Entries in Republican National Committee (42)


Marco Rubio Calls Romney’s I-Wish-I-Were-Latino Comment ‘a Joke’

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called Mitt Romney’s I-wish-I-were-Latino comment, which came to light in a leaked videotape this week, a “joke.”

“I think he meant it as a joke,” Rubio said on a conference call organized by the Republican National Committee, adding that’s “how most reasonable people would take it.”

Romney was shown on a hidden-camera video clip posted by Mother Jones magazine telling his audience at a May 17 fundraiser in Florida about his father’s background.

“My dad, you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company,” Romney said. “But he was born in Mexico, and had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. And, I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.”

As it turns out, Romney made a similar reference -- publicly -- in January in an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos.

Although Romney’s week has been dominated by coverage of the leaked video, he has also been spending time courting Latino voters. The GOP nominee is campaigning in Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, and his campaign has deployed Rubio in a new television ad airing in Florida focused on Medicare.

When asked whether the Romney-Ryan ticket was on the right course to win on Nov. 6, Rubio said, “I just feel confident about the message we’re putting out there.”

Rubio also said he sensed “increasing enthusiasm as we get closer to Election Day” and drew a contrast -- the same one that Romney campaign officials are seeking to make this week -- between what Rubio called the prevailing view of the state of the race inside “the political universe” vs. “out in the rest of the world.”

In the “rest of the world,” Rubio said, people are “increasingly realizing we can turn this thing around pretty quickly” if we “do a few simple but important things.”

“That realization is going to turn into enthusiasm and that enthusiasm is going to turn into turnout that’s going to help us get over the top.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


RNC Raises $35 Million, Breaks August Fundraising Record

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican National Committee raised more than $35.6 million in August, marking the best August on record for the RNC, a spokesperson with the committee confirms to ABC News.

Both the RNC and the campaigns will file their monthly fundraising reports on Thursday, but this also marks a record breaking cycle for the RNC. They have raised more than $193 million, a record, although the Obama campaign and the DNC did best the Republicans in the most recent fundraising month.

“We’ve enjoyed a lot of support from voters across America and it’s helping us run a top-notch get out the vote effort that is going toe-to-toe with Obama,” RNC spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski said.

This news comes just one day after we learned the Romney campaign had to take out a $20 million dollar line of credit last month, marking the first time in the cycle Romney’s campaign was in debt. They are $11 million in debt after borrowing the $20 million from the Bank of Georgetown.

Earlier this month, President Obama and the Democratic National Committee reported raising over $114 million in August together. They bested the Romney campaign and the RNC, whose joint total was $111 million.

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


Jindal Says He Won’t Implement Obamacare

gov [dot] louisiana [dot] gov(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, one of Mitt Romney’s possible running mates, said that despite Thursday’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act, he will not implement it in his state.

Jindal called the health care plan a “blow to our freedoms” and said the “president forced this law on us.”

“It really raises the question of what’s next, what’s allowable,” Jindal said on a Republican National Committee Conference Call. “Taxes on people who refuse to eat tofu or refuse to drive a Chevy Volt…this whole ruling I think is ridiculous. It’s a huge expansion of federal power.”

Jindal said despite the law being upheld, Louisiana will “not set up an exchange.”

Under the legislation, states are required to set up a health insurance exchange program by January 2014 and they will receive grants from the federal government in order to implement it. Instead, Jindal says he’s just going to wait in the hopes Romney gets elected and the legislation is then repealed, a difficult task even if the presumptive GOP nominee makes it to the White House.

“Elections have consequences. Elections do, in fact, matter,” Jindal said. “This one matters a lot.”

Jindal was very clear that the health care plan now upheld by the Supreme Court will not be making its way to Louisiana if he can help it.

“We are not going to start implementing Obamacare,” Jindal said. “We are committed to working to elect Gov. Romney to repeal Obamacare.”

Virginia Gov. McDonnell was also on the call and said he would evaluate it, but his “hope is in 125 days or so we elect a new president and the Senate along with the House of Representatives will have the votes to repeal this mandate and replace it with a common sense free market, pro-federalism approach to health care.”

When asked how Romney will be able to repeal the legislation, Jindal answered that the candidate “has been unequivocal long before yesterday’s decision, but for a year that it was a top priority of his presidency.”

“On day one he would do everything he could administratively to gut the mandate of Obamacare, that he’d grant waivers to the states and he would launch an appeal statute to get it off the books and replace it with a policy that honors federalism and honors free market principals in order to provide greater access and less cost to the health care,” McDonnell said.

They did not expand how Romney would repeal it. Repeal would only be possible if not only Romney wins the presidency, but Republicans hold on to the House and take over the Senate.

