Rand Paul: GOP Must Get ‘Beyond Deportation’

Katie Glueck, Politico, April 1, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday argued the Republican Party needs to get “beyond deportation” in order to break through to Hispanic voters.

The Kentucky Republican and likely 2016 contender argued that before the GOP can make its case to the Latino community, which voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in 2012, the party needs to make clear it is open to a more welcoming approach to immigration.

“The bottom line is, the Hispanic community, the Latino community is not going to hear us until we get beyond that issue,” he said at a conservative event. {snip}

“They’re not going to care whether we go to the same church, or have the same values, or believe in the same kind of future of our country until we get beyond that. Showing up helps, but you got to show up and you got to say something, and it has to be different from what we’ve been saying.”

{snip}

“I think that what’s happened is, there is not the perception of empathy coming from the Republican Party that we care about where they’re coming from and we care about what their problems are,” he said of minorities at a conservative gathering at the Newseum. “Until we get to that point, they’re not going to listen to any of the next message. Are there many in the Latino community who go to church, believe in tradition values, are conservative? Yes. Maybe half, maybe 60 percent . . . there’s enormous upside potential . . . but you got to get the door ajar.”

One way to open that “door” to the Hispanic community, he said, is to offer reassurances that “Mrs. Garcia’s nephew is not going to be sent home to Mexico.”

While Paul opposed the comprehensive immigration reform package in the Senate last year, he has signaled that he supports other approaches to reform. His comments, which came at an event held by the conservative groups the American Principles Project and the Media Research Center, are part of the senator’s broader effort to expand the GOP base.

{snip}

Noting that the Republicans have messages that should resonate with the Hispanic community on subjects like education and the economy, he said, “We gotta get beyond deportation to get to the rest of the issues.”

His remarks came during the public launch of a new Media Research Center watchdog initiative, designed to ensure that Spanish-language media is unbiased. Paul was asked several times in a subsequent question-and-answer session about liberal bias. {snip}

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