SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Potential 2016 presidential hopeful Rand Paul scanned the packed ballroom of fellow Republicans, most of them older and white, and declared Saturday that their party’s makeup needs to change if the GOP is to have any hope of recapturing the White House.
“We need a bigger party. We need a party that looks like America,’’ said Paul, currently a U.S. senator from Kentucky, during the closing banquet for the Missouri Republican Party’s Lincoln Days festivities, held this year in Springfield.
The biggest annual event for Missouri Republicans is more than two months away, but party leaders were eager to announce Monday that U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will be the marquee speaker at the state GOP’s Lincoln Days festivities Feb. 21-23.
The weekend gathering, which attracts hundreds of party activists, will be held in Springfield, Mo. The event rotates among the state’s three largest cities; last year’s Lincoln Days was in St. Louis. The event usually attracts most of the state's major Republican officials, activists, potential candidates and donors.