Rand Paul, George P. Bush talk Hispanic outreach
By: Katie Glueck
February 7, 2014 09:11 PM EST
DALLAS — Sen. Rand Paul on Friday met with George P. Bush, a rising star in Texas GOP politics, to discuss how to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal in diverse communities.
“Really I wanted to get advice from him, as much as anything, about how the party grows in Texas and states with large Hispanic populations,” Paul (R-Ky.) told POLITICO backstage after stumping for a state senate candidate here.
Bush recommended “showing up” in those communities, Paul said. The senator, who has said he is seriously considering a 2016 presidential bid, often talks about the importance of growing the Republican Party, and has made it a point to reach out to minority communities. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is running for land commissioner here, and as a Hispanic Republican — his mother is from Mexico — has been a vocal advocate for expanding the GOP tent.
“He’s very personable and I love to see the young faces, the new faces, maybe in the party,” Paul said of Bush. “I also think he brings a lot to the party as far as being a fluent Spanish speaker.”
Bush tweeted a picture of the pair, adding, “Great to visit w/ @senrandpaul regarding the bright future for the GOP.”
Paul’s comments came after a speech at the Frontiers of Flight museum, where he threw himself into a hotly contested GOP state senate primary by campaigning for a tea party-backed candidate, Don Huffines, a real estate developer who has known the Paul family for decades.
“The Huffines family has always stood with the Paul family,” he said before delving into one of his standard speeches in which he skewered wasteful spending. “The Paul family stands with the Huffines family.”
Paul spoke to a flag-waving, enthusiastic audience, several of whom sported cowboy hats, before they tucked into a barbecue dinner.
Huffines, a libertarian-leaning candidate, is challenging moderate incumbent state senator John Carona. The race is seen in Texas as a test for the tea party, and is relatively high-profile for a state senate contest.
Paul has endorsed in U.S. Senate contests, but hasn’t gotten involved in many local races outside of Kentucky.
After his speech, Huffines said in an interview that he was a big supporter of the senator’s father — former presidential hopeful and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a libertarian firebrand — and is proud to support his son.
The elder Paul was invoked several times throughout the evening as a son of the Lone Star State and champion of liberty.
A speaker introducing Paul noted, “There’s some love for the Constitution in that family.”