With less than a week before the midterms, Sen. Rand Paul committed what some viewed as a gaffe when he likened the Republican Party to Domino’s Pizza and said that the GOP’s brand “sucks.” Party leaders must have gasped at the comment given that Paul had been trotted around the country to campaign for candidates in more than 30 states, but he doubled down on the comments on three Sunday talk shows.
CBS’ Bob Schieffer said his words were “a pretty unusual rallying cry in an election year,” but Paul answered that it’s time to fix the party’s brand because it just can’t attract the voters it needs to. “Our brand is broken,” said Paul. “I don’t think what we stand for is bad,” he added. The problem is that “we have a wall, or a barrier, between us and African-American voters.”
It may be that Paul was so confident in the polling numbers that show Republicans are expected to take the Senate Tuesday that he decided to use the national attention to lay the foundation for his anticipated 2016 run.
I wrote about Paul’s criticism today at The Atlantic:
On NBC’s Meet the Press, Paul, who is not up for re-election this cycle, said the Republicans’ fixation on voter ID laws is “dumb” because it alienates the very people the GOP has said it needs to attract: youth, minorities, and poor Americans.
“It doesn’t mean that I think it’s unreasonable,” Paul said of the laws that Republicans claim are necessary to prevent voter fraud. “I just think it’s a dumb idea for Republicans to emphasize this and say, ‘This is how we are going to win the elections.'”