Politics

Rand Paul urges California GOP to try new tactics

File: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Aug. 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.
File: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks during the third day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Aug. 29, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is urging California Republicans to find new voters by embracing voting rights, reforming criminal drug sentences and talking to minorities.

He told the state party convention in Los Angeles on Saturday that those issues shouldn't be the purview of Democrats. He says when the Republican Party "looks like the rest of America" they'll win again.

Paul has been pushing a libertarian approach to expand the GOP's base this year ahead of a possible 2016 presidential bid.

Most of his address to about 400 people covered familiar turf for Paul, such as connecting with millennial voters on civil liberties issues.

He did not touch on his vote this week against President Barack Obama's legislation to authorize military involvement in Syria.

12:21 p.m. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has sought a broader audience this year as he's traveled the country ahead of a possible presidential bid in 2016. That includes pushing some fellow Republicans out of their comfort zone with his libertarian approach to expanding the base.

The son of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul drew scorn from some Republicans for meeting with students this spring at the liberal University of California, Berkeley. But he told conservatives that the GOP must evolve, adapt or die.

He's expected to bring that message to California Republicans at the party's convention Saturday in Los Angeles.

The effort to attract a new generation of Republicans has been fraught in Democratic-leaning California, and the GOP's registration has fallen to 28.5 percent.

This story has been updated.