GOP Plans Fewer Debates, More Community Outreach

Sunday, 17 Mar 2013 02:21 PM

By Kenneth Hanner

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The Republican Party will release a study on Monday with possible solutions to fix what went wrong in 2012, including a plan to maintain a steady presence in communities, with an emphasis on reaching minority voters.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus outlined the program Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” saying there was a need for “being a part of the community on an ongoing basis, paid for by the Republican National Committee to make the case for our party and our candidates.”

As part of the GOP’s outreach plan, the party will send hundreds of staffers, at the cost of $10 million, to various communities and will make increased marketing efforts on college campuses, including historically black universities where Republicans have received scant support.

“If you’re not in the community, if you’re not talking to people and the level of familiarity isn’t there, then silly things like Todd Akin and some of the goofy things that are said, the caricature becomes true if you’re not there,” Priebus said, referring to Akin’s controversial remarks on rape that doomed his Missouri Senate campaign.

Priebus also called for changes in the way that the party nominates its presidential candidates, seeking an earlier convention and fewer debates, saying the elongated process ended up hurting Mitt Romney in his race against President Barack Obama last year.

“I’m calling for a convention in June or July,” Priebus said. “We’re going to set up a commission that’s going to make that decision . . . No more August conventions.”

Priebus said he also wants to severely cut back on the number of debates for GOP presidential candidates. “I think we had way too many debates with our candidates slicing and dicing each other and I think they had to wait too long to get to the convention.”

“I would do one a month. I would have more say over the moderators, more say over the debate partners. I would limit the debate to a reasonable amount. I don't know, maybe seven or eight, but not 23,” said Priebus. “That’s ridiculous.”

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