Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday defended New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a contender for president but said there are other rising stars that will mark a new beginning for the GOP in the 2016 election.
"We're going to be the party that is fresh and new in 2016, it's the Democrats who are going to be rolling out the same old names that you would expect them to roll out," Priebus told CNN's "State of the Union."
"I love our chances, I love our bench and we're going to have a great primary season come a few years from now," Priebus said.
Priebus was responding to a statement from former presidential contender, Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, who in an earlier interview with CNN said Christie's liberal views would conflict with Republican primary voters, but that the party would likely back him in the general election out of desperation.
"I think the Republicans are so anxious to win, that the conservatives, if he's the nominee, are going to hold their nose and vote for him," Dole said. "I mean, they are tired of losing."
Priebus defended Christie as a conservative, citing his positions on traditional marriage and his record as a pro-life candidate.
"I think he's going to do very well in all of his endeavors, but the fact is we've got stars all over our party," Priebus said.
Priebus also downplayed criticism from within the party's conservative ranks that the national committee spent more time and money on Christie's winning campaign, than the governor's race in Virginia where Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli lost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
The national committee is dedicated to funding presidential campaigns, and does not typically engage in local or state races, Priebus said.
However, in this campaign against McAuliffe, the former Democratic Party chairman, the Republican committee spent $3 million and the Republican Governor's Association kicked in $8 million for Cuccinelli's race.
"The day that the so-called Republican establishment puts $11 million into a single governor's race is not enough, I think we're living in crazy world," Priebus said.
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