Hot Air Exclusive*: Reince Priebus on polling, the election, and the Benghazi attack

posted at 1:21 pm on September 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, I spoke with RNC chair Reince Priebus about the prospects for the presidential election in an exclusive* interview for Hot Air.  We not only discussed what the RNC and Team Romney intend to do with their fundraising advantage in the general election, but we also discussed the foreign-policy debacles of Barack Obama, especially over the last two weeks.  “He’s a man of many words,” Priebus tells me, but not “a man of his word.”  Priebus also slammed Obama for “shooting first and aiming later” on the first official narrative of the Benghazi attack, only to be caught fumbling when the claim that the attack was a spontaneous protest that spun out of control later proved false.  Priebus also wondered why Obama’s “unique background,” which he claimed in 2008 would improve relations with Muslim nations, hasn’t prevented our embassies and consulates from being set on fire:

Video streaming by Ustream

Later, we discuss the big cash advantage of the Republicans in the general election, and what it means for the race.  “We can do everything we need to do,” Priebus says, and promises a large GOTV ground effort with plenty of funding — a big change from 2010, when the RNC was largely irrelevant to turnout efforts due to poor fundraising and fiscal management.

The turnout models also came up for discussion, as the polls this week look bleak in Ohio and Florida.  Priebus didn’t want to “whine” about pollsters, but we used Jim Geraghty’s analysis of the CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac polls to underscore how ridiculous the turnout assumptions have become.  I asked Priebus whether the D+9 in both Florida and Ohio had a resemblance to what he’s seeing on the ground, and he scoffed.  Those outstrip the 2008 turnout models (especially Florida’s), and Priebus says that “even my friends at the DNC” expect the 2012 turnout models to fall well short of the 2008 election.  The key, Priebus says, is “to win today, to win tomorrow, to win the week, and to win the debates.”

Team Romney also scoffed at the polls today:

Ed Gillespie, a senior advisor to the Romney campaign, delivered some complaints on Wednesday on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, saying that the polls “are not consistent with our polling.”

“I’m struck by a couple of things,” he said. “One, three swing state polls out today and in every single one of them, they have a Democratic voter participation that is higher than the participation in the electorate in 2008. I don’t know anyone on the ground in any of these swing states who believes that there will be a higher Democratic percentage of the electorate in 2012 than there was in 2008.”

He added: “Yet, in every single one of these surveys, there is a higher percentage — which explains, by the way, how it is that the Governor Romney, could be tied or leading with independents in those polls and yet losing the net poll to President Obama. Does not make sense.”

Be sure to watch the whole interview.

 

 

* – Using media definition of “exclusive,” which is that no one else was on the call at the time.


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4. IMO, the debates are aimed at independents and uncommitteds

5. The outcome may or may not make you happy. Either way, hand-wringing will ensue from our side.

6. The trolls will be out in full force during and after

All in all, the actual winner of these debates will be seen on election day.

Mitsouko on September 26, 2012 at 2:27 PM

..abbalutely 1000% kee-rect! I wonder if you’re old enough to remember 1980. The one debate was the only piece of news that penetrated the alphabet media screen — but it was enough.

The good, honest, decent citizens got the message though!

The War Planner on September 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

..er..um..Bishop!

The War Planner on September 26, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Anyone that’s looking at a poll whose metrics ignore 2010 turnout data is an idiot.

Anyone that’s beleiving a poll that says there will be RECoRD dem turnout is an idiot.

Anyone that is ignoring what happened in the 1980 election (polls vs. reality) is an idiot.

Poll metrics rarely match reality….their assumptions are based on the politics of the group sponsering (paying for) the poll.

This isn’t anything new.

Now carry on.

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Obama will move to the Republic of Chicago and set up ‘legitimate government in exile’.

Marcola on September 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

That’s just silly. There’s nothing ‘legitimate’ about government in Chicago.

trigon on September 26, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Ed Gillespie, a senior advisor to the Romney campaign, delivered some complaints on Wednesday on Fox News’ Fox & Friends, saying that the polls “are not consistent with our polling.”
These guys had better be telling us the truth.

Doomberg on September 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

So, between TeamObama/MSM & “these guys” you’re doubting the ones who aren’t TeamObama/MSM?

Interesting.

You’re world perspective is far, far different from mine.

Dark Star on September 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

I want to believe it and been putting out fires at work and at home that are worried that Romney is blowing it. I am getting tired of trying to point these things out

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Hmm, I responded to (with blockquotes) a poster named Doomberg and yet you responded as if I had replied to you.

Curiousior & curiousior.

