursday when he first said the GOP’s brand “sucks” and compared it to Domino’s crust, pointing to the pizza maker’s advertising campaign admitting it had put out a poor product in the past. His comments were a hot topic among Washington’s political class on Sunday.
James Baker, the former secretary of state and chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan, disagreed with Paul, saying he wants Republicans to “stop the fratricide that has occurred from time to time in the past.”
“I don’t think the GOP brand sucks at all. I have never felt that,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
But Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told ABC’s “This Week,” that he’s “very close” to Paul, and agrees with the sentiment that the GOP should engage with a diverse set of voters.
“Rand Paul is saying what I’ve been saying, which is we have spent way too long as a national party showing up at the end, and we’ve got to do better,” he said, noting that Paul’s comments came at an African-American engagement office in Detroit.