Rand Paul: GOP needs to 'get beyond deportation'
April 1st, 2014
03:12 PM ET
8 months ago

Rand Paul: GOP needs to 'get beyond deportation'

(CNN) – Rand Paul said Tuesday it's critical for Republicans to broaden their message on immigration to the Latino community if the party is going to have a chance at gaining support from the politically imperative group in future elections.

"We're not just the party of deportation. We got to get beyond deportation to get to the rest of the issues," the senator from Kentucky said at a Latino media forum in Washington.

Paul, a potential 2016 contender, has been open about his presidential ambitions.

This year, Paul has taken his libertarian-leaning message to longtime Democratic strongholds, pushing for a more inclusive Republican Party in the wake of President Obama's 2012 re-election victory over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Seventy-one percent of Latinos voted for Obama in the last election, compared to 27% for Romney - a lower percentage than Republican nominees received in the previous three elections. Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the United States, making up 16% of the nation's population and, in 2012, the group made up 10% of the electorate, hitting the double-digits for the first time ever.

Paul laid out a two-pronged approach for the GOP to attract Latino voters - "One, you have to show up. And then secondly, you have to have something to say."

"I think that what's happened is that there is not the perception of empathy from the Republican Party, that we care about where they're coming from and we care about what their problems are," he said. "Until we get to that point, they're not going to listen to any of the next message."

Polls: Public's immigration priorities changing

Despite his calls for Republicans to reach out to Latino voters and work on immigration issues, Paul opposed a bipartisan bill on immigration reform that passed the Senate last year. At the forum, Paul said he voted against the bill because it still makes it illegal for workers with legal visas to switch jobs.

Republicans have been critical of the White House's immigration policy. A 2012 decision by the Obama administration to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children if they meet certain requirements earned praise from many Latino groups, but drew outrage from some Republicans who said the position amounts to amnesty.

Still, Obama's administration has come under fire from activists who criticize the President as "deporter in chief" for overseeing a rise in deportations.

Last month, Obama ordered Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson to conduct a review of enforcement policies to find better ways of administering current immigration law.

House Speaker John Boehner signaled immigration reform was unlikely to happen this year, given the divide in the GOP-controlled House over how to deal with some 11 million undocumented workers as well as general distrust among Republicans of Obama to enforce existing immigration laws.

Beyond immigration, Paul argued that his party needs to push back against some perceptions that Republican policies are focused solely on helping wealthy Americans.

"If you go into the African-American community or into the Latino community, they think Republicans are a bunch of rich white people," he said. "But it's not only just a race or ethnic base, it's also sort of working class. You go to the working class, they think, 'Oh conservatives are just a bunch of rich people. They don't care about people like me.'"

Paul said Democrats' group-oriented political tactics have trumped the GOP in picking up Latino and African-American votes. But, he argued, Democrats have taken those votes granted, providing an opportunity for Republicans to reach out to the historically liberal voting blocs.

"I think the Democrats have also taken the votes for granted, particularly the African-American vote. They just say, 'It's ours. We don't even have to do anything to get that vote,'" he said.

Tuesday's forum, held at the Newseum in Washington marked the launch of MRC Latino, the first-ever Spanish-language media watchdog. It was sponsored by conservative groups Media Research Center and American Principles Project.


Filed under: Immigration • Rand Paul
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. tom l

    Another example of how Rand Paul breaks free from the repubs.

    April 1, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Please Rand I would like to hear how you feel about the Civil Rights movement? And what exactly is your stance on discrimination??

    April 1, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    How about getting beyond hypocrisy?

    You know, like championing Hobby Lobby and their quest to push their religious beliefs on their employees, claiming Obamacare violates its "Christian principles" when HL has no problem investing retirement funds in companies that manufacture contraceptive devices and drugs used in abortions – and has no problem buying products from China, were female infanticide is still widely practiced, despite the formal lifting of the "one-child" policy?

    April 1, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    If you go into the African-American community or into the Latino community, they think Republicans are a bunch of rich white people," he said. "But it's not only just a race or ethnic base, it's also sort of working class. You go to the working class, they think, 'Oh conservatives are just a bunch of rich people. They don't care about people like me.'"
    ------------------------
    Just a bunch of rich white people? Somehow, I don't think that money is what would be first and foremost on their minds? Would someone mind pointing out to Mister Paul that he's forgotten all about the rampant racism in the Republican Party that seems to keep raising its' head up where all can see it? In fact, remind Mister Paul that his negative comments towards the Civil Rights Act means that he fits the stereotype of a Republican....and you don't have to be a minority to see it, either.

    April 1, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Pat

    That's right Paul, tell them what they need to hear. It's election time.
    Do like Scott Walker, say just what the voters want to hear until after the election.

    April 1, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "But it's not only just a race or ethnic base, it's also sort of working class. You go to the working class, they think, 'Oh conservatives are just a bunch of rich people. They don't care about people like me.'"

