Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday told conservative activists the Republican Party had grown "stale and moss covered" and said the GOP needs a more libertarian approach that makes freedom the movement's defining principle.

Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the Kentucky senator offered a revamped version of his father's hands-off libertarian vision for Republicans — and positioned himself as a leader capable of confronting the GOP establishment.

"The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered. I don't think we need to name any names, do we? Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom. The new GOP will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and the personal sphere," Paul said.