His presidential announcement drew lots of cheers. Some supporters applaud Kentucky Senator Rand Paul for reaching out to younger voters and the African-American community. But will the effort work when the primaries start next year?
On Tuesday, Sen. Paul reached out to the crowd in, and outside the Galt House in Louisville.
But Rhondalyn Randolph of the Owensboro NAACP says while Paul was being more inclusive, he may have missed his target.
“He really did not speak on things that affect the everyday lives of minority people and what impacts them or impacts their success in their communities,” she says.
Randolph thinks Paul should have touched on improving education, which she says could help the economy.
“One important factor is ensuring the education level and the resources that are needed to implement these programs are readily accessible, that you have an educated workforce,” Randolph adds.
“He’s trying to make it a larger arena,” says Kentucky Wesleyan Political Science Professor Dr. Bill Conroy. He says while Paul’s reaching out to non-traditional Republican groups, he’ll still need the party’s base.
“For the general election, reaching out to those constituencies could be an excellent strategy. The question is will he alienate people on the way in his own base to get the nomination,” says Conroy.
“Only time will tell on that,” adds Randolph.
In a statement, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz questioned Senator Paul’s outreach to minority communities, asking “How can Rand Paul seek to broaden Republicans’ appeal when he has voiced opposition to the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, and opposed comprehensive immigration reform, written a budget slashing Pell Grants, belittled LGBT rights, and introduced bills to take women’s health care decisions out of their hands?”