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Tuesday
May282013

Republican Party Names New Hispanic Outreach Director

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican National Committee is tapping veteran GOP strategist Jennifer Sevilla Korn to lead the party's effort to become competitive again with Latino voters, it announced Tuesday.

Korn will hold the titles Deputy Political Director and National Field Director for Hispanic Initiatives. Her selection comes as the GOP is looking for ways to rebuild its credibility with Latino voters after taking a shellacking in the 2012 presidential election, when President Obama won over seven in ten Latino votes.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement that Korn "will play a key role in directing our Hispanic engagement efforts to ensure that Republicans are building new relationships in the Hispanic community."

The GOP's failure to attract more non-white voters has become more magnified as the nation's electorate grows more racially and ethnically diverse. The RNC commissioned a 97-page post-election autopsy report this year, which acknowledged that the party has alienated some of the fastest-growing voter groups in the country: African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans. The party has launched a project to spend $10 million on outreach to these voters.

That report called on the party to change its perception among Latino voters, in part by changing its hardline approach to immigration policy.

"We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform," says the report. "If we do not, our party's appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only."

Korn served as Hispanic vote director on George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, the last Republican presidential bid that attracted enough Latino voters, 40 percent, to win an election.

She also worked in the Bush White House as Director of Hispanic and Women's Affairs. During the 2012 election, Korn worked as Executive Director of the Hispanic Leadership Network, an offshoot of the center-right political group American Action Network.

"We have been successful in the past, and I know we can be successful in the future," Korn said in a statement. "I intend to work arduously to reach new heights in growing the Republican Party."

The RNC's last Hispanic outreach director, Bettina Inclán, now works at the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May152013

GOP Sees the World Through Google Glass

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- This week’s Republican House meeting was a little more exciting than weeks past, and it wasn’t just because of what was on the agenda.

At the request of the GOP, Google representatives held Google Glass demonstrations at the beginning and the end of the meeting, allowing Congressional members to try on the sought-after technology. A Google spokesperson told ABC News that the company offered the same demonstration sessions to Democrats, but have yet to schedule any official group presentations.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was among those who tried on a pair of the new glasses. In an email, a representative for Bachmann told ABC News that the congresswoman enjoyed trying on Google Glass because she “likes being ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative technology” and believes “it is a testament to just how much the industry has evolved.”

Bachmann’s first query when trying on the glasses? The Drudge Report.

Earlier this year, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich won a Twitter contest to be one of the first to try out the technology as a Google Glass explorer. His winning Tweet mentioned plans of zoo and museum visits.



ABC News has been unable to confirm whether Gingrich has received his pair of Google Glass, but a Google representative confirmed that contest winners were notified of how they could claim their prizes over the span of the past few weeks.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr182013

Labor Secretary Nominee Faces GOP Scrutiny

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of Labor nominee Thomas Perez faced two hours of intense scrutiny at his nomination hearing Thursday morning as he sought to alleviate Republican concerns over his role in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

At issue is a lengthy report released earlier this week in which GOP leaders accuse Perez of attempting to influence the city of St. Paul, Minn., to withdraw a housing discrimination case before it could be brought before the Supreme Court. In exchange, the Department of Justice agreed not to intervene in two whistleblower cases against St. Paul that could have won up to $200 million for taxpayers.

Sen. Lamar Alexander engaged Perez in a heated line of questioning, accusing Perez of doing “an extraordinary amount of wheeling and dealing.”

“You have a duty to protect the money, a duty to protect the whistle-blower, and at the same time, it seems to me that you’re manipulating the legal process to try to get the result you want from the Supreme Court in a way that’s inappropriate,” Alexander, R-Tenn., said.

Perez defended his actions, saying that the Department of Justice chooses not to stay out of “a lot of different things.”

“It was in the interest of justice and it was entirely appropriate to do so in the opinion of professional responsibility people and others,” he told the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “I believe the resolution reached in this case was in fact in the interest of justice.”

Democratic senators had kind words for Perez. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., introduced him as “one of Maryland’s favorite sons,” saying “we believe he is the right man for the job.”

Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., joined in the praise, adding “you have a very amazing, impressive, wide range of experience that you are bringing from a number of different agencies...You’re something of a turn-around expert for public sector agencies, so thank you for that.”

When asked what his very top priority would be should he be confirmed as Secretary of Labor, Perez had one answer: “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

He expanded on his goals and priorities, including reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act, maintaining pension security, and spending his first 100 days as secretary on a listening tour of America, reaching out to small businesses and workers alike.

