For the last year Rand Paul has tried to remake himself to project an image that will appeal to minorities, often with less than ideal results such as when he spoke at the launch of the GOP’s African-American Engagement Office in Detroit last December where the audience was mostly white.
On Wednesday he returned to Detroit for yet another attempt at winning over the minority vote, speaking at the Michigan GOP field office in Sherwood Forest, a predominately African-American suburb candidly admitting that “the Republican Party brand sucks.”
“Remember Domino’s Pizza?” he asked, resurrecting an analogy he made during an appearance at UC Berkeley. “They admitted, ‘Hey, our pizza crust sucks.’ The Republican Party brand sucks and so people don’t want to be a Republican.”
He went on to say that the party is also trying to overcome “40 years of…doing a crappy job” and no one in the party even trying to do something to reach out to minorities.
Paul has sponsored several bills addressing concerns of African-Americans such as the criminal justice system where laws tend to be designed in such a way as to have a greater impact on the African-American community.
One of those bills is the Redeem Act, co-sponsored by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), which would help juveniles with criminal records get jobs and avoid becoming trapped in the criminal justice system for life.
Two other bills Paul has introduced would allow judges more latitude in sentencing and end the discrepancy between the punishments for crack and powdered cocaine.
“We look at incarceration and we see a disproportionate number of people of color in jail and then when we see statistics on drug use, it seems to be about equal among all the different races,” Paul said. “Blacks and Hispanics seem to populate our jails more.”
In the spring of 2013 in a less than spectacular outreach attempt at Howard University the man who is now blaming other Republicans for the inability of the party to attract blacks Paul said:
“Democrats still promise unlimited federal assistance and Republicans promise free markets, low taxes and less regulations that we believe will create more jobs.”
The message there, of course, is that Blacks are willing to sit back and do nothing as long as Uncle Sam keeps the welfare checks coming — hardly the way to make new friends.