Entries in Reince Priebus (27)


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


RNC's New Program Seeking New Followers

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The "GO" in GOP now stands for "Growth and Opportunity."

Republicans, still stung by losing the White House in November as well as failing to capture the Senate, are ready, willing and able to hear what Americans have to say to improve their chances during the 2014 mid-term elections and in 2016.

That's why as part of its winter strategy session, the Republican National Committee has unveiled its  "Growth and Opportunity Project," an attempt to attract more women, minorities and young people who are firmly in the Democratic camp.

A website has been set up to get ideas from Americans as well as to listen to their criticisms about the GOP.

Among the questions posted by the RNC are, "Do you think the Republican Party shares your values?" and "Do you think the Republican Party listens to voters like you?"

The RNC also lists five areas where the party feels it needs to improve in order to be more inclusive of a changing U.S. electorate.

What's more, the site features a short video of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus soliciting questions from potential new followers.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Reince Priebus Seeks Return as RNC Chairman

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON ) -- Reince Priebus will run for another term as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

A source close to Priebus’ chairmanship campaign confirmed his decision to ABC News.

The RNC selects its chairman every two years at its winter meetings in January.

Priebus was elected chairman in January 2011 at the Gaylord resort in National Harbor, Md., after seven rounds of voting. He succeeded the embattled Michael Steele, who dropped his bid after four rounds of voting, and also beat out former Missouri GOP chairwoman Ann Wagner, former Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis, and former Bush administration official Maria Cino.

He took over after Steele left the party saddled with debt and embroiled in controversy over his leadership. An uproar over young donors at a bondage-themed Los Angeles nightclub, on the RNC’s dime, had not helped things. The party did, however, make historic gains under Steele’s tenure, re-taking the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterms.

Priebus will seek re-election after a tough year for the party, which not only saw Mitt Romney lose to President Obama, but which also fell well short of expectations in down-ballot races. Democrats gained two Senate seats in a cycle that initially Republicans were hopeful of gaining the Senate majority.

Priebus’ tenure, however, has been marked by little controversy, especially compared with Steele’s, and a big GOP victory in his home state of Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker boosted Republicans nationally by surviving a Democratic recall challenge.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


RNC Chairman Dismisses Third Party Candidate Gary Johnson

Matthew Simmons/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today dismissed Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s run for the White House calling it a “non-factor.”

“I think that people understand that they’re not going to throw their vote away,” Priebus said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Johnson, a businessman and former governor of New Mexico, is now on the ballot in 48 states but is hoping to make it on all 50 by election day.

Third party presidential candidates historically have been accused of siphoning votes away from the major party candidates.  In 1992 Ross Perot, a successful businessman, ran for president as an independent.  Many blamed Perot for diverting votes away from George H.W. Bush thus allowing Bill Clinton to win the White House.

Priebus said he doesn’t see the same thing happening in 2012.

“We don’t have a third party candidate anywhere near the name recognition or the popularity of Ross Perot or John Anderson,” Priebus said.

Anderson ran for president as an independent candidate in 1980 and lost.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Weekly Address: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus delivers this week's Republican address.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul Supporters Make Themselves Heard in Convention Hall

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ron Paul supporters have always been very vocal, and the reconvening of the Republican National Convention Tuesday was no exception.

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, RNC chairman Reince Priebus gaveled everyone back into the convention, welcoming the delegates back to the 2012 RNC. Just minutes before the gavel came down, however, the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum was abuzz with chants for the Texas congressman and two-time presidential candidate.

Paul was on the floor of the space, where he received a rock-star-like welcome. Supporters chanted, “Let him speak” – a reference to the fact that Paul was not given a speaking slot at the RNC (although his son, Rand, will be speaking).

At one point, chants of “Romney” were drowned out by chants of “Ron Paul.” Paul walked around the floor wearing a red, white and blue lei, and he walked through the crowd signing autographs, according to reports from ABC News’ Aaron Katersky. Throughout the hallways of the forum, supporters were easily identified. Ron Paul t-shirts and cowboy hats bearing the representative’s name were sported by various delegates.