“The president has asked all of us to consider three questions in the decisions we make,” Perez said. “How do we make America a magnet for jobs? How do we equip our people with the skills they need to succeed in those jobs, and how do we ensure that an honest day’s work leads to a decent living?”

Perez concluded, “These questions are at the core of the mission of the Department of Labor, and if confirmed you have my word that I will keep them there.”

The committee is expected to vote on Perez’s nomination on Thursday, April 25.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar232013

Biden: 'No Leadership' in GOP

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday that the Republican Party is struggling with an identity crisis, with “no leadership” and “the tail wagging the dog.”

“There is no leadership,” he told donors for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, according to the pool report. “There is nobody you can sit across the table from and shake hands, make a deal with."

“The problem is we have the tail wagging the dog in the Republican Party,” he added.

Biden led negotiations with Republican leaders in Congress in what resulted in the fiscal cliff deal earlier this year. While he did not cite the specific negotiations, the vice president said that in at least five instances, House Republicans took back an offer they had agreed to, calling Biden to say, “What we agreed to Joe, we can’t do.”

“The reason this is so dysfunctional now — with whom do you make a deal? With whom do you speak to get something done?” he said.

But Biden had kind words for one Republican senator, Rand Paul, calling him “a fine man, he’s a decent man.” When talking about Rep. Paul Ryan, his former opponent in 2012, the vice president got laughs from the crowd, saying “The Ryan budget is absolutely — the Ryan budget.”

The vice president thanked the crowd of 250 people at the DCCC conference for supporting him and other Democratic candidates in recent years.

“When I first ran, you just hoped that I’d turn out the right way,” he joked, adding that “some of you may still not be [convinced].”

And the vice president made light of his now infamous moment where a hot mic caught him calling President Obama’s healthcare plan a “big f***ing deal.”

“Thank God my mom’s not alive – can’t trust those microphones,” he joked.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar172013

GOP Chair Calls for Earlier Conventions, Expanded Outreach to Minorities

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the Republican Party tries to bounce back from its loss in November’s presidential election, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus outlined some of the tactical changes the Party must  make, including expanding outreach to minority voters and moving the Party’s convention to an earlier date, during an appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday.

“I’m calling for a convention in June or July,” Priebus said, arguing that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was a “sitting duck” in the months leading up to the Republican National Convention in August.  “We’re going to set up a commission that’s going to make that decision. I’m going to be a part of that. I’m going to chair that commission, but no more August conventions.”

While Democrats benefited from well invested and expansive political operations in states across the country in 2012, Priebus acknowledged the Republicans faced a deficit in that area and said the GOP would combat shortfall by launching a ten million dollar initiative dedicated to outreach in minority communities.

“The Obama campaign lived in these communities for years.  Their relationships were deep.  They were authentic,” Priebus said.  “We're going to be announcing a $10 million initiative just this year which will include hundreds of people, paid, across the country, from coast to coast, in Hispanic, African American, Asian communities, talking about our party, talking about our brand, talking about what we believe in, going to community events, going to swearing-in ceremonies 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.”

Priebus also said he hopes to reduce the number of primary debates to a more reasonable number like “7 or 8” per election cycle.

Priebus will outline his modernization plan for the Republican Party, called the Growth and Opportunity Project, in a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Monday.  Last week, the RNC announced it would restructure its digital strategy to compete with the savvy and successful technology campaign waged by Democrats in recent years.

But as the Republican Party looks to heal the wounds caused by the 2012 election, two notable Republicans hammered each other for their respective roles in the Republican Party over the weekend.

On Saturday, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a thinly veiled jab at Republican strategist Karl Rove, who many on the right are vilifying for his poor track record in the 2012 election and for establishing the Conservative Victory Project, which aims to take sides in Republican primary contests to weed out potential “problem” candidates.

"If these experts who keep losing elections and keep getting rehired and getting millions -- if they feel that strong about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck-up or stay in the truck," Palin said at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, a reference to Rove. "Buck up or run. The Architect can head on back to the great Lone Star State and put their name on some ballot –- though for their sakes, I hope they give themselves a discount on their consulting services."

But Rove fired back Sunday, defending himself and dinging Palin for her decision not to complete her term as governor of Alaska.

“I’m a volunteer. I don't take a dime from my work with American Crossroads. I even pay my own travel expenses, out of my own pocket. I thought Sarah Palin was about encouraging volunteer, grassroots activity. I'm a volunteer,” Rove said on Fox News Sunday.  “I appreciate her encouragement that I ought to go home to Texas and run for office. I would be enthused if I ran for office to have her support. I will say this, though, I don't think I'm a particularly good candidate. Sort of a balding, fat guy. And second of all, I'd say if I did run for office and win, I would serve out my term. I wouldn't leave office midterm.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar172013

Rand Paul Edges Marco Rubio in CPAC Straw Poll

United States Senate(NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.) -- Could Rand Paul run for president in 2016?