    God, but this man can mimic conversations to suit himself. Beyond that .... ?

    April 1, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. tom l

    @Wake Up,
    I can answer that for him. He feels that people should have the right to be racists if they want and should not be compelled by the govt to do anything that is not illegal nor harmful to others. If a business wants to exclude whites or gays or Jews or Hispanics or whomever than that's their right in a free country but those businesses will also suffer the ramifications for their actions. You can try to twist that all you want but he is standing on principle. It's time we get passed this stuff. We have moved on as a nation and while there still is racism here, it will never go away entirely and we have progressed as a country on this issue so far that he doesn't believe we need special language. Does he agree with their thoughts on racism? No, not at all. In fact, he feels that there is no reason for race to be discussed in any way. It should be the merits of the individual. If you feel that there should be a determination based solely on race, I would submit that it is you that is more concerned about race than he.

    April 1, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    How about getting beyond out-and-out lying?

    For example, you righties love to yammer on about how Obamacare is a government take-over of healthcare, when all the policies are offered and sold by free-market insurance companies, who are loving all the new customers and who decide which doctors/hospitals are in their networks (complain to THEM if you have to switch docs, not the President!).

    April 1, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    How about telling the birthers to shut up already?

    If President Obama had been born in Kenya, the gop and it's 1000s of lawyers and millions of dollars would have proven it in a court of law back when they wanted McCain (and then later, Mittens) to win. Anyone with half a functioning brain cell knows this – and yet the gop/tea bags have no qualms keeping this "issue" alive because they know they can use it to get their low-information base to continue opening their wallets ...

    April 1, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Talk is cheap, Rand. You really need to stand for something other than your phones sound bites.

    April 1, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    How about starting with the truth on how the funding for the Obamacare subsidies work?

    Rant, you and your gop/tea bag/liberatrians buddies all know that the cost is covered by a combination of cuts to Medicare overpayments to private insurers, cuts to the growth rate of Medicare reimbursement to hospitals, taxes on companies that stand to benefit from Obamacare (such as medical device makers and insurance companies), and a tax increase on the top 2%.

    This means that unless a person's household is making about $250,000/year, their tax dollars are not marked for the subsidy program. Also, the federal income taxes for the rest of us have not gone up to pay for Obamacare.

    Why no mention of these facts?

    April 1, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Bill from GA

    So, if you are doing it just to gain the support of the Hispanic community, doesn't that make you a gutless hypocrite?
    And, do you really expect them to trust you, and support you, when you come right out and admit that that is the only reason?

    April 1, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "as well as general distrust among Republicans of Obama to enforce existing immigration laws."

    as well as delusional distrust among Republicans of Obama to enforce existing immigration laws, because they refuse to accept any facts that contradict their position and need to fabricate crap to be "concerned" about in order to justify their abhorrent and cowardly refusal to allow a vote on the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill.

    April 1, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Rant, the problem isn't getting beyond deportation; the problem is the gop/tea bags need to get beyond lies, fear, anger, hatred and division for everyone and everything that isn't exactly like THEM.

    For a bunch of fools spouting off about "liberty" and "freedom," you sure are a bunch of co-dependent, whiny control freaks.

    April 1, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "a business wants to exclude whites or gays or Jews or Hispanics or whomever than that's their right in a free country but those businesses will also suffer the ramifications for their actions."

    Yeah, there's no societal harm and no damage to the public good if we just let that kind of crap exist. Note to libertarian morons: we tried it that way already and it was horribly damaging to society and the public welfare, not leastwise because it encourages and helps that racism spread, so we learned not to allow it. Do try to keep up, eh? History's lessons don't become moot just because you think it'll all go down in a different way that it did the first time if we start repeating the mistakes of the past.

    April 1, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Bill from GA

    " Republicans are a bunch of rich white people "

    I think republicans are just as likely to be ignorant, low-skilled workers, half of them on food stamps, but too stupid to realize that there are issues more important to their (and their family's) life that God and Guns. Oh, yeah, and abortion.

    They don't have enough sense to vote for someone who will try to make our country better, plus the fact that a lot of the dems aren't a whole lot better.

    April 1, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    ""I think that what's happened is that there is not the perception of empathy from the Republican Party, that we care about where they're coming from and we care about what their problems are,"

    BIG FAT HINT NO. 9,432,748: That's because you don't...

    Not to mention that the GOP/Teatrolls' policies are designed to "just happen to" harm minorities more than everyone else. Yeah, disparate impact is just a "coincidence." Uh huh. And it's "just a coincidence" that minorities can't stand the GOP/Teatrolls and their policies, so if you just go to their communities and tell them all about why you do things like try to make it harder for them to vote, they'll all have a giant conservative epiphany and come flocking to the GOP/Teatrolls. HA! "conservative epiphany" might be the oxymoron of the year.

    April 1, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein

    The GOP/teapublicans/conservatives haven't shown me what they plan on doing differently. If they keep saying no without offering a plan that is based on what has happened, then I see little reason to believe that they will do the better job.

