(CNSNews.com) -- Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a potential presidential contender in 2016, said that for the Republican Party to grow and recruit more young people, it must “agree to disagree on social issues,” specifically homosexual “marriage.”
Paul also said he was happy with his endorsement of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the Kentucky GOP senatorial primary, adding that McConnell “is a good conservative.”
Paul made his remarks, as published on Mar. 14, in an interview with Vocativ.com, which was carried by GoPride.com, a portal for LGBT news and networking.
In the exchange, the reporter said, “There was a consensus among young people at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC] that the GOP needs to get out of social issues. Do you agree?”
Paul said, “I think it’s partly that. But I also think young people are very concerned with privacy. …”
The reporter then asked, “Right. But it seems what they’re saying is that the Republican Party should stay out of issues like gay marriage.”
Paul said, “I think that the Republican Party, in order to get bigger, will have to agree to disagree on social issues. The Republican Party is not going to give up on having quite a few people who do believe in traditional marriage. But the Republican Party also has to find a place for young people and others who don’t want to be festooned by those issues.”
A source in Paul’s office said that his agree-to-disagree statement was in reference to same-sex “marriage,” and not to abortion. In the interview with Vocativ.com, Paul went on to explain that he thinks gay “marriage” should be decided at the state level.
“On issues that are very contentious, that involve social mores—I think that allowing different parts of the country to make their decision based on the local mores and culture is a good idea” said Senator Paul. “But when it comes to taxes and benefits, the [federal] government out to take a neutral position—a way where marriage wouldn’t have an effect, positive or negative, on those things.”
When asked about his endorsement of Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Republican senatorial primary and whether he would have preferred a different candidate, Paul said, “No, I’m happy with my endorsement, and I think Mitch McConnell is a good conservative.”