Out: Ron Paul revolution. In: Rand Paul evolution?
In the wake of Barack Obama’s reelection win and ahead of a possible 2016 White House bid of his own, the Kentucky Republican plans to mix his hard-line tea party conservatism with more moderate policies that could woo younger voters and minorities largely absent from the GOP coalition. It’s the latest tactic of the freshman senator to inject the Libertarian-minded views shared by his retiring father into mainstream Republican thinking as the party grapples with its future.
In an interview with POLITICO, Paul said he’ll return to Congress this week pushing measures long avoided by his party. He wants to work with liberal Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Republicans to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for pot possession. He wants to carve a compromise immigration plan with an “eventual path” to citizenship for illegal immigrants, a proposal he believes could be palatable to conservatives. And he believes his ideas — along with pushing for less U.S. military intervention in conflicts overseas — could help the GOP broaden its tent and appeal to crucial voting blocs that handed Democrats big wins in the West Coast, the Northeast and along the Great Lakes…
Paul plans to inject himself into the middle of the GOP’s emotional immigration debate in the wake of Romney losing swing states with heavy Latino populations like Florida, Colorado and Nevada. Paul is working on a novel plan that he says would “assimilate” many of the 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the country. Those individuals, he said, could apply for legal status, but immigration would then be clamped down in the interim. He also says his plan would toughen security at the border.