March 11, 2013 GOP outreach takes RNC chairman to Brooklyn

Call it the last stop before the GOP's listening tour pulls into the station.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus heads to New York City for what the RNC touts as "an African-American engagement and listening session with African American business, political and governmental leaders."

The RNC says Monday's session, being held at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, is the last of their listening sessions for their "Growth and Opportunity Project," which will be released next Monday, March 18. That project is a multi-tiered internal examination of the GOP and of how the party performed in last year's elections. The RNC ordered the review after the party failed to win back the White House or the Senate last November. While the GOP did lose eight seats to the Democrats in the House of Representatives, the party did keep control of the chamber.

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March 7, 2013 Rev. A.R. Bernard To Host Chairmen Of National, NY Republican Parties For Brooklyn Talk

The Rev. A.R. Bernard, who first spoke of his possible interest in running for mayor with the Daily News in January, will host RNC Chairman Reince Preibus at his Brooklyn megachurch for a Monday talk about the future of politics -- including maybe his own ambitions.

Bernard, whose Christian Cultural Center has more than 37,000 members, "pulled together Republican leaders in to share their views about the [party] with Chairman Preibus" as a part of the Growth and Opportunity Project, a larger RNC effort to increase the size of the GOP's tent, said Lisa Linden, a spokesman for the pastor.

"It will be a spirited discussion," Linden promised.

The Panama-born Bernard is a registered Republican who has discussed his 2013 thoughts with GOP leaders on many occasions.

Bernard would add diversity to a field of Republican primary candidates that already includes publisher Tom Allon, billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis, nonprofit president George McDonald and former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota.

Former Bronx BP Adolfo Carrion Jr., an independent who is of Latino heritage, is also seeking a party pass to petition for the GOP primary.

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March 2, 2013 RNC chairman stakes his legacy on winning over minority voters

Reince Priebus is staking his legacy as Republican National Committee chairman on improving the party's performance with minority voters.

"I just sort of reached a boiling point on the issue," Priebus told The Hill in an interview at RNC headquarters on Friday. "I want to fix these problems."

In the 2012 election, President Obama won 93 percent of the black vote, 71 percent of the Hispanic vote and 73 percent of the Asian vote, helping him coast to a victory over Republican Mitt Romney.

As the first black president, Obama's success with black voters is no surprise, but the rising margins he won with all three demographics is a warning sign for the GOP. Obama only won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008 and 62 percent of the Asian-American vote.

Democrats are already whispering about how demographics could quickly turn traditionally red states like Arizona and Texas blue. Asians and Hispanics are the fastest-rising electoral groups in the country.

Priebus says he plans on being remembered as the Republican chairman who changed things for his party.

"Our legacy is going to be that we were the RNC that actually turned the talk into action and cared most about moving the dial, not a couple of good stories that we could spin out and have a few good days here and there, but have a long-lasting change for the future of our party and our country," he said in an interview.

Priebus spoke shortly after an RNC event saluting "black Republican trailblazers" at the Capitol Hill Press Club. Speaking to a room full of predominantly black businessmen, community leaders, party activists and dignitaries, Priebus said he was committed to "building long term, lasting, genuine, and authentic relationships" in places where the Republican Party "just hasn't been."

"We're here because we know we need to grow our party," Priebus told the group. "We must take our message to every neighborhood and every community, and as we know, we've got a lot of ground to make up with the black community."

The chairman argues that by appealing more to minority voters, Republicans can broaden the electoral playing field. Right now, he says the GOP is too dependent on running the table in a handful of states.

"We're competing in eight states, and the game is, you have to hit the bulls-eye in those eight states, and if you miss one you're out of the game," he said. "That's a ridiculous path that we've developed and we can't get there without growing our party."

The RNC's Growth and Opportunity Project is taking a two-pronged approach in addressing these challenges - one that focuses on micro-targeted community-based outreach, and one that communicates a more positive broader message that voters can connect with emotionally.

On the grassroots side, Priebus acknowledged that "our contacts are lousy," and that for too long the party has executed a "get out the vote effort four months before the election," while Democrats have cultivated long-term relationships at the local level.

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March 1, 2013 GOP Chairman visits Seattle as Republicans look for fresh ideas

The Republican Party has been on a mission since another lopsided loss in the polls in November. The party is trying to figure out how to reinvent itself and give itself a fighting chance in upcoming elections.