OFA can’t even hire MOBYs that can keep their stories straight in the same thread.

Dark Star on September 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Juiced poles don’t vote…..people do.

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

lol…juiced POLLs don’t vote….people do.

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Actually a pretty sober view of the polling situation.

The article on Ohio was pretty insightful. I had no idea 1/8 jobs in Ohio were related to auto industry. In retrospect I wonder if Romney regrets the WSJ Op-Ed….

Was it worth Ohio and Michigan ….

NextGen on September 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

1/8 of the jobs are related to the auto industry but most of them are not related to GM or Chrysler…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Hugh Hewitt ripped Steven Shepard of the National Journal to shreds on the radio yesterday when he attempted to defend Quinnipiac’s methodology.

Good recap of it on his blog.

That’s a projected Democratic tunrout gap favoring Obama of 9% in Ohio, 11% in Florida and 12% in Pennsylvania. Utter nonsense in other words, designed by who knows who for the purpose of collecting a check and generating a headline. The predictive power of such a sample is close to zero unless one adjusts for the terrible bias.

peski on September 26, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Exactly.

But I’d add anyone who believes polls that show Obama winning states now by BIGGER MARGINS than he did in 2008 is an idiot.

Dark Star on September 26, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I’m with msupertas & Dack Thrombosis: I don’t care who you are, that sh1t was funny!

With due respect to your mom, of course.

pain train on September 26, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Thanks folks. I miss my dear old mom, but at least she hasn’t been around to see her beloved Democratic party become the party of infanticide and drone strikes against American citizens.

Although during Caroline Kennedy’s speech where she called herself a Catholic for Women’s Reproductive Rights I felt a distinct shift in the earth’s rotation no doubt caused by mom spinning in her grave. She died convinced that the Democrats would come to their senses on abortion some day.

Lily on September 26, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Rush made an interesting point today about the polls. They say O has such a huge lead, double digits, but if Romney wins, how will they explain it? The O supporters will say the election was stolen from the black man and probably raise h@#l. It will cause riots, and that is what O wants. The polls are setting the stage for race riots when O loses. I figure that will happen anyway when he loses.

megthered on September 26, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Actually a pretty sober view of the polling situation.

The article on Ohio was pretty insightful. I had no idea 1/8 jobs in Ohio were related to auto industry. In retrospect I wonder if Romney regrets the WSJ Op-Ed….

Was it worth Ohio and Michigan ….

NextGen on September 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM

You’re just finding this out now — then the obvious question is “what rock have you been under?” and the obvious conclusion is your “insight” now is totally worthless.

But thanks for your concern.

Dark Star on September 26, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Juiced poles don’t vote…..people do.

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

..perhaps in Kraków they do!

:-D

The War Planner on September 26, 2012 at 2:59 PM

It will cause riots, and that is what O wants. The polls are setting the stage for race riots when O loses. I figure that will happen anyway when he loses.

megthered on September 26, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Yes if race riots happen when Obama loses they are going to destroy their own inner cities…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

THIS!

Anyone who believes barky is up by 10 in Ohio is an idiot.

ccrosby on September 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM

The War Planner on September 26, 2012 at 2:59 PM

lol…..2 seconds after I let that one go….I realize that I’m describing a group of drunken Warsaw-ites.

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I <3 Priebus! He doesn't choke! He gets it right. He's smart and bold! Breath of fresh air.

Minorcan Maven on September 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM

What does “SCOAMF” stand for?

Old Fritz on September 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SCOAMF

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=scoamf

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on September 26, 2012 at 2:25 PM

.
and the best link of all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbzSi0LTu0s

PolAgnostic on September 26, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Anyone missing Michael Steele?

Me, he did a good job supporting local tea parties and ramming thru the 2010 tea party house members.

I like Reince too, but it would be nice to have them both doing their thing.

Fleuries on September 26, 2012 at 4:02 PM

1/8 of the jobs are related to the auto industry but most of them are not related to GM or Chrysler…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Good point, Honda is big.

Honda is non union right?

NextGen on September 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

John Nolte sums up the latest polls very well:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/09/26/BREAKING-Democrat-Voters-Turnout-Advantage-Over-Republicans-Will-Break-All-Time-Records

If you’re going to believe the polls released from CBS/New York Times this morning — you know, the polls the media’s currently using to beat Romney senseless and to depress Republican enthusiasm, you have to believe that the turnout advantage for Democrats over Republicans will blow away every previous record and common sense.

It’s that simple. Because these polls are not only telling us that Romney is losing OH, PA, and FL by insurmountable margins; these polls are also telling us that Democrat turnout is projected to blow away every modern record.

