Tags: Reince Priebus | Republican National Committee | Christian Science Monitor | Dave Cook

RNC's Priebus Meets the Press

By    |   Tuesday, 25 March 2014 06:58 AM

Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) recently was the breakfast guest of the Christian Science Monitor for the first time in about three years, hosted by the Monitor’s Dave Cook.

Priebus was at his very best as he clearly stated what he is trying to accomplish as Chairman and responded in a feisty and witty manner to the questions of reporters, and he even made just a little bit of news while demurring when asked whether he would be seeking a third term in January 2015.

Priebus appears to be the answer to the question, why is the Republican Party doing well at the state level while it continues to languish in Washington. In his opening remarks, he outlined the GOP’s Growth and Opportunity Project, which is investing tens of millions of dollars in IT infrastructure, an area where the party once led and has fallen behind; hiring hundreds of field staff well in advance of elections, so that they will be in place to support a ground game in 2014 and 2016; gaining control over the primary process, in order to improve the odds that it will produce winning candidates.

The consistent political theme is that Republicans are poised for a tsunami of success in 2014 because of the unpopularity of Obamacare and of the Obama administration. Both parties acknowledge that substantive and tactical issues are different for off-year elections versus presidential years, and Priebus repeatedly stated that the groundwork laid in 2014 is intended to be helpful in 2016, but it will be necessary to pivot to strategies and tactics appropriate for that race. For example, he said that the quality of data the party has developed, which enables it to identify people who can influence a given voter, is much denser in states like Ohio and Florida that are closely contested in presidential years than in states that traditionally get little attention.

Cook and other reporters challenged Priebus over various demographic issues. For example, Cook cited a margin of 36 points for Obama over Romney and a report by CNN that 59% of respondents said that the GOP doesn’t understand women. Priebus put up a strong defense, contending that Democrats have a demographic issue with married women and that the GOP has an advantage with young people, who have been targeted by the administration to pay for Obamacare. He also insisted that Republicans are seeing slightly better numbers among blacks and Hispanics by extending the dialogue with these communities.

A reporter brought up a statement by Paul Ryan that inner city black men lack a work ethic, which has led to a response by Ryan that he was “inarticulate,” and Ryan has arranged to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus to discuss the gaffe. Priebus defended Ryan as one who has dedicated himself to combat poverty.

Priebus’ most newsworthy remarks concerned his assertion that the Republicans will achieve not merely a “wave,” but a “tsunami” of gains this fall and that Republicans are expanding the field of Senate races and creating a toxic competition for funds among Democratic senators.

(Archived video can be found here.)

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Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) recently was the breakfast guest of the Christian Science Monitor for the first time in about three years, hosted by the Monitor's Dave Cook.
Reince Priebus,Republican National Committee,Christian Science Monitor,Dave Cook
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 06:58 AM
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