U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, who is mulling a presidential run, said today that he’s set out to bring more African Americans into the Republican party and Chicago wasn’t a bad place to start.
Paul said Chicago could be eligible for $1 billion in funding if legislation he’s proposed passes. The proposal would allow development of economic centers in qualifying cities, he said.
“I think it’s all issue-oriented. People say, well we’re going to go out and get the African American. Well, that’s all good and well you have to have something to say I don’t look at it and say, try to get a certain ethnic group. I look at it as Chicago. We do abysmally in Chicago. Let’s try to get some people who live in Chicago to think about Republicans,” Paul said after talking about school choice in a roundtable at Josephinum Academy, a Catholic preparatory high school for young women.
“We will also be talking to some community leaders, from the African American community later today and we’ll talk about economic development zones. Chicago would qualify as an economic development zone. If we would allow my bill to pass, it would bring over $1 billion to Chicago. This would be Chicago bailing out Chicago. This would be creating jobs.”
Paul said Republicans need to reach out more into big cities and blamed Democrats for doing little to assist its voting base.
“I don’t think the Democrats have anything to offer. I think they are so believers that every African American in the country is voting Democrat no matter what. That it’s our vote and we don’t have to do anything,” Paul said. “I think what we’re going to find out this year is that we do have issues that appeal. We’re going to talk about issues that may give people a chance to open up and give us a second look.”