Sen. Rand Paul says the Republican Party must become a bigger, broader coalition that welcomes diverse ideas to be ­victorious in national elections.

The Kentucky Republican, who is weighing a presidential bid in 2016, addressed the Maine Republican Party convention Saturday in Bangor.

The Maine GOP has been plagued by infighting since ­libertarian activists loyal to Paul's father seized control of it.

This year's convention theme is "unity," an optimistic note from party officials who report the factions have recently been getting along better and are interested in helping Republican candidates win this fall.

Paul said Republicans must reach out to groups that the country has ­mistreated and show the party's compassionate side.

He also said that the GOP cannot be the party of corporate welfare and railed against overspending and government waste.

associated press