Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says the GOP must expand its base into a broader coalition that welcomes diversity if it wants to win national elections.
Paul, a possible 2016 presidential hopeful, addressed the Maine Republican Party convention on Saturday.
Matching with this year's convention theme of "unity," Paul told the crowd that Republicans must extend a hand to groups that the country has mistreated.
"If we want to want to have a bigger party, we have to show concern for those who aren't doing very well: the long-term unemployed ... lose who live in poverty, those who live in big cities," he said.
Paul emphasized the need to attract more minorities, women, and young people to the Republican ranks.
He went on to shoot down reports that Republicans are entering defining elections as a divided party.
"This doesn't look like division to me," Paul said to a standing ovation from the Maine GOP. "I see unity and I smell victory."
He added that in order to move forward the GOP cannot be the party tied to corporate welfare, and criticized government waste and overspending.