The Kentucky senator emerged as the potential 2016 presidential candidate preferred by the largest share of those who participated in a straw poll at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference. Paul commanded 25 percent of straw poll voters, while another possible GOP contender, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, was close on his heels with 23 percent, according to the results of the survey announced on Sunday.

None of the other Republicans whose names appeared on the straw poll ballot managed to break double digits. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who tried and failed to win the Republican nomination in 2012, finished third with 8 percent of the vote. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was right behind Santorum with 7 percent, followed by last year’s vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, at 6 percent.

Paul’s win comes just over a week after his attention-getting, 13-hour filibuster of CIA director John Brennan's appointment. And it was clear at the gathering this week that Paul was a crowd favorite.

“Now I was told I only get 10 measly minutes. But just in case I brought 13 hours of information,” Paul joked as he opened his remarks to the conference on Thursday, holding large binders in his hands.

Many attendees donned T-shirts and held up signs emblazoned with the slogan, “I Stand With Rand.”

“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered. I don’t think we need to name any names here, do  we?” Paul said in his remarks. “The new GOP — the GOP that will win again — will need to embrace liberty in both the economic and personal sphere.”

Like all straw polls, this one was a non-scientific measure of preference. The CPAC poll surveyed 2,930 of the attendees at the three-day annual conference that took place outside Washington, D.C. More than half (52 percent) of those who participated were between the ages of 18 and 25.

Notably, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who spoke to CPAC on Friday night, asked that his name not be included on this year’s straw poll ballot. Twenty-three other names did appear, however, including at least two governors — Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell — who were not invited to address the gathering.

Mitt Romney won the CPAC straw poll in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011. Romney won again in 2012. This year’s poll was sponsored by The Washington Times and conducted by the GOP firm, Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates.

Here’s a rundown of the top 2013 CPAC straw poll finishers:

Ky. Sen. Rand Paul — 25 percent
Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio — 23 percent
Other/Write-in — 14 percent
Former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum — 8 percent
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie — 7 percent
Wis. Congressman Paul Ryan — 6 percent
Wis. Gov. Scott Walker — 5 percent
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson — 4 percent
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — 4 percent
La. Gov. Bobby Jindal — 3 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — 3 percent
Undecided — 1 percent

 
2013 CPAC Presidential Straw Poll ballot:
N.H. Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
Former Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley
La. Gov. Bobby Jindal
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
N.M. Gov. Susana Martinez
Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Ky. Sen. Rand Paul
Ind. Gov. Mike Pence
Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio
Wis. Congressman Paul Ryan
Former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum
S.C. Sen. Tim Scott
S.D. Sen. John Thune
Wis. Gov. Scott Walker
Other/Write-in
Undecided

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar062013

President Obama, GOP Senators Break Bread

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and Republican senators had a “good exchange of ideas” Wednesday evening during their roughly two-hour-long dinner at the posh Jefferson Hotel, just blocks from the White House, according to a senior administration official.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., gave the meeting a thumbs up as he exited the hotel, saying it was “just fine,” “great” and “wonderful.”

McCain told reporters gathered across the street that it was a “very enjoyable evening,” but declined to discuss specifics.

Obama invited 12 GOP senators to break bread as part of a larger effort to jump start budget negotiations and try to cut a deal with rank-and-file Republicans.

“The president greatly enjoyed the dinner,” the administration official said.

But did they make any progress?

“We’ll see,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., told reporters.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., described it as a, “good, constructive conversation.”

“His goal is ours. We want to stop careening from crisis to crisis...solving every problem by meeting the crisis deadline,” said Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb. “Today was a good step and we’ll see what happens.”

The extremely rare meeting has also fostered a new point of contention: Who picked up the tab?

According to the White House, President Obama paid for the meal out of his own pocket.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., however, claimed the bill was split.

And so, it continues…

Here is a full list of attendees at Wednesday night’s dinner: Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.; Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind.; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.; Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.; Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.; and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb272013

Poll: On the Brink of Sequester, More Damage for GOP than Obama

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Most Americans think both President Obama and the Republicans in Congress are mishandling government spending -- but, on the brink of across-the-board budget cuts, it’s the GOP that receives disproportionately more flak, including from its own partisan and ideological base.

While 52 percent of adults in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll disapprove of Obama’s handling of federal spending, that jumps to 67 percent disapproval for the GOP -- a substantial 15-point gap in the president’s favor.