The supporters seemed to settle down, at least for the time being, after Priebus came out and banged the gavel, but Paulites definitely made themselves known.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Postpones Start of Republican National Convention Due to Hurricane Isaac Threat

NOAA via Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — Republicans have cut short their national convention by one day due to the looming threat of a severe storm that is about to pound the state of Florida, party officials announced Saturday.

Less than 48 hours before the Republican National Convention was set to begin, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said that the possibility of “severe transportation difficulties due to sustained wind and rain” brought by Tropical Storm Isaac, which meteorologists predict will become a hurricane by Monday, forced convention planners to scrap Monday’s scheduled activities.

“Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th, exact time to follow,” Priebus said in a statement announcing the postponement. “Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention and citizens of the Tampa Bay area.”

Instead, party officials said Monday’s speaking lineup would be squeezed into the remaining three days of the convention and that they would be releasing more details about the revised schedule as early as Sunday.

Monday’s RNC program was to include the roll call vote of delegates officially nominating Mitt Romney as the party’s presidential nominee. The nomination is now likely to take place on Tuesday, according to Romney strategist Russ Schriefer, who briefed reporters on a conference call today.

“We expect the roll call will just take place on Tuesday,” Schriefer said. “It will take place right around the same time that it was going to take place on Monday, really with very little change.”

On the same call, Priebus emphasized that the convention would go on.

“This is a Monday issue,” he said, noting that he knew of no state delegations that had cancelled plans to travel to Tampa for the week.

“The safety of those in Isaac’s path is of the utmost importance,” Romney tweeted after the announcement was made on this evening. “I applaud those in Tampa making appropriate schedule changes.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, said that he had briefed Romney “on the storm and possible impact to the state” earlier in the day.

“I have made Governor Romney and RNC officials aware of the resources our state can provide in the chance Tampa is affected,” Scott said in a statement. The governor also announced that he was cancelling all of his scheduled convention-related activities on Sunday and Monday. He was originally scheduled to speak on Monday night.

As convention officials were changing course today, Tropical Storm Isaac was heading north toward Miami. It is expected to strengthen to a hurricane and make landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday evening, and then move westward into the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall near Panama City Beach on Tuesday. The storm is currently forecast to pass about 200 miles west of Tampa on Monday night and early Tuesday, but the storm’s wind field is large, meaning that Tampa is still expected to feel its affects, with wind gusts of up to 50 mph expected in the area.

Hillsborough County— the county where Tampa is located—has declared a state of emergency, as has the state of Florida. The Tampa Bay Times Forum, the site of the convention, is located on the water — a vulnerable position in a storm of Isaac’s magnitude.

The first day of the convention was originally designed as an opportunity to showcase what Schriefer called the “failures of the Obama administration over the past four years.” The night was to include testimonials from “real people affected by the Obama economy.” The goal of that first night, Schriefer said, was to “lay down the predicate and make the case of why President Obama has failed.”

In addition to the roll call votes nominating Romney for president and Paul Ryan for vice president, Monday’s speaking schedule was set to include a handful of party luminaries with official roles in the convention process: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, House Speaker John Boehner, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, among others.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney's VP List Narrows?

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The list of Mitt Romney’s potential running mates appeared to narrow Monday as Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus announced a list of headline speakers -- including some whose names have been tossed around as a possible vice presidential pick -- for the upcoming convention in Tampa, Fla.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are among seven speakers profiled in a news release issued by the RNC on Monday; the others listed in the announcement are Arizona Sen. John McCain, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

“They are some of our party’s brightest stars, who have governed and led effectively and admirably in their respective roles,” Priebus said in a statement.

Just last week, ABC News senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl listed Rice and Huckabee among his updated list of VP contenders.