The head of the Republican National Committee was in Seattle to get some ideas on Thursday. RNC chair Reince Priebus admitted his party has a lot of work to do to win over new members and regain some popularity. He said the party must pull from the Democrats' playbook and be more aggressive in promoting campaigns, starting earlier and pushing for every vote, especially in states like Washington that have vote-by-mail where votes are cast weeks before election day.

He said the party must go into full-time campaign mode, year-round, every year, just like Democrats do if it expects to be competitive.

In speaking with Washington Republicans, it became quite clear to Priebus they are tired of being ignored at the national level. "Part of what we have to do as a national party is - number one - stop writing off states. Stop and end the red state, blue state analysis that is a road to nowhere for our party," he said.

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February 28, 2013

La Opinión: Los estamos oyendo

El Partido Republicano tiene un mensaje para los latinos: los estamos escuchando y queremos su apoyo. Como Presidente del partido republicano, mi misión será demostrarles que nuestro partido tiene una agenda de oportunidad que mejorará el destino de todos los estadounidenses. Y nos comprometemos a fortalecer las relaciones con cada comunidad.

Sabemos que no ganamos la confianza de suficientes latinos en la última elección, y vamos a hacer algo al respecto. Estamos dedicados a estar presentes a largo plazo. Ganaremos su confianza con tiempo, y no sólo durante un año electoral.

Somos un partido que se preocupa por todos los votantes, en cada comunidad y por esta razón en diciembre puse en marcha el Proyecto de Oportunidad y Crecimiento en el Comité Nacional Republicano, una iniciativa para hacer crecer el partido y al mismo tiempo darle la bienvenida a nuevos votantes. Durante los últimos meses, hemos tenido reuniones por todo el país para aprender como el partido puede ser más inclusivo. Nuestros esfuerzos nos trajeron a Los ángeles donde líderes republicanos se sentaron con los líderes de la comunidad latina para descubrir formas en las que podemos comunicar nuestro mensaje con mayor efectividad.

Los Republicanos tienen que hacer un mejor trabajo para explicar nuestros valores, pero también sabemos que necesitamos escuchar las preocupaciones y prioridades de los votantes latinos y eso es lo que estamos haciendo en Los ángeles.

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February 28, 2013

La Opinión: Republicanos tras el voto latino en Los Ángeles

El presidente del Comité Nacional Republicano Reince Priebus, se reunió esta semana con algunos empresarios latinos en el Este de Los ángeles con el fin, según dijo, de informarles sobre los planes de su partido para lograr capturar más votos latinos en California y en el país.

La intención inicial era la de desarrollar un plan para "tener una relación genuina y auténtica con la comunidad latina", según dijo Priebus, sin embargo en la reunión no especificó estrategias para lograrlo.

Lo que si señaló a los presentes es que los demócratas no son quienes más han trabajado en el tema de inmigración. "No se ha dicho la historia completa, como que han sido los mismos sindicatos demócratas los que tiraron abajo los avances en ese tema", aseguró el representante republicano.

Priebus indicó que los republicanos no esperarán a que sean vísperas de las proximas elecciones presidenciales para buscar líderes en la comunidad y mejorar las campañas del GOP, particularmente en California. "Para servir primero tienes que recibir la orden y tenemos que entender qué es lo que hay en esa orden", apuntó el líder republicano.

Lo que algunos de los empresarios acordaron con Priebus, es que la comunidad latina demanda actualmente mucho más que la sola atención al tema de inmigración.

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February 26, 2013

LOS áNGELES (AP): Republicanos quieren recuperar a hispanos de California

El líder del Partido Republicano Reince Priebus dijo el martes que los republicanos trabajarán para reavivar su presencia en California, especialmente entre los hispanos.

Priebus, presidente del Comité Nacional Republicano, dijo que el esfuerzo en el Estado Dorado es parte de una estrategia nacional para recuperar terreno perdido que quedó en evidencia tras la última elección presidencial.

"Siento que, vaya, se trata de un plan a largo plazo. No es un algo a corto plazo. Estoy hablando de una campaña de bases, granular, de todo el año, durante años y años, con líderes en la comunidad Latina de la comunidad con la que van a trabajar ... teniendo estándares que cumplir en esas comunidades", dijo Priebus.

Sin dar muchos detalles, añadió que se enfocarán en áreas y contiendas locales, para las que buscarán candidatos potenciales.

"Estoy hablando de elecciones locales. Estoy hablando de ampliar el partido en (ciudades como) Azusa, Pasadena, en lugares como el condado de Ventura y todo California pero hacerlo a través de elecciones locales y luego formar equipos locales", explicó. "Estamos pensando en crecer de abajo para arriba".