See a PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

Majorities, even of Republicans and conservatives, rate the Republican Party negatively on its handling of the budget.  Obama, by contrast, retains broad support in his partisan corner.  And his approval among independents, though weak, is 13 percentage points better than the GOP’s.

In tune with previous results on their ongoing budget battles, results of this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, indicate that both sides face damage if the looming budget sequester takes effect.  But the risk to the Republicans continues to look greater.

The president’s 43 percent approval rating on spending, as weak as it is, outshines the congressional Republicans’ paltry 26 percent.  That includes single-digit “strong” approval for the GOP, 9 percent, vs. 21 percent for Obama.

But strong disapproval is more closely matched for both sides, indicating that the public overall is not amused by the latest budget standoff, in which $85 billion in automatic spending cuts are to take effect this Friday, the first wave of $1.2 trillion in cuts during the next decade.

ECHO -- The results echo previous ABC/Post polls.  Obama’s approval rating for handling the last budget crisis in January was 21 points better than House Speaker John Boehner’s, and the president held a 14-point lead over the Republicans in trust to handle the issue.

In December, more said they’d blame the Republicans than Obama if a deal weren’t reached.  And nearly two-thirds favored a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to trim the deficit, vs. 29 percent who preferred just spending reductions -- an issue that remains the crux of the debate.

GROUPS -- While 74 and 68 percent of Democrats and liberals, respectively, approve of the president’s handling of the issue, 51 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of conservatives disapprove of the performance of GOP lawmakers.

Even among “very” conservative Americans, 54 percent disapprove of the congressional Republicans’ approach.  And in terms of intensity, strong approval of the president on spending among Democrats and liberals is more than double that of the GOP among Republicans and conservatives.

Fifty-three percent of independents disapprove of the president’s work on spending, and he just breaks even among moderates.  But many more in both groups disapprove of congressional Republicans on the issue -- 64 percent of independents and 71 percent of moderates.

Broad majorities of whites disapprove of how both sides are handling spending, but even in this group -- which Obama lost by 20 points in November -- his approval rating is 9 points better than the Republicans’.  And the president outpaces congressional Republicans by 17 points among Hispanics and by 64 points among blacks.

Among other groups, while majorities across income brackets and age groups disapprove of the Republicans’ performance on spending, Obama breaks even among lower- to middle-income earners and garners majority approval among young adults, two of his core support groups.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb262013

Republicans Supporting Gay Marriage Write Supreme Court Amicus Brief

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The issue of same sex-marriage is dividing the Republican Party, as a group of more than 80 prominent members of the GOP, ranging from Dick Cheney's daughter to four former governors, have signed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court advocating for the legalization of gay marriage.

One of the signers confirmed for ABC News the existence of the brief signed by the Republicans and said it would be submitted to the United States Supreme Court this week. The deadline to submit briefs is Thursday.

The document, known as an amicus or "friend of the court" brief, is being submitted in support of a lawsuit aiming to strike down Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that passed in 2008 banning same-sex marriage. The existence of the brief was first reported by The New York Times.

Republican-elected leadership, like House Speaker John Boehner, as well as the platform, are staunchly against same-sex marriage.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group who brought the California lawsuit challenging Prop 8, released a list of the signers Tuesday, including Cheney's daughter Mary Cheney.

Signers included former congresswoman Mary Bono Mack of California, former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, and Meg Whitman, who supported Prop 8 when she ran for governor of California in 2010. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Richard Hanna of New York and former GOP national chairman Ken Mehlman also signed. In addition, three former Massachusetts governors -- William Weld, Jane Swift, and Paul Cellucci -- along with former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman are signers. The list also includes Republican attorney and Romney senior adviser Ben Ginsberg and other high-profile GOP leaders, strategists, consultants, and staffers.

Some big-name supporters of same-sex marriage who have not signed the brief include former Vice President Dick Cheney, former first lady Laura Bush, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The fight against Prop 8 already had a big-name conservative supporter in Theodore Olson, former solicitor general under President George W. Bush, who is one of the suit's two lead attorneys along with David Boies.

The court will hear arguments next month in that case and another important gay rights case that challenges the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Another one of the signers is Nicolle Wallace, Republican strategist and former George W. Bush aide and John McCain campaign adviser. Wallace said the beginning of the group took place in 2010 when Republicans supportive of same-sex marriage came together to fundraise for the legal effort.

She said the "power of the legal argument had a lot more to do with persuading the majority of Republicans on the brief than any political pressure."

