Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky likened the Republican party to Domino’s Pizza this week during a swing through Detroit, declaring that the GOP brand “sucks” as he tries to make it more palatable to minority groups.
“Remember Domino’s Pizza? They admitted, ‘Hey, our pizza crust sucks.’ The Republican Party brand sucks and so people don’t want to be a Republican and for 80 years, African-Americans have had nothing to do with Republicans,” Mr. Paul said at a GOP field office in Sherwood Forest, a neighborhood in Detroit, according to the Hill.
“We’re also fighting 40 years of us doing a crappy job, of Republicans not trying at all for 40 years, so it’s a lot of overcoming,” he said. “You got to show up, you got to have something to say and really we just have to emphasize that we’re trying to do something different.”
Mr. Paul, who is openly toying with a 2016 presidential run, has tried to actively engage with the African-American community in an attempt to make Republicans more appealing to black voters, opening up offices in places like Detroit and traveling to Ferguson, Mo. in the wake of the shooting death over the summer of a black man by a white police officer that ignited racial tensions in the region and across the country.
“If we show up in communities where we haven’t been showing up … we’re going to win votes like we’ve never won before,” Mr. Paul told Oakland County Republicans at a separate gathering, according to the Detroit Free Press, saying it’s not just about getting votes but is “the right thing to do.”
Responding to the remarks, Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer says he’s proud of the party and what has been doing over the past several years to reach out to African-American and minority voters “and I think we’re starting to take steps in the right direction.”
He said Mr. Paul, along with Republicans like Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Gov. John Kasich in Ohio, U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie in Virginia, and Rep. Cory Gardner, running for U.S. Senate in Colorado, has engaged in outreach to minority communities.
“Do we have a ways to go? Absolutely. Are we perfect? No,” Mr. Spicer said on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.” “But I think in the last two years, this party, under the current chairman, [has] shown that we’re going to places, we’re taking a conservative message to places we haven’t gone in the past and I think it’s going to pay dividends in the long run. It may not be huge in the next election, but we’re going to make small, incremental steps forward.”