Rand Paul ramps up outreach to African-American community

But other members of the Congressional Black Caucus insist Paul cannot overcome ingrained antipathy toward the GOP, which they say has been made worse by its sustained assault on the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Paul was not invited to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual legislative conference, which begins Wednesday.

“You’re looking not just at the candidate, but you’re looking at the party and the party’s practices and its principles overall. It’s mostly the Republican Party that has been pushing the limits on federal voting rights, the federal voter ID law and eliminating early voting. Those things that would free and help folks to vote,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).

“The things that he would have to do to get a Republican nomination are the very things that would prevent the black folks from supporting him,” he added.

In 2010, Paul attracted controversy for remarks he made about the Civil Rights Act in relation to property rights. Paul has since said his comments were misconstrued.