But these media polls don’t headline what they’re seeing as far as the Democrat turnout advantage because no one would believe it. In fact, no one believes Obama will match the D+7 nationwide advantage he enjoyed in 2008. And no one certainly believes he will surpass it.

Oh, except this non-stop litany of media polls being wielded like weapons by the corrupt media.

Here are the CBS/New York Times internals. And here’s the con the CBS/NYTs is attempting to pull:
.
.
Florida:

In 2004 the vote was R+4.

In 2008 the vote was D+3

CBS/NYTs is reporting that in 2012 we will see D+9.
.
.
Ohio:

In 2004 the vote was R+5

In 2008 the vote was D+8

CBS/NYTs is reporting that in 2012 we will see D+9
.
.
Pennsylvania:

In 2010 the vote was D+3

In 2008 the vote was D+7

CBS/NYTs is reporting that in 2012 we will see D+9.
.
.
Again, why won’t the media report the dramatic news that Democrats are expected to turnout in record numbers against Republicans?

Because the media doesn’t believe it.

And yet, that’s exactly what media polls claim will happen.

PolAgnostic on September 26, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Juiced poles don’t vote…..people do.

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Racist. A couple of my cousins (Jankoskis) must have been loaded when they voted D in ’08…

affenhauer on September 26, 2012 at 4:31 PM

In WI, Charlie Sykes spent time on his morning show talking about the nonstop (literally) ads from Obama and Tammy Baldwin and the sparse Romney ads and non-existent (literally) Tommy Thompson ads. The Thompson team said last week they would be on the air immediately, but like the Romney “shock and awe” promise, nothing has materialized. Something really odd is going on and I’m sure we’ll get the scoop AFTER the election and Romney’s defeat and the disappointing performance in the Senate.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Yes if race riots happen when Obama loses they are going to destroy their own inner cities…

mnjg on September 26, 2012 at 3:30 PM

More shovel-ready jobs!

And, if they burn down their own homes, let them rebuild them. I’m not interested in their plight.
IOW: No federal ‘aid’.

Solaratov on September 26, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Where is the shock and awe we were supposed to be seeing? Is it going to be shock and awe that O was reelected?

megthered on September 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Here’s a big difference, when the dems feel the polls are slanted, they sit down and have a discussion, more like they kick @ss on the pollster…the Republican’s complain…

They should send someone over there and physically, verbally, confront them and demand accuracy…just like the dems do.

right2bright on September 26, 2012 at 5:06 PM

Something really odd is going on and I’m sure we’ll get the scoop AFTER the election and Romney’s defeat and the disappointing performance in the Senate.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 4:45 PM

You have more experience popping a beer and sitting and watching porn on the internet, than you do running a campaign…I am pretty sure they know a bit more than you, and I am pretty sure they have accurate insider polling numbers, probably more accurate than yours…so sit back, pop another brewski, and watch the adults go to work.

The fact that you don’t understand their strategy, what they are doing, I am pretty sure does not bother them…watch and learn.

right2bright on September 26, 2012 at 5:09 PM

The polls are part of the con-job on the left–to create an illusion of inevitability. It’s why they wanted to climax their convention in a huge arena–till reality trumped grandiosity. They couldn’t hack it then and they won’t hack it in November. Blacks won’t turn out in record numbers and neither will Hispanics. The youth vote will be cut in half. The Catholic vote will be radically diminished–and so will the Jewish vote.

writeblock on September 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM

The Thompson team said last week they would be on the air immediately, but like the Romney “shock and awe” promise, nothing has materialized. Something really odd is going on and I’m sure we’ll get the scoop AFTER the election.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 4:45 PM

The “shock and awe” will come. But since most independents have the attention span of a stoned gnat, there’s no reason to shoot your wad until the last couple of weeks before the election. Most people have already made up their minds how they will vote and all ads running now will be sorely forgotten in a week (or when a new episode of the Kardashians airs).

Like the grand finale of a fireworks show, you need to pepper the squishes at the very end because that’s all they’re going to remember when they stand behind the curtain in the voting booth.

Smother them in ads with so much information that the previous stuff just becomes a blur and floats away in their feeble minds.

That’s strategy, something Romney is known for.

Now go back to your mom’s basement and continue to poke your gumby.

NapaConservative on September 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM

“Like the grand finale of a fireworks show, you need to pepper the squishes at the very end because that’s all they’re going to remember when they stand behind the curtain in the voting booth.”

Maybe, but there’s also the school of thought that says you cannot let your opponent define you. And with the amount of unanswered attacks out there, that just might have happened, imo.

