Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said Sunday that the Republican Party has to "show up and say something" in black communities in order to win back the trust of a voting bloc that has long been suspicious of the GOP.
"I think there's a huge opportunity for us," he said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" program. "And while not everybody says they're ready to become a Republican, many people say they're glad I'm there and they want us to compete for their vote."
Paul, a likely 2016 presidential contender, said that one step towards that goal is deemphasizing voter ID as a campaign issue, although he said he still supports requiring identification at the polls.
"It doesn't mean that I think it's unreasonable, I just think it's a dumb idea for Republicans to emphasize this and say 'this is how we are going to win the elections," he said.
He added that he wants to expand early voting and restore voting rights to some nonviolent former felons.
Paul also reiterated support for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, despite efforts from some GOP leaders to move on from that years-old push.
"We will introduce [repeal legislation] and try to pass it" if the GOP regains control of the Senate, he added.