CNN's Wolf Blitzer spoke to Sen. Rand Paul after he met with NAACP leaders in Ferguson, MO this Friday, and Paul talked a good game when it came to prison reform, our drug laws, restoring voting rights and the fact that the African American community is not sharing in the economic recovery that we're seeing with other segments of the population, and certainly not the one we've seen for Wall Street after the bailouts.
While I firmly believe that Democrats should be willing to work with the likes of Paul on issues they agree on, he needs to be called out when he turns to selling the same old Republican/Libertarian snake oil and their so-called "reforms" on economic policies that he was touting here.
The only solutions he and his ilk have for "job creation" is more trickle-down economics and pushing for tax cuts for those "job creators." We all know how well that's worked out for all of us in the past.
Here's how CNN covered the interview: What Rand Paul thinks is the 'biggest mistake' for GOP:
After meeting with NAACP leaders in Ferguson, Missouri, Sen. Rand Paul told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the Republicans Party's biggest mistake in recent decades has been not reaching out to African-American voters.
The Kentucky Republican, who said his meeting went "very well," said he laid out his views on demilitarizing police, reforming the criminal justice system and boosting urban economies.
"I don't want to characterize how everybody else feels about what I said, but I think it was a good opening to the conversation," Paul said in an interview set to air Friday. "I think in the Republican Party, the biggest mistake we've made in the last several decades is we haven't gone into the African American community, into the NAACP and say you know what, we are concerned about what's going on in your cities and we have plans. They may be different than the Democrats, but we do have plans and we do want to help."
According to his office, participants in the meeting included members of the NAACP, the Urban League and several local business and church leaders.
Paul was one of the most outspoken Republicans about the police response to protests that followed the August shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson.
Angry demonstrations erupted this week in St. Louis after another black teenager was fatally shot by a white police officer. Supporters of Brown were set to begin a weekend of marches and civil disobedience on Friday, dubbed the "Weekend of Resistance."
"There's a sense of tension and unease that goes beyond just the shootings. I think the shooting has brought this to the surface, but there's a sense of unease in the country," Paul told Blitzer.
"Black unemployment is twice white unemployment and has been for decade after decade," he added. "I know this president cares about trying to improve it but it hasn't gotten better."
Paul, who's seriously considering a run for president, discouraged violent reactions to the shootings, saying "violence gets nowhere, and it actually sends us backwards." He instead encouraged people to channel any anger into registering voters.
"Then you could have constructive change in the community," he continued, adding that the leaders of the community "realize that."
Asked by Blitzer if Paul thinks he could garner African American support in a run for president, Paul said Republicans "won't ever win again" unless they start competing for minority voters.
"We will not win again in our country because the country is a diverse country now," he said. "And we can't have one party that monopolizes the various ethnic group votes."
Paul said in the meeting he proposed his "economic freedom zones" plan, which would aim to give tax incentives and financial breaks to depressed areas and neighborhoods in large cities, with the ultimate goal of stimulating the economy and drawing in more business.
"By dramatically lowering taxes in a city like Ferguson, you would have more job opportunities, less tension, and less of sort of this problem that develops from crime," he said.
Yeah, that's the ticket. Let's lower taxes and we can have Republican Utopia like like we do in Kansas right now. Where's Rachel Maddow when you need her?
Blitzer could have called out Paul for his feigned concern for the African American community and whether anyone should take his words seriously about reaching out to those voters after his fiasco at Howard University last year.
It would also be fair to ask Paul about his sincerity on voting rights after he made comments like this earlier this year: Rand Paul: Democrats 'Unfairly Tarred' Republicans For Suppressing Black Voters.
Wolf Blitzer is always more worried about access than anything else, so we weren't going to see that happen here.