Karl also identified former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty as “the new front-runner” in the so-called veepstakes, ahead of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Other possible VP contenders include Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, according to Karl.

The names of additional convention speakers, including the keynote speaker, will be announced in the coming days, the RNC says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Reince Priebus: Sen. Harry Reid Is a ‘Dirty Liar’

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus called Sen. Harry Reid a “dirty liar” Sunday morning on “This Week” for accusing presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney of not paying taxes for ten years.

“As far as Harry Reid is concerned, listen, I know you might want to go down that road, I’m not going to respond to a dirty liar who hasn’t filed a single page of tax returns himself.  Complains about people with money but lives in the Ritz Carlton here down the street,” Priebus said. “So if that’s on the agenda, I’m not going to go there.  This is just a made-up issue.  And the fact that we’re going to spend any time talking about it is ridiculous.”

Reid, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader from Nevada, said in an interview with the Huffington Post last month that, according to a source that called his office, Mitt Romney did not pay taxes for ten years. The accusation was strongly denounced by Romney, who said it was false and that Reid needed to “put up or shut up.” Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts has been under intense pressure by Democrats and even some in the GOP to release more tax returns. Romney has so far released his 2010 returns and an estimate for 2011.

Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who appeared on “This Week” before Priebus, declined to criticize Reid and said that Romney could clear the air by releasing more returns.

“I do know that Mitt Romney could clear this up in 10 seconds by releasing the 23 years of tax returns that he gave to John McCain when he was being vetted for vice president. Or even 12 years of tax returns that his own father said were what was appropriate.  Because one year of tax returns, like he’s released, could just be for show,” said Wasserman Schultz, who added that she does not know Reid’s source. “Like the overwhelming majority of voters believe, because the polls all show, that Mitt Romney owes us more than one year of tax returns.  He owes us answers to questions about his overseas investments, and he owes us answers to questions about why he’s decided to invest in foreign countries, as opposed to investing in the United States.”

On the roundtable, ABC News senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl called Reid’s accusations “outrageous.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


RNC Steps Up ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Attacks

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican National Committee is again joining forces with its friends at the Romney campaign, continuing the “you didn’t build that" push on Wednesday with a new web video.

While the campaign has 24 events in swing states with small business owners, the RNC’s video adds more of what the president said earlier this month instead of just using the “you didn’t build that" line, which they’ve been pushing and using out of context for more than 10 days.

The clip begins and ends with the words, “The more context you get, the worse it sounds.”

The rest of the video is more of what the president said in Roanoake, Va., on July 13, when he stressed the importance of community as well as continued government investments in infrastructure and public services that many businesses in this country utilize.

“If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own, ” Obama said.  “You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”

“President Obama thinks his comments are being taken out of context, but the reality is the context makes it worse,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.  “With more context, it is obvious President Obama doesn’t understand that businesses succeed because of the hard work and sacrifice of the American people, not the growth and intrusiveness of government.  President Obama thinks he can paint over his latest admission, but he can’t cover up four years of anti-business actions.  From his comments to entrepreneurs that ‘you didn’t build that’ and the private sector is ‘doing fine’ to failing to meet with his jobs council and failing to hold Daily Economic Briefings, it’s clear Obama’s lack of concern for our economy is quite clear.”

On Tuesday, the Obama campaign released an ad with the president refuting the “you didn’t build that” attacks and accusing Republicans of intentionally misleading the public saying his words have been “taken out of context.”

“Of course Americans build their own businesses,” Obama says in the video, looking directly at the camera.  “Every day, hard-working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs, and make our economy run.”

“And what I said was that we need to stand behind them, as America always has,” Obama said in the ad that will run in six swing states.

The RNC's web video seems to be a direct response to the president’s ad from Tuesday and it’s a new tweak to the messaging.  It seems that the committee no longer needs the line to be completely taken out of context to press its message that the president doesn’t stand by small business owners.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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