Neither McDonnell or Jindal gave details into what Romney would replace the Affordable Care Act with, but Jindal said Romney “has focused on creating voluntary purchasing pools, on free market reforms to make health care more affordable, more portable, more accessible without undermining the private sector delivery system.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


RNC Video Lampoons Obama Fundraising Effort

Eric Ryan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican National Committee released a new web video Monday lampooning the Obama campaign’s latest fundraising effort, a web ad with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour that came out Friday, the same day as the dismal jobs report.

The RNC’s online video titled “Meanwhile” pokes fun at the Wintour web video, beginning with the line “On the same day the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent. …” Both videos are online only.

As Wintour talks about a fundraiser for the Obama campaign she is hosting with actress Sarah Jessica Parker and first lady Michelle Obama, unemployment numbers for different groups  before and after the Obama presidency flash on the screen, including a rise in joblessness among women, Hispanics, African-Americans and young people.

The web video ends with the line: “Obama is focused on keeping his job, but what about yours?”

“There couldn’t be a better demonstration of this president’s misplaced priorities than a glitzy fundraising video release on the same day that marked more unemployed Americans,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in a statement. “It’s more than obvious that this president just doesn’t get it. Millions are out of work, struggling to make ends meet and all this president cares about is raising money with the rich and famous to protect his own job.”  

The web video is targeted to supporters, especially an audience of young, fashion-conscious women who the Obama campaign hopes will enter the online contest on the chance of spending an evening with Wintour, Parker and the Obamas on June 14.  It’s similar to a raffle held last month that awarded two free tickets to a George Clooney fundraising dinner at the actor’s Los Angeles home.

The Obama campaign aired a television ad featuring Sarah Jessica Parker Sunday night on MTV three times. It was its first national TV ad of the election cycle, and it touts Obama’s record while also soliciting donations for the same fundraiser.

The Obama campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment to the web ad.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Visa for Raul Castro’s Daughter Criticized

STR/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- Continuing their effort to woo Hispanic voters especially in the battleground state of Florida, the Republican National Committee on Tuesday went after the Obama administration for granting a visa to Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban leader Raul Castro for a conference in San Francisco this week.

U.S. Rep Mario Diaz-Balart said he had “deep outrage” for the visa, granted Tuesday. The congressman called Castro’s permission to enter the U.S. “the one that broke the camel’s back.”

Castro is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana and also a gay rights activist. She is expected to attend the Latin American Studies Association conference, which starts Wednesday in San Francisco.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the one who made the exception and issued the visa to Castro. Diaz-Balart called the State Department’s decision “reprehensible, unacceptable” and “it is greatly irresponsible of the administration to allow these high level Communist Party regime officials to come into the United States on these PR tours, pro-regime public relations tours.”

“It is pro-regime and bashing the United States public relation tours that they are doing. It is irresponsible, unacceptable and for this administration to pass the buck and say that the law forces them to do it is also not true,” Diaz-Balart, a Romney backer, said, calling Raul Castro the head of a “terrorist regime.”

“This is a time when repression has been increased by the regime, just in the last couple of years,” Diaz-Balart said. “So while repression is increasing, this administration is giving visas to the highest levels of the Castro dictatorship, because I don’t know who gets higher than the daughter of the so-called president of the terrorist regime.”

The Miami Herald quotes New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez as describing Mariela Castro as a fierce defender of the communist country’s regime. Her father Raul is brother to Fidel Castro.

Menendez criticized the visa calling Castro “a vociferous advocate of the regime and opponent of democracy, who has defended the regime’s brutal repression of democracy activists.”

The Florida Democratic Party responded by calling on Republicans “to stop playing politics with people’s emotions on Cuba” and pointing out Castro also visited the United States in 2002.

“Republicans need to stop playing with people’s emotions when it comes to Cuba,” Florida Hispanic community leader Freddy Balsera said in a statement. “While they grab headlines criticizing the President and distorting his record on Cuba, they avoid saying that Mariela Castro actually received a visa to visit the US in 2002 under the Bush Administration.  In fact, the top State Department Official in charge of Latin America at the time was a Cuban American.  Where was their criticism then?  Nowhere, because ultimately this is all about politics for them.”

Balsera also said the Cuban American community supports President Obama because “it is making Cubans on the island less dependent on the government; it allows for families to support each other and stay connected; and it facilitates more flow of information to and from the island.”

Republicans have also criticized the president in the past for easing some travel restrictions for Americans to Cuba.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Camp, RNC to Focus on Obama's Broken Promises

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee plan to jointly push a message this week that focuses on President Obama’s promises on cutting the national deficit and reducing the debt.

