Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Breitbart News he is hosting an event on Friday in Iowa, bringing black and Hispanic Evangelical leaders and Republican Party leaders like Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus to foster a conversation about how the GOP can win the votes of those communities.
“The chairman is here, and the vice chairman is here,” Paul said in a phone interview. “I’ve organized a meeting because I want them to hear directly from African American ministers and Hispanic ministers on what they think is the best way for the Republican Party to extend their vote in both groups.”
Despite all the political consultants in the GOP talking about connecting the party with minority communities, not much has actually been done on that front. Paul said he thinks there are lots of issues through which the GOP and conservatives can connect with blacks and Hispanics, and this type of event in Iowa is the front through which to do it.
I think many conservatives have talked about school choice, but the Republican Party hasn’t made it a key issue… I think we do need to make school choice a key issue because many of the schools particularly in larger cities and particularly in the African American sections of large cities are failing these kids. I have ministers who come up to me every day and say the civil rights issue of our era is education. If you look at high school graduates with no college it’s about a 20 percent unemployment. If you look at [those with a] college degree, it’s 4 percent unemployment. Education does make a big difference and I think that’s a big issue.
Paul said school choice is hardly the only issue on which Republicans can connect with minorities.
Paul said he “thinks so” when asked if the black community is open to some changes in economic policy, since President Barack Obama’s policies have hurt so much. “There have been people in the past who have talked about opportunities,” Paul said.
Jack Kemp was one of the first who talked about trying to have enterprise zones and opportunity for everyone. I think there is an opening there to talk about how our policies will basically create more jobs and will allow so much more money to remain in the economy that millions of jobs will be created, and that your chance to enter into the middle class is really through policies that Republicans talk about.
On economic issues, Paul said Republicans do not need to change their policies, they just need to find a personal connection between GOP economic policies and black and Hispanic communities.
“We’re not changing our policies; I’m still talking about lower taxes, less regulation,” Paul said. “With the tax situations, several Republicans, particularly those in Washington, are all trapped into this revenue neutral tax reform.”
That’s not going to help anybody. Maybe you hire a few less accountants but you’re not going to get enormous stimulus for the economy. What we talk about is a flat tax, 17 percent corporate and personal, very few deductions. Very simple. But it would return about $600 billion to the economy; it would be a stimulus. It would create millions of jobs.
I think there are other issues such as justice… I think there have been eras in our past, and there still are, instances where the government hasn’t been fair to people of different ethnic groups; you can think of the Japanese-Americans in World War II, you can think of black Americans in 1920 but you can also think of black Americans in today’s world where they’re arrested at 4 to 5 times the rate and incarcerated at 4 to 5 times the rate for nonviolent drug crimes. I think a little bit more libertarian type of understanding of these things [may help]. I’ve been fighting against mandatory minimums which are mandatory sentences where the judge has no discretion. I’ve been fighting to look at things like whether or not there’s a father who’s been maybe convicted of a crime in the past whether or not some of these rights can be restored if these are nonviolent crimes. Many fathers will tell me they got behind on their child support, and that became a felony, and now they can’t visit their kids at school.”
The message does not stop with just school choice and economic empowerment issues, Paul added.