CHARLESTON — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul again visits early-voting S.C.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Monday it will be at least a year before he decides whether to enter the 2016 presidential race but warned that the Republican Party must better reflect the makeup of America for any GOP candidate to succeed.
We can win South Carolina for the next 50 years probably Kentucky too. But if you want to win Illinois or you want to win Ohio, or you want to win California or New York, we have to be a bigger party, the Kentucky Republican told about 75 people attending a party fundraiser in early-voting South Carolina.
We've got to look like the rest of America. We've got to do it with tattoos, without tattoos, with earrings, with ponytails, everybody, he said. We're going to have some disagreements, but we need more people in the party. And when we do that, we'll be the dominant party again.
Paul, a favorite of Tea Party and other conservative Republicans, is visiting South Carolina for the third time this year. He has also made recent trips to other early primary states -- Iowa and New Hampshire. South Carolina has the first GOP presidential primary in the South in 2016.
On Tuesday, Paul is scheduled to address cadets at The Citadel, South Carolina's military college.
Following the fundraiser, Paul told reporters he will likely stay out of the S.C. GOP Senate primary in which incumbent U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham faces four GOP challengers.