DOVER, N.H. — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told New Hampshire Republicans Friday night that the key to winning the youth vote could come by appealing to them on privacy issues, arguing that one of his potential rivals — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — is vulnerable on the topic.
“They’ve all got a cell phone and they all think the government shouldn’t be looking at their cell phone or listening to their cell phone without a warrant. We get to the young people with privacy,” Paul said at an NH GOP rally at the Cottage by the Bay in Dover, N.H., Friday night.
“It’s not a conservative or Republican issue. It’s an area where we can connect with people who haven’t been connecting. Obama won the youth vote 3 to 1 but he’s losing them now. Hillary Clinton’s as bad or worse on all of these issues,” he said. “It’s a way we can transform and make the party bigger or even win again, but we’ve got to be as proud of the Fourth Amendment as much as we are the Second Amendment.”
In the wake of revelations about the NSA’s surveillance programs, Paul has made a concerted effort in recent months to speak to young people about privacy issues, recently delivering a speech at the University of California, Berkeley. The Kentucky Republican has also increased his outreach with African American voters, a constituency which typically gravitates towards Democratic candidates.
“Why are we losing the cities? Because we’re not getting the African American vote,” Paul said, noting he recently visited Detroit to outline a plan for helping the financially troubled city. “Don’t give up on that vote. Go after that vote.”
The Kentucky senator also asked New Hampshire Republicans to increase turnout in their state, joking that neighboring Massachusetts has a liberal influence on the Granite State.
“If we want to win though, we have to win states we haven’t been winning. New Hampshire’s one of them, so I expect you guys to do a better job. We used to always win New Hampshire,” he said. “Now somebody told me the real answer was building a fence between here and Massachusetts.”
Earlier this week, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who moved to New Hampshire late last year, announced his bid for senate in New Hampshire. Paul told reporters Friday that he will not endorse a candidate in the New Hampshire GOP primary this year.
Paul is among the potential 2016 hopefuls touring the Granite State this weekend. On Saturday, Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will take the stage at the Freedom Summit in Manchester, N.H., presented by conservative groups Citizen United and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.
Paul has not been shy in his flirtation with a 2016 run, and as he left the stage Friday night, a woman approached the senator and encouraged him to run for president.
“Good luck and we’ll vote for you,” the woman said. “So you have to run now.”
“You have to talk to my wife,” Paul said. “We have two votes in my household – one yes and one undecided. “