Rand: The Republican Brand 'Sucks'

Senator Rand Paul is the only presidential candidate marketing a liberty agenda beyond the traditional GOP constituent groups.  In his new book released yesterday, Senator Paul reveals some things about himself not usually associated with "being a Republican." It's refreshing to hear someone make the case for issues that are traditionally accepted as the domain of the left and do it from a perspective of liberty. After all, one probably isn't going to win the presidency just giving some speeches in Spanish and calling it outreach.

Paul describes himself as a tree-hugger who believes in clean air and clean water. "Paul notes that he has planted giant sequoias in his yard and repurposed old trees used for a fort to build compost bins."

"None of this is at odds with wanting out government to be smaller, with wanting our regulatory bodies to protect both our land and water," Paul wrote in his third book, "Taking a Stand: Moving beyond partisan politics to unite America."

"It boggles my mind to think that somehow Republicans have been branded as a party that doesn't like the environment," he said, pointing to avowed conservationist Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

The Kentucky Senator says the Republican party is "broken" and scares away minority voters.

"Right now, the Republican brand sucks. I promised Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, that I would stop saying the GOP sucks, and I will (except for this last time)," Paul writes. "I believe the Republican Party and minorities have common ground."

And Paul has walked the walk, speaking at historically black colleges like Howard University and taken on the issue of criminal justice reform.

Will Paul's efforts work? Are people outside the usual reach of the GOP ready to listen to some alternatives beyond a check from the government? It remains to be seen. But in a time when the GOP continues to move toward bigger and bigger government, it's good to have someone keeping an eye on liberty among the line-up of presidential contenders.