Rand Paul wants influence in growing the GOP

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Republican Party has to 'learn how to grow again'

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 6:04 pm

WASHINGTON – After drawing national attention with his 13-hour filibuster on the government’s use of drones, Sen. Rand Paul has emerged as a potential new leader of the Republican Party.

But he told WTOP Thursday morning that he doesn’t necessarily see himself in that position.

“I don’t know. I think it’s presumptuous, you know, to call oneself the leader of anything, but I do want to have influence in growing the party, getting us to a broader base of a population that is interested in the Republican Party,” says Paul, R-Ky.

Paul says one of the goals of the Republican Party should be to break through on some of the issues that have prevented people from taking the party “more seriously.”

“I think a lot of people are fiscally conservative and think we should do a better job with freeing up markets and less regulation, but they may be turned off by some other issues,” he says.

When asked if the party was ready for him to run in the 2016 presidential election, Paul didn’t answer directly but said there are a lot of “young voices” in the House and Senate.

He specifically mentioned Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

No matter who emerges as the leader, Paul says the Republican Party is going to have some “growing pains” in the next election and will have to learn how to grow again.

“Basically, we need to learn how to be competitive in California, New York, Illinois — a lot of these states that in the presidential election at least we sort have given up on,” he says. “We ran, you know, 300 gazillion ads in Ohio, but we can’t always depend on trying to win one state for the presidency.”

Paul also discussed his stance on drones. For the full interview, listen to the audio above.

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