Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said the Republican Party needs to be more “tolerant” if it wants to attract the younger voters that helped propel President Obama to a second term in office.
“I believe a Republican Party that is more tolerant and dedicated to keeping the government out of people’s lives as much as possible would be more appealing to the rising generation,” Paul said in an op-ed on the website PolicyMic.
“Most young people I encounter simply have no desire to tell other people what to do or how to live,” he added.
The op-ed was a response to criticism Paul received from some of his Republican colleagues over his filibuster last week of John Brennan's nomination for CIA director.
“There are blue parts of the country where Republicans haven’t fared well, and yes, a more libertarian-Republican might be able to start winning in those areas,” Paul wrote. “The youth vote could play an integral part in this. Young Americans — conservative, libertarian, independent — are as fed up with big government as their parents and grandparents. A Republican Party willing to address their unique concerns could build a new majority that might finally turn this country around.”
President Obama took 60 percent of the youth vote in 2012, compared to Mitt Romney at 36 percent. That’s less than the 66 percent Obama collected against McCain in 2008, but voters aged 18-29 made up a larger portion of the electorate in the last election cycle than ever before.
“We do need a Republican Party that addresses the concerns of young people,” Paul said. “We need a different kind of GOP, a party that speaks to the rising generation, who may have unique interests and concerns.”