GOP Event for African-American Outreach Featured Largely White Audience

An apparently majority-white audience came out to hear Sen. Rand Paul speak at the event in Detroit.

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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) 

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

It seems that the Republican Party’s latest attempt to embrace African Americans is off to a shaky start. The audience at a Detroit event celebrating the opening of an African-American Engagement Office appeared to consist mainly of white people, a video snippet shows.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was in the city last Friday to help launch the office and woo African-American voters, but the turnout for the event, at Grace Bible Chapel, shows just how far the GOP has to go, the Huffington Post notes.

Paul first spoke at the new office in front of a mostly black audience of supporters. "Today’s opening of this office is the beginning of a new Republican Party," he said. "This is going to be a Republican Party that is in big cities and small cities, in the countryside, in the city. It’s going to be about bringing a message that is popular no matter where you’re from, whether you're rich or poor, whether you’re black, white or brown." But when the Tea Party favorite went to the larger grassroots event at the chapel, the crowd turned out to be mostly white.

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus has already acknowledged that the party’s future lies in being more open to attracting minorities. Priebus visited Michigan last month, the Huffington Post reports, and hired radio personality Wayne Bradley to lead the engagement effort.

Read more at the Huffington Post

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