“President Obama has broken his promise over and over when it comes to reining in Washington’s out of control spending,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.  “During the campaign, he lambasted the growing debt and, once elected, he pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.  Yet, President Obama’s record has been to double-down on Washington’s out of control spending by running trillion dollar deficits every year he’s been in office."

The RNC is honing in on three key arguments:

-- “Obama saw danger in adding to the debt saying it would lead to a double dip recession, but has since become the ‘undisputed debt king of the past five presidents.’”

-- “Obama promised to cut the deficit in half, but racked up the three highest deficits in history.”

-- “Obama refused to address entitlement reform for political reasons and chose to kick the can down the road instead.”

They are releasing a new web video Monday morning titled Empty Promises: Debt and Deficits,” as well as a lengthy research piece entitled Not On His Watch: Obama Has Avoided Making ‘The Hard Decisions’ On The Debt, Leaving The Situation Worse After Almost Four Years Under His Watch.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Responds to RNC Complaint on Obama Travels

Getty Images/Comstock Images(WASHINGTON) -- In response to the Republican National Committee earlier Wednesday filing a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Office and the comptroller general, alleging that the Obama campaign “has been cheating the American taxpayer by using taxpayer dollars to fund their general election efforts,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz asserted that the president’s travel “has been part of the president’s official responsibility.”

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus alleged in his letter, “Throughout his administration, but particularly in recent weeks, President Obama has been passing off campaign travel as ‘official events,’ thereby allowing taxpayers, rather than his campaign, to pay for his reelection efforts. Given the recent excesses, waste, and abuse uncovered in the General Services Administration, the GAO should be particularly sensitive to misuse of taxpayer dollars.”

He charged that “the most recent example of such misuse came [Tuesday] in North Carolina and deliver speeches to cheering crowds of college students, events widely reported to be equivalent to campaign rallies. Today he will hold another similar event in Iowa. Ostensibly these campaign stops were meant to support student loan legislation (which ironically President Obama didn’t even take the time to vote on during his short tenure in the U.S. Senate). Please note that President Obama traveled to three states largely considered to be electoral battlegrounds to promote this legislation. One might imagine that if this were genuinely a government event he might have stopped in a non-battleground state like Texas or Vermont," according to the complaint.

Schultz said the travel to three universities in three battleground states allowed the president “to get outside of Washington, D.C., hear from students, and discuss stopping interest rates on their loans from doubling in July just like Friday’s trip to Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., to meet with troops, veterans, and military families is likewise part of the president’s official responsibilities. When there is political travel, we follow all rules and regulations that all other administrations have followed.”

White House officials noted that Rich Bond, the former chair of the RNC, dismissed a similar complaint when lodged by Democrats against President George W. Bush. Eight years ago this month, Bond called the complaint “nonsense....Using federal government assets is unavoidable in terms of having contact with everyday people and it’s a topic that White House lawyers from Ford to Carter to Reagan to Bush to Clinton and now to Bush have all struggled with to make sure that you don’t break the law.”

Referring to the president and first lady’s Friday trip to Ft. Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., a White House official noted that surely the RNC isn’t suggesting that Georgia is a battleground state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney to Huddle with RNC Members in Arizona Ahead of Speech

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) -- Before Mitt Romney addresses a meeting of Republican Party state chairs from across the country at their meeting in Arizona on Friday, he will meet privately with some of his most loyal backers on the committee.

The Romney campaign organized the behind-the-scenes gathering as a way of thanking supporters from within the Republican National Committee who endorsed the former Massachusetts governor -- in particular those who have stuck with him throughout the primary season.  Party leaders who are not yet publicly supporting Romney did not receive invitations.

Hundreds of GOP leaders, including state chairs and RNC committeemen and women are gathered in Arizona for a three-day conference, and Romney will address the group during a lunch-time speech on Friday.

Romney aides were careful not to cast the speech as an attempt to officially lay claim to the GOP nomination, but said that he would use the opportunity to continue to sharpen the contrast with President Obama as he has been doing on the campaign trail.

However, one top Romney adviser told ABC News, “People are ready to rally.”

And it’s evident the Romney team views this week’s RNC meeting as an opportunity to solidify party stalwarts, dispatching deputy campaign manager Katie Packer Gage, counsel Ben Ginsberg and other aides to the meeting.  Long-time Romney confidant, Ron Kaufman, serves as a national committeeman from Massachusetts, and is among the presumptive GOP nominee’s key advocates on the committee.

The Romney campaign has already begun coordinating with the RNC on fundraising and messaging.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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