El dirigente hizo las declaraciones luego de reunirse por alrededor de una hora con unos 20 republicanos hispanos del Sur de California en un restaurante del área del Este de Los Angeles.

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February 26, 2013

Anneberg TV News - Los Angeles: Republicans Address Minority Leaders in Los Angeles

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus held the party's Growth and Opportunity Project in East Los Angeles Tuesday to reach out to Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Priebus began the project in December 2012 to develop a plan to increase the party's membership and improve Republican campaigns.

The project will also analyze the party's strengths and weaknesses during 2012's election.

Priebus arrived in Los Angeles as day two of his four-day trip. He started in Denver and met with Latino leaders.

Priebus is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco Wednesday to meet with technology experts. He will then meet in Seattle on Thursday to discuss early voting.

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February 25, 2013

Fox 31 - Denver: RNC Chairman meets with Colorado Latinos in Denver

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus met with Hispanic leaders here Monday afternoon and told reporters that the GOP needs to do a better job of talking to minority and other voters on a year-round basis.

The visit comes a few months after President Barack Obama trounced Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney with Latino voters, winning that demographic group by a margin of three-to-one nationally and in Colorado.

Preibus's three-state western tour is part of a larger project to meet with local party members and volunteers and develop a strategy that will help the GOP be more competitive in 2014 and beyond.

"Showing up four months, five months ahead of time isn't going to cut it," Priebus told reporters after the event, which was closed to the public. "We have to build authentic, real relationships, and that takes time."

Priebus praised Republican U.S. senators who had worked with Democrats on an immigration bill that would give legal status to most of the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants after steps are taken to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

Stopping short of endorsing the proposal outlined by Senate leaders, Priebus told reporters that Republicans need to talk about the immigration issue, and others, in a more empathetic, humane way, without abandoning conservative principles.

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February 25, 2013

Republicanos se reúnen con líderes latinos en Denver

Fresh off his re-election as Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus has hit the road to deliver a message that the GOP must find a way to attract more support from non-white voters.

February 25, 2013

Associated Press: GOP Chairman in Colorado to talk to minority voters

Fresh off his re-election as Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus has hit the road to deliver a message that the GOP must find a way to attract more support from non-white voters.

The head of the Republican party is in Denver trying to improve his party's showing among minority voters.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Monday will kick off a western tour showcasing the GOP's outreach to Hispanics and Asians.

Priebus and other Colorado Republicans will hold a press conference Monday afternoon in Denver after a "listening session" with Hispanic leaders.

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February 7, 2013

Associated Press: RNC chairman Priebus says party must reach out

Fresh off his re-election as Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus has hit the road to deliver a message that the GOP must find a way to attract more support from non-white voters.

The question is how. During a stop in Atlanta to talk with black voters Thursday, Priebus said the answer is more about framing than about substance.

"I think freedom and liberty is a fresh idea," he said after a closed-door session with about two dozen black business and civic leaders. "I think it's always a revolutionary idea. I don't think there's anything we need to fix as far as our principles and our policies."

President Barack Obama won more than 90 percent of the black vote in each of his elections, and he won about 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in November against Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Non-white voters are becoming an increasingly larger share of the electorate, meaning the GOP has to find a way to cut into Democratic advantages to reclaim the Oval Office.

The priority, Priebus said, will be investing time in the African-American community. "I don't think you can show up a few months before the election," he said. "It's not good enough to have a national spokesmen. You have to have people in communities, from the community, both hired and volunteer, but from the community speaking to the community."

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February 7, 2013

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A word from Reince Priebus and Ashley Bell: 'No more red state, blue state'

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, is in town on Thursday for a conversation with black Republicans on the future of the GOP and the results of the 2012 presidential contest.

Below is an op-ed piece produced under the signatures of both Priebus and Ashley Bell, who put the session together.

Bell is a former Hall County commissioner, who lost his seat shortly after switching parties - to the Republican side. I marked the most interesting paragraph in bold:

After the 2012 election, Republicans knew we had to get to work growing our party. The election exposed trends showing we must reach more voters. So the Republican National Committee (RNC) launched the Growth and Opportunity Project in December to get input from across the country. What could the party do better? How could we better communicate our message where it's not being heard?

On Thursday, the Growth and Opportunity Project came to Atlanta. We gathered with local African American leaders and political activists to solicit answers to those questions and more. The feedback we received--along with information gathered from similar meetings and thousands of individuals--will help guide the Republican Party as we work to be more welcoming and more inclusive.

