April 11, 2013
Contact:
Cara Philbin, NPR


   

SENATOR RAND PAUL DISCUSSES DRIVE TO RECONNECT REPUBLICANS
WITH MINORITY VOTERS ON NPR'S "TELL ME MORE" TODAY, APRIL 11

PAUL TELLS NPR NEWS THAT MINORITIES
"DON'T THINK THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY LIKES THEM"

AUDIO AVAILABLE AT APPROXIMATELY 3:00PM (ET) AT NPR.ORG

Today, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks with NPR Tell Me More host Michel Martin about the Republican Party's relationship with minority voters and how he believes the government can foster opportunity.

The full conversation airs in full today on Tell Me More (find local stations and broadcast times at www.npr.org/stations); audio will be available at approximately 3:00 PM (ET) on Thursday at NPR.org. Several excerpts follow:

On why he thinks the Republican Party fared poorly with minorities in the 2012 presidential election, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) says: "Maybe 30-40% of African-American voters do like Republican issues. I think they're just afraid, they don't think the Republican Party likes them. And so that's why I think we have our job cut out for us; to show up, to engage, to have a discussion."

On his drive to engage with minority voters, Paul says: "I think, in some ways, they [Republicans] have sort of given up and I'm here to say that the Republican Party, to be a national party, can't give up on any ethnic group and can't say to any ethnic group, 'We don't care about your vote.' We need to be out there competing for the African-American vote."

He continues: "I believe that our drug laws are too harsh, too long and unfair to minorities. These aren't things I say just because they might be popular at Howard, but I say them because I truly believe in them. And think these are issues that if it got out that not all Republicans weren't the same, that there were Republicans who were interested in issues like this, I think all of a sudden you will see some of the African-American vote saying 'You know what, we believe in economic opportunity, we think high taxes are not good for the economy, we just thought Republicans didn't like us for some other reason.'"

On what role he believes the government should play in American society, Paul says: "I think government does create opportunities in the sense that if you look at lawless parts of the world where there is no protection of property - where you can't protect your property in the name [sic] your property - you can't borrow against that property, so no capital develops and there is no capitalism and there is no marketplace. So the government does have a role; they are an arbiter. They are they the one who protects property; protects the sanctity and the name that goes and attaches to the house. They protect transactions. They protect commerce. There is a role for government."

Tell Me More with Michel Martin brings fresh voices and perspectives to public radio. The weekday one-hour program hosted by Michel Martin captures the headlines, issues and pleasures relevant to multicultural life in America. It is a production of NPR News in association with the African American Public Radio Consortium, representing independent public radio stations that serve predominantly black communities. To find local stations and broadcast times for the program, visit www.npr.org/stations