Wallace stressed that she believes this issue, unlike others, will not "ignite a civil war in the party" because so many people have gay friends, co-workers, and family members; even those who don't agree with their stance have a lot of "respect" for the disagreement.

In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll on the topic from November a slim majority of Americans support gay marriage, 51-47 percent, but amongst Republicans it is only 31-67 percent.

Brian Donahue, a Republican strategist who did not sign the brief, believes that because the list includes so many prominent Republicans it represents a "significant step" for the party.

"It's a sign that there is a growing interest in the party to take steps to broaden its reach in defining what's acceptable to be part of this party," Donahue said. "It's healthy for members of the party to express their beliefs and opinions even when they may not be favorable by party leadership. It's healthy for the party to examine how it affects the lives of all Americans and it's a healthy discussion that's taking place within the party to say, 'What do we stand for?'"

Some Republicans fear the amicus brief could badly split the Republican Party. Hogan Gidley, a GOP strategist who has worked on the presidential campaigns of both Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, says the Republican tent should be "very broad," but this move by the group of Republicans will widen the schism in the party.

"I don't want Republicans to be lazy and say, well Latinos are flocking to Democrats in droves so we should do amnesty," Gidley said. "The homosexual community is flocking to Democrats in droves so we should legalize gay marriage. The marijuana advocates are flocking to Democrats in droves, we should legalize drugs. To me that is a little bit reactionary, but also a little bit lazy."

Gidley said that he would "hate for anybody to sell their convictions in the hopes they get more votes."

Constitutional law experts say that while amicus briefs do not traditionally decide cases, they can be very influential.

Stanford constitutional law professor Jane Schacter says in this case she believes it could be an "influential brief" because it "telegraphs to the court that there is an increasing number of people who support same sex-marriage and that it is no longer a partisan issue to the extent that it was."

"When this number of Republicans are saying it's an issue where there should be equality it changes the way it looks to the justices," Schacter said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb252013

Former Romney Strategist Warns Technology Is Not the GOP’s Panacea

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- It’s not over yet -- the 2012 presidential campaign, that is.  At least not if you ask Mitt Romney’s former top strategist, Stuart Stevens, who has been writing and talking a lot about blame lately.

“There seems to be a desire to blame Republicans’ electoral difficulties and the Romney campaign’s loss on technological failings,” Stevens wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Monday. “I wish this were the problem, because it would be relatively easy to fix. But it’s not.”

Stevens went on to argue that it was a generation and message gap that ailed the GOP last year and ultimately paved the way for President Obama’s victory over Romney. The Democrats’ superior technology — and Republicans’ weaknesses in this area — was only part of the problem, he wrote.

Stevens, who along with a handful of other strategists helped guide the Romney campaign throughout the election cycle, has been re-litigating the campaign in op-eds as well as in interviews, like his recent conversation with ABC’s Jonathan Karl on This Week and another one with CNN’s Howard Kurtz, host of Reliable Sources.

Of Romney’s loss last November, Stevens told Kurtz that he takes “full responsibility.”

“Just blame me,” he said in an interview that aired on Sunday.  "That’s fine. And let’s move on.”

But Stevens did reserve some criticism for the new social media environment — exemplified by Twitter — that he says has led to a strained relationship between political operatives and the press. Reporters, he said, “need a news story every two hours, and that’s a great pressure.”

“It creates, I think, an environment that is very conducive to the creation of news, the invention of news,” he added.

As for Twitter, Stevens acknowledged that he has an account (which he says he checks “obsessively”) but he does not tweet himself. “It’s a great thing and it’s a very dangerous thing,” he said.

And in an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl earlier this month, he underscored his analysis in Monday’s Washington Post op-ed that technology is only part of the prescription for his party.

“It would be a great mistake if we felt that technology in itself is going to save the Republican Party,” he told Karl in an interview on Feb. 17. “Technology is something, to a large degree, you can go out and purchase, and if we think there’s an off-the-shelf solution that you can [buy] with the Republican Party it’s wrong.”

Even so, Republicans have dispatched national party chairman Reince Priebus to California this week to tackle the GOP’s technology gap. According to Roll Call’s David Drucker, Priebus plans to visit the San Francisco Bay Area, meeting with technology executives as well as representatives from Facebook. He will also reportedly head to Seattle for meetings aimed at improving Republicans’ early voting efforts.

And we’re about to get a chance to hear from Romney himself about what went wrong in 2012 — and where the GOP should go from here. The former Massachusetts governor and his wife, Ann, are set to appear on Fox News Sunday next weekend. It will be the former Republican presidential hopeful’s first major interview since the election. One week later, he is scheduled to address the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







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