It’s a blitzkrieg of Dem attack ads here in WI. And it’s even working against Tommy Thompson, a guy who the state had a tremendous amount of goodwill for.

I don’t know when Republicans became so passive and always on defense, but that does not win elections.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Maybe, but there’s also the school of thought that says you cannot let your opponent define you. And with the amount of unanswered attacks out there, that just might have happened, imo.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 5:38 PM

There’s also the school of thought that says when your opponent is destroying himself, get out of the way and let him.

I don’t see Barfy’s smear campaign working too well for him.

NapaConservative on September 26, 2012 at 5:42 PM

There’s very simple proof that the CBS poll is 100% bull:

Why is Obama campaigning so hard, let alone at all, in Ohio?

Lord of the Wings on September 26, 2012 at 5:49 PM

I don’t know when Republicans became so passive and always on defense, but that does not win elections.

gumbyandpokey on September 26, 2012 at 5:38 PM

This is why you are on the sidelines whining…

In a war, you pick your battles, you just don’t use all of your resources whenever/whatever/wherever, they are limited, so you plan your battle to most effectively destroy your opponent…and you don’t let your opponent know what your plan is.

We know Mitt has the dollars, we know he has internal polls much more accurate than you could ever imagine, and we know he knows what to do to win a campaign, just ask Newt or Rick(s)…it’s a matter of timing and precision.
Meanwhile, Obama’s campaign, his policies are falling apart, his foreign creds are all but destroyed, the one thing he thought he could bring to the party, and look what has happened the past couple of weeks…without one dime of Republican money.

Obama’s campaign is waiting, waiting for a misstep, and so far they have “47%”, we have a dead Ambassador, dead soldiers, a president afraid of the word terrorist, can’t accept Israel’s capital, with record unemployment, more weeks than any president ever, and greater than the two worst presidents combined…

Obama has the MSM, so why waste money their, the attack will bypass the MSM, it has to, and it will be an advertising onslaught…Obama has one advantage, he can run an ad and get more mileage because the MSM carries it, so he can start earlier…but it won’t help at the finish line, the MSM won’t be able to respond quick enough.

Patience grasshopper

right2bright on September 26, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Today I heard Obama going on air in AZ, true?

NextGen on September 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Today I heard Obama going on air in AZ, true?

NextGen on September 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Yeah he’s going on the “Pimp with an AARP card” show.

Tim_CA on September 26, 2012 at 6:25 PM

There won’t be any riots. Blacks don’t love Obama that much. He was a symbol for them more than a hero. They got what they wanted from him the moment he was elected. From that point on he became just another politician. And the Hispanics won’t do him any favors either. He’ll lose a lot of Jews and Catholics–and the college kids couldn’t care less. I doubt he’ll do as well as Kerry did in 2004. The polls are a joke.

writeblock on September 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

There won’t be any riots. Blacks don’t love Obama that much. He was a symbol for them more than a hero. They got what they wanted from him the moment he was elected. From that point on he became just another politician. And the Hispanics won’t do him any favors either. He’ll lose a lot of Jews and Catholics–and the college kids couldn’t care less. I doubt he’ll do as well as Kerry did in 2004. The polls are a joke.

writeblock on September 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Let’s hope so.

ebrown2 on September 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM

I keep remembering that stadium he couldn’t fill. Awful lot of blacks in NC and they still couldn’t fill it. Can’t get crowds so he rallies in more “intimate” venues. What does that tell you? These polls are part of an orchestrated charade. It’s a con game. He’s holding a lousy hand–so he bluffs, hoping we’ll fold.

writeblock on September 26, 2012 at 9:28 PM

There won’t be any riots. Blacks don’t love Obama that much. He was a symbol for them more than a hero. They got what they wanted from him the moment he was elected. From that point on he became just another politician. And the Hispanics won’t do him any favors either. He’ll lose a lot of Jews and Catholics–and the college kids couldn’t care less. I doubt he’ll do as well as Kerry did in 2004. The polls are a joke.

writeblock on September 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Depends on him. If he loses and loses gracefully, perhaps not. The odds of him losing gracefully however are slim. Sociopathic narcissists go down hard.

slickwillie2001 on September 26, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Lets face it Romney is down in every poll besides Ras, his campaign is lame and I want my 100 bucks back I gave him. At least I would of done something more productive with it then give it to a lame campaign which they make lousy commercials and use no ammunition on Obama. Romney doesn’t want this job just like McCain didn’t want it.

Keep falling in line drones

Conservative4ev on September 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM

So write them and get your money back. Oh, you just wanted to b1tch? My mistake.

cptacek on September 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

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