Rand Paul to GOP: Let's ‘agree to disagree’ on social issues

Greg Nash

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the Republican Party has to “agree to disagree” with new members on social issues in order to grow the party.

“I think that the Republican Party, in order to get bigger, will have to agree to disagree on social issues,” Paul said in an interview with vocativ.com published Friday. “The Republican Party is not going to give up on having quite a few people who do believe in traditional marriage. But the Republican Party also has to find a place for young people and others who don’t want to be festooned by those issues.”

Paul, a contender for the White House in 2016, has been pushing the GOP to broaden its appeal to young people and minorities, calling it critical for the party's future.

In the interview, Paul also tried to downplay fights with other Republicans. Asked if he would have preferred to endorse someone other than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the state’s Senate race, Paul said no.

“I’m happy with my endorsement, and I think Mitch McConnell is a good conservative.”

And on a recent war of words with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), he said, “I have sort of a Jeffersonian belief in unity, peace and commerce with all. That means we don’t devour our own. We try to find an area where we can stand for principle. But it also includes people you don’t agree with on every issue.”

Returning to social issues, Paul was asked about how his belief in individual liberty squared with letting states decide whether to ban gay marriage.

“On issues that are very contentious, that involve social mores — I think that allowing different parts of the country to make their decision based on the local mores and culture is a good idea,” he answered. “But when it comes to taxes and benefits, the [federal] government [ought] to take a neutral position.”

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