Rand Paul: ‘The Biggest Mistake We’ve Made’ As GOP Is Not Reaching Black Voters

It is a well known fact that the Democratic Party has long held sway within the African-American populous. There have been some successful African Americans within the Republican Party, such as former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma and former Lt. Gov. Michael Steel of Maryland. But for the most part, statistics during each election cycle show the Democrats garnering the largest number of votes among African Americans.

But U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said during a recent CNN interview that his party’s lack of effort to reach out to black voters was its biggest mistake, according to Mediaite.

“I don’t want to characterize how everybody else feels about what I said, but I think it was a good opening to the conversation…. I think in the Republican Party, the biggest mistake we’ve made in the last several decades is we haven’t gone into the African American community, into the NAACP and say you know what, we are concerned about what’s going on in your cities and we have plans. They may be different than the Democrats, but we do have plans and we do want to help.”

Rand Paul’s statement about black voters and the Republican Party is nothing new, as he has taken the message from coast to coast in the run up to an expected run for president in 2016. But Rand Paul’s comments to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer directly addressed something many Republicans have not touched, and that is the difference between unemployment and other statistics when comparing the Caucasian and African American populations in the United States.

Rand Paul’s comments touched on unemployment, with the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown hanging over the conversation between he and Blitzer.

“There’s a sense of tension and unease that goes beyond just the shootings…. I think the shooting has brought this to the surface, but there’s a sense of unease in the country. Black unemployment is twice white unemployment and has been for decade after decade. I know this president cares about trying to improve it but it hasn’t gotten better.”

But in spite of Rand Paul’s comments on GOP efforts with black voters, The Raw Story points out Paul’s own problems in reaching out to the community that he has made such a priority. The website noted a few incidents, namely a 2013 speech at Howard University that TRS said was called “tone deaf” by his critics.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]