Colbert King, Washington Post, April 8, 2013
With studies, research and the future hiring of outreach workers, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus wants to rebrand and market his party to important minority voting blocs that have voted heavily Democratic in the past.
Now, though, Sen. Rand Paul is beating Priebus to the punch.
On Wednesday morning, the conservative Kentucky Republican and tea party favorite will take his message of freedom and economic opportunity to the campus of Howard University in Washington. This will be Paul’s first visit to a historically black college or university, the senator told me in an interview today.
Paul said he wanted to get the ball rolling on a conversation that the GOP needs to have with African Americans. He said he also is “looking forward to hearing” from the audience as well.
Paul said he plans to talk about not only the history of GOP and African Americans but also issues on which the GOP and the students can find common ground — i.e. economic freedom and opportunity, civil liberties and criminal law reforms.
He expects he will have to discuss his conservative positions on spending, the size of government and taxation.
We will know soon enough how the audience in Howard’s School of Business auditorium will receive Paul and his message.
[Editor’s Note: During the Q&A section of today’s appearance, one student said, “You say you want to provide a government that leaves us alone; quite frankly, I don’t want that. I want a government that is going to help me.” More student reaction to the speech is available here and here.]