Republican presidential candidate (and current U.S. senator from Kentucky) Rand Paul was one of the first GOP politicians to engage in minority outreach after the 2012 Presidential Election. He spoke at Howard University, tried to push the idea for “Economic Freedom Zones” in Black neighborhoods and even took up a bill with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker making life easier for juveniles who were arrested for non-violent drug offenses. However, this latest move might not be the smartest thing to do if you’re attempting to reach out to Black voters (courtesy of POLTICO):
“The Nevada rancher said that he had expected only to have an opportunity to shake hands with Paul and make small-talk. He was surprised when campaign aides found a private room and allowed Bundy, his wife and son to speak with the candidate for the better part of an hour.
According to Bundy, the two mainly discussed federal land oversight and states’ rights, in addition to education policy — a theme Paul brought up in his speech…
Bundy said that in their private meeting, Paul brought up the work of the American Lands Council, which raises money from groups like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity to wrestle land from the federal government and return it to the states via negotiations, legislation and litigation.” (H/T Adam B. Lerner)
Now, if you’re not a political news junkie and do not remember who Cliven Bundy is, this YouTube video might help jog your memory:
Choice quote: “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro… And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom.”
So, is Cliven Bundy trying to rebrand himself alongside the GOP? Will the duo engage in minority outreach together? All kidding aside, this was the opposite of a smart move. In fact, this may have been a very dumb move. Even for Senator Paul.