Republicans want to be a party for every American in every neighborhood in every state. That's why we must end the practice of labeling states red and blue. That's why we must build relationships in communities where we haven't been. That's why we must stop talking about "reaching out" and start working on "welcoming in."

We need to get to know voters where they live and work and worship. We need to build our presence in minority communities and urban centers - not just in Election Years, but in ever year.

This is not just about winning elections. It's about doing what's right for America. Republicans know our principles, when applied through smart policy, can do the most good for the most Americans.

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February 6, 2013 GOP chief coming to Ga. to probe party's minority failings

The chairman of the Republican National Committee will convene a special task force of African American community leaders Thursday in Atlanta to identify political strategies and opportunities to cultivate the party's appeal among minority voters.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, who was reelected late last month to lead the national GOP committee for another two years, has spent the period following the party's November defeat to President Barack Obama on a national listening tour to address donor gripes with campaign mechanics.

But whereas sessions elsewhere have probed the party's technology deficit or the handicaps borne of frontloaded primary contests, the Peach State autopsy will instead examine Republicans' minority malady.

Former Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell, who became a prominent black surrogate for Mitt Romney after a vaulted party defection in 2010, organized the meeting.

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January 24, 2013 GOP report on minority outreach due in March

Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - A task force charged with identifying winning political strategies and broadening the GOP's appeal with minority voters will deliver its recommendations in March to the Republican National Committee on what steps the party needs to take going forward.

"We have real challenges and we did get whipped," in the 2012 election, Mississippi National Committeeman Henry Barbour said at the RNC's Winter Meeting in Charlotte. "That is not something we take lightly."

Barbour is one of five Republicans heading up the "Growth and Opportunity Project," a panel created last month by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus following a presidential election in which Democrats held onto the White House, added to their majority in the Senate and gained ground in the House. The GOP's performance with minorities was particularly disturbing to party leaders, especially Asian and Hispanic voters.

There was somber acknowledgment from the five member task force that the GOP needs to do a much better job cultivating minority voters and selling Republican ideals and policies in those communities.

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January 18, 2013 First on CNN: Attracting minority voters a key GOP goal as Obama begins second term

Washington (CNN) - Days after President Barack Obama is sworn-in for a second term, Republican leaders from across the country will assemble in the southern city where Obama accepted his party's presidential nomination in September to strategize a path forward for the GOP in a nation experiencing major demographic shifts.

It will be a three-day discussion focused primarily on how to grow the Republican Party by convincing black, Hispanic and Asian voters that the GOP better represents their values than the Democratic Party, according to a party official involved in the planning of the Republican National Committee's winter meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The argument, certainly in the near term, will be tough sell for the GOP, given the unyielding positions and controversial comments from some conservative lawmakers and opinion leaders on the issue of illegal immigration and Democrats' deep ties to the black community. The CNN Exit Poll from the 2012 presidential election showed that Obama won 93% of the black vote, 71% of the Hispanic vote and 73% of the Asian vote.

"The big takeaway that will be discussed during the week and championed by Priebus is that the party needs more voters and needs to do a better job of reaching out to minority communities and not just six months before the election," said the Republican official.

Priebus is RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, a 40-year-old lawyer from Wisconsin, who, until two years ago, was relatively unknown outside of the small, clubby world of the committee, an organization that has only 168 members. In January 2011, Priebus emerged from a pack of similarly ambitious Republicans, including his former political ally and then-Chairman Michael Steele, for the right to lead the national party. He inherited more than $20 million of debt after the 2010 midterm elections and a depressed RNC donor base that was being courted by White House hopefuls and congressional Republicans.

Priebus eventually pulled the RNC out of the red and handed Mitt Romney a relatively healthy national party operation when the former Massachusetts governor became the Republican presidential nominee. Paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission shows that the RNC ended 2012 with about $3.3 million in the bank and no debt.

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January 14, 2013

RNC Launches New Initiative to Grow the Party and Win - Co-Chairs Announced to Lead Effort

WASHINGTON - Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus today launched an initiative to grow the Republican Party and improve future Republican campaigns.

The effort, known as the Growth and Opportunity Project, will be chaired by five GOP leaders and is charged by Priebus with initially reviewing past practices and also making critical recommendations for the future in these eight key areas: 1) campaign mechanics and ground game; 2) messaging; 3) fundraising; 4) demographic partners and allies; 5) third party groups; 6) campaign finance issues; 7) presidential primaries; and 8) lessons learned from Democratic campaign tactics.