    April 1, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    tom l

    @Wake Up,
    I can answer that for him. He feels that people should have the right to be racists if they want and should not be compelled by the govt to do anything that is not illegal nor harmful to others. If a business wants to exclude whites or gays or Jews or Hispanics or whomever than that's their right in a free country but those businesses will also suffer the ramifications for their actions. You can try to twist that all you want but he is standing on principle.

    It's time we get passed this stuff. We have moved on as a nation and while there still is racism here, it will never go away entirely and we have progressed as a country on this issue so far that he doesn't believe we need special language. Does he agree with their thoughts on racism? No, not at all. In fact, he feels that there is no reason for race to be discussed in any way. It should be the merits of the individual. If you feel that there should be a determination based solely on race, I would submit that it is you that is more concerned about race than he.
    -------------------------
    You're defending a man who feels that there should be determinations made based solely on race. I should also point out that your words and opinions on Paul mean absolutely nothing. Those are your opinions, with no basis in any statements that I've known to come from Rand Paul.

    The founding of this country was defined by the belief that all men area created equal. To not want to enforce laws that defend that principle, to allow for and advocate for allowing people to treat people as inequals and second class citizens is about as un-American as you can get. Coming from someone who claims to defend and believe in the U.S. Constitution, his hypocritic beliefs are about as unconstitutional that you can possibly get.

    It's unfortunate that I'm picking on another Republican, but that's just the way it goes. If Paul were so independent of the Republican Party, then why is it that he has a "R" behind his name, instead of "I" or an "L"? It's because the classic libertarian has more in common with today's liberals than they do with today's conservatives, which Paul does.

    The jury has already reached a verdict on Rand Paul, based upon his own testimony. Paul is doing nothing more than shake the Etch A Sketch, and paint a new picture of himself. Well, he's still a pig wearing lipstick.

    April 1, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Hector Slagg

    Well,
    I'm not sure the American People are going to give it to Blackmail. The Non Citizens here are going to have a hard road to travel with or without deportation. American People who are out of a job have little sympathy for illegals. As long as the Liberal mindset runs the country the economic situation isn't likely to improve. Some of you need to take a Vacation. I think Niagara Falls is thawed out now. Go for a visit. Take a barrel.

    April 1, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    The GOP , already trying to change the subject because they can see the hand writing on the wall. The ACA is becoming a SUCCESS and the GOP party of STUPID continues to be STUPID with no ANSWERS but their one trick pony ANTI HEALTHCARE agenda. My son got a Florida blue cross SILVER policy for 62.00 while the GOP governors continue to deprive their citizens of medicade or regular insurance, vote the GOP OUT in November and get health insurance like the rest of us!!!!!! GOP governors OUT starting with SCOTT!!!!!!

    April 1, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Chris-E...al

    Dems are the PPL that wore the white klan hoods and are not doing nothing but use 0bama as a decoy for your vote . Why they are the ones that look down on black folk !

    April 1, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Sen Rand Paul is a lonely voice crying out in the wilderness. Do not expect Tea Partiers and conservative purists to heed his warnings. They rather go down fighting when Republicans make up less than 30 percent of registered voters. The Republican national brand will be reduced to a regional brand made up of a small number of red states.

    April 1, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    The GOP had their chance with Ron Paul, and they blew it. The guy brought in the youth vote in droves.

    April 1, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. tom l

    I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form. I would never belong to any club that excluded anybody for race. We still do have private clubs in America that can discriminate based on race.

    "But I think what's important in this debate is not getting into any specific "gotcha" on this, but asking the question 'What about freedom of speech?' Should we limit speech from people we find abhorrent. Should we limit racists from speaking. I don't want to be associated with those people, but I also don't want to limit their speech in any way in the sense that we tolerate boorish and uncivilized behavior because that's one of the things that freedom requires is that we allow people to be boorish and uncivilized, but that doesn't mean we approve of it..."

    Rand Paul said that. And when did Rand Paul endorse that there should be determinations made based solely on race. I think that must be a typo. That just makes no sense. Based on what you say, then why is there a BCA (Black Coaches Association) or the Black Congressional Caucus? Aren't those discriminatory in nature. We have got to move forward. There has been way too much progress to keep bringing up this issue. Do we still have racism here? Of course. It will never be eradicated no matter how much legislation. In fact, that will probably deepen the moronic view of a racist because they will dig their heals in rather than be told what to do by the govt. The process that will work and has worked is education and experience. No one, certainly not me, is saying that all men aren't created equal. In fact, I don't need legislation for that because I know that.

    And to call him an etch a sketch just furthers your bitter partisanship. He is wholly consistent and has been ever since he was elected. Just look at how he was against the Patriot Act when he first came in to congress and complained about the debate being ended by republicans. You just can't get past the partisanship and look at the person for what he says and has been saying. You are the bitter partisan. It's time to move forward.

    April 1, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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