Rand Paul: We need ‘a new Republican Party’ — not small changes

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says in a new interview that the Republican Party needs an overhaul rather than minor changes.

“I think Republicans will not win again in my lifetime, for the presidency, unless they become a new GOP, a new Republican Party,” Paul said on Glenn Beck's show. “And it has to be a transformation -- not just a little tweaking at the edges.”

The tea party favorite said it's much more productive for people like him to refashion the GOP than to go the third-party route like his father, former congressman Ron Paul (Tex.), did early in his career. (Paul was the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 but later returned to the GOP and ran for that party's nomination twice.)

"I've been there, and I’ve worked for a third-party candidate -- a guy that was my dad," Paul said. "It’s very difficult. The laws are set against you.”

Paul said that the internal struggle in the GOP is healthy and that it's hardly unprecedented, noting the 1980 presidential primary between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

"The establishment wanted Ford," Paul said. "It was bitterly fought, but in the end, Reagan won, and the party became a better place, at least for a while. We need to have that debate again, and we need to be a bigger, stronger party.”

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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