Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) clarified Tuesday that he doesn’t oppose his party’s voter ID efforts — he just thinks the GOP shouldn’t emphasize the issue.
“There’s nothing wrong with it … I don’t really object to having some rules with how we vote,” Paul said on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s radio show.
The Kentucky Republican had appeared to distance himself from the party’s voter ID efforts Friday in an interview with the New York Times.
“I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people,” he told the newspaper.
Paul told Hannity that he thought the reaction to his New York Times interview was “overblown.” The country’s drug policies have a restrictive effect on the minority vote, he said, while the GOP’s voter ID efforts may not.
Paul added that if the Republican Party is making voter ID a “central theme and issue,” his colleagues must be sensitive to how some minority voters will perceive those efforts as an attempt to shut them out of the voting process.
“I’m trying to go out and say to African-Americans ‘I want your vote, and the Republican Party wants your vote’ … we have to be aware that the perception is out there and be careful about not so overdoing something that we further alienate a block of people that we need to attract,” he said.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.