The group will reach out to hundreds of individuals including RNC Members, grassroots activists, donors, elected officials, community leaders and other important partners to gain insight and help the Republican Party form a solid path going forward. These leaders will be involved in one or more of these critical areas.

The Growth and Opportunity Project is co-chaired by five prominent Republican leaders:
  • Henry Barbour, National Committeeman from Mississippi
  • Zori Fonalledas, National Committeewoman from Puerto Rico
  • Glenn McCall, National Committeeman from South Carolina
  • Sally Bradshaw, Veteran senior strategist in Florida and national politics
  • Ari Fleischer, Former White House Press Secretary
They will report their findings to Chairman Priebus and make recommendations for a long-term strategy for the future.

"The Growth and Opportunity Project will recommend a plan to further ensure Republicans are victorious in 2013, 2014, 2016 and beyond," said Chairman Priebus. "I've appointed a talented group of individuals to study eight key areas, and I look forward to working with these outstanding Republicans as they conduct rigorous analysis and engage in important conversations. The work of the Growth and Opportunity Project will be critical as we move forward as a Party and take our message to every American."

"This is a time of great opportunity for the Republican Party," said Co-Chairman Sharon Day. "I am excited for the future of the GOP and am confident this project will strengthen our cause tremendously in the coming years."

December 11, 2012 RNC's New Initiative to Grow the Party and Win Elections

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman, Reince Priebus, has launched an initiative focused on enlarging the Republican Party and improving future GOP campaigns.

Known as the Growth and Opportunity Project, it will be chaired by five Republican leaders who will begin by reviewing past practices and making recommendations. The recommendations will involve the following key areas:
  1. Campaign mechanics and ground game
  2. Messaging
  3. Fundraising
  4. Demographic partners and allies
  5. Third party groups
  6. Campaign finance issues
  7. Presidential primaries
Lessons learned from Democratic campaign tactics

Additionally, the coalition will extend its network out to hundreds of individuals, including RNC Members, grassroots activists, donors, elected officials, community leaders and other influential partners. The goal of this outreach is to gain insight designed to help the GOP develop a solid future path.

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December 10, 2012 RNC launches official review on 2012 election

The Republican National Committee is rolling out a plan to review what worked and what didn't for the party in the 2012 cycle, appointing five people at the top of a committee that will make recommendations on things like demographics, messaging and fundraising.

The Growth and Opportunity Project is going to be chaired by RNC committee member Henry Barbour, longtime Jeb Bush adviser and political operative Sally Bradshaw, former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, Puerto Rico RNC committee member Zori Fonalledas, and South Carolina RNC member Glenn McCall. Priebus, who is running for a second term, is holding a call with committee members to roll out the plan this afternoon.

The plan is to focus on: campaign mechanics, fundraising, demographics, messaging, outside groups, campaign finance, the national primary process and, last but not least, what the successful Democratic efforts revealed about the way forward, and recommend plans for the way forward, sources familiar with the plan said.

Priebus had told a large group of donors in New York last week that the review would be conducted outside the building and would not be led by RNC staff. But sources familiar with the project said that there are 2 RNC senior staffers, Ben Kay and Sara Armstrong, assigned to the project as support staff, saying the goal between them and the RNC members involved was to have, as one source said, "both inside and outside influence" to bring in a several different points of view.

Still, the source insisted that "the GOP has problems but they are solvable. We have to look at what we are doing right and what we're doing wrong and lay out our vision and plans for Americans so everyone knows what we stand for. 2010 was the biggest mid-term win for one party since the 1938 election. Our ideas still resonate, but we need to examine what's working and what isn't. We have 30 Governors right now, but we want to listen and learn so we do better in presidential years as well."

* This post and its headline have been updated

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December 10, 2012 RNC launches official evaluation of Republican strategy

The Republican National Committee is in a period of reassessment after a disappointing election cycle in which the party lost the White House and failed to take control of the Senate.

It has formed a new committee launched expressly for the purpose of evaluating what worked and what didn't in past campaigns, and making suggestions for the future.

The effort, titled the Growth and Opportunity Project, is co-chaired by Mississippi RNC committeeman Henry Barbour, Puerto Rico RNC committeewoman Zori Fonalledas, South Carolina RNC committeeman Glenn McCall, Florida political operative Sally Bradshaw and Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary to former President George W. Bush.

Those co-chairmen will review campaign mechanics and ground game efforts; messaging and fundraising success rates; demographics; the effects of third-party groups; campaign finance issues; presidential primaries; and what can be learned from successful Democratic efforts.

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