WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Will a Republican reside in the White House anytime soon? According to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., that answer is no unless the party changes.
In an interview with The Blaze’s Glenn Beck Thursday, the possible 2016 presidential contender said he doesn’t believe the Republican Party will take back the White House in his lifetime until the party transforms itself.
“I think Republicans will not win again in my lifetime … unless they become a new GOP, a new Republican Party,” Paul said. “And it has to be a transformation. Not a little tweaking at the edges.”
Paul explained he’s not interested in forming a third party because the laws would be set against that party.
“I think that … you can transform a party,” Paul told The Blaze. “I’ve worked for a third party candidate, a guy that was my dad (former Rep. Ron Paul). It’s very difficult. The laws are set against you.”
Paul stated that there “is a struggle going on within the Republican Party.”
“I tell people it’s not new, and I’m not ashamed of it,” Paul said. “I’m proud of the fact that there is a struggle. And I will struggle to make the Republican Party a different party, a bigger party, a more diverse party, and a party that can win national elections again.”
Paul believes that can happen if Republicans begin reaching out to African-American and Hispanic communities.
“There are many people who are open among all these disaffected groups, who really aren’t steadfast supporters of Obama or an ideology,” Paul told The Blaze. “I think they’re open to listening, but we have to have a better message and a better presentation of it.”
On Wednesday, Paul sued the Obama administration over the National Security Agency’s mass collection of millions of Americans’ phone records.
The Kentucky senator said he and the conservative activist group FreedomWorks filed the suit for themselves and on behalf of “everyone in America that has a phone.”
The lawsuit argues that the bulk collection program that’s been in existence since 2006 violates the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. It calls for an end to the program, which was revealed by former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden.
The Obama administration maintains that the program, begun under President George W. Bush, is legal. Courts have largely sided with the government.
President Barack Obama has called for reforms to the program in an effort to regain public trust. Others, like Paul, have called for the end of this kind of surveillance.
Paul dodged a question about his presidential ambitions during a news conference Wednesday. But his lawsuit is the latest effort to propel the debate over the once-secret surveillance program into the 2016 presidential campaign.
The bulk collection program, which is authorized in Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, sweeps up what’s known as metadata for every phone call made in the U.S. It collects the number called, the number from which the call is made and the duration and time of the call.
The intelligence community says having this data is key to preventing terrorism. While there is little evidence the program has been integral in preventing an attack, the Obama administration argues that being able to rule out a U.S. connection is important because it provides “peace of mind.”
Paul’s suit cites arguments made in another lawsuit filed last year by conservative lawyer Larry Klayman. In response to Klayman’s suit, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that the bulk collection program was likely unconstitutional. It was the first time a judge did not side with the government on the issue.
Paul’s lawsuit was filed against Obama; Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; NSA Director Keith Alexander; and FBI Director James Comey.
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