Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky who is widely thought to be gearing up for a presidential bid, spoke with CNN from Ferguson, Missouri, on Friday evening, and he claimed that the GOP's "biggest mistake" in recent history is a racial blunder.
“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," Paul said. "They may be different than the Democrats, but we do have plans and we do want to help.”
Paul implicitly acknowledged the electoral stranglehold Democrats have over urban areas (and the black vote in particular) but he argued that the country would be better off if Republicans fought for votes in unfriendly territory.
"If both parties are competing for votes, if both parties are bringing alternative ideas to the cities then maybe some good will happen," Paul said.
Paul also took the opportunity to note some positions he holds in common with the NAACP, including ending mandatory drug sentencing and supporting job training for nonviolent drug offenders.
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