RNC Chairman talks tactics, the GOP’s technological gap, and how the March for Life “was a little bit of a wake-up call”

posted at 4:51 pm on March 7, 2014 by Dustin Siggins

Yesterday afternoon, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus sat down for a surprisingly candid chat with almost 20 bloggers and reporters, including myself and Ed. He talked about walking into the job of Chairman facing over $26 million in debt, two credit cards that had been suspended, and how the RNC is investing millions of dollars to close the technological and data-mining advantages the Democrats currently hold.

Interestingly, he also said his experience at the March for Life opened his mind to a major weakness in the RNC’s game plan to get out the vote. From my article at LifeSiteNews.com:

“We wanted to remind people about where we stand on life, we went to the March for Life, as an RNC. And I will tell you, personally – which is something I don’t think I’ve shared a whole lot – the RNC going to the March for Life, for me, was a little bit of a wake-up call for me as chairman.”

Priebus allowed members of the RNC who wanted to attend the 2014 March for Life in Washington, D.C., to do so before the GOP’s annual winter meeting.

“Here I am, the chairman of a pro-life party…and I got all this appreciation,” Priebus said. “But it was the appreciation that sort of woke me up to say, ‘Why are these folks so appreciative of something that I thought was a pretty easy decision to make?’”

Priebus said that the gratitude of pro-life organizations brought a whole new realization. “I thought to myself, ‘If these folks are this appreciative of something so simple, maybe we need to start reminding people about the core positions of our party more, so that we can grow in places where we’re strong.’”

“Sometimes, the best fruit is right above your head,” he said.

There has been a lot of talk about the GOP’s weaknesses — minority outreach and having likeable, strong candidates among them — but Priebus’ point about not missing out on shoring up support among those who already support the GOP is a good one. Many social conservatives believe the GOP teases them with rhetoric, but does little actual action at the federal level. And on fiscal issues, most fiscal conservatives speak derisively of the GOP’s claim to be the fiscally conservative party.

However, Priebus admitted to a tactic that may alienate some party loyalists — only talking about same-sex “marriage” when asked about it:

Priebus also said that the GOP is “a party that believes marriage ought to be between one man and one woman. That’s our party platform, and it’s a position I’ve never backed away from. What I have said, though, is that we need to treat each other with grace, dignity, and respect. And that’s not code language. It comes out of the New Testament. And so there should be no confusion about where we stand, and so that’s where we are.”

However, he demurred when asked by National Review Online’s Betsy Woodruff on whether he would “hope to be reminding people of” the party’s position on same-sex “marriage” more often.

“I’m not walking on down the street, but if someone wants to ask me, like you did, I didn’t dance” around the issue, either, the chairman said. “I answered the question head-on, I’m very clear, and that’s what you should expect out of the party.”

Again, though, his frankness will probably win a lot of fans. He said the the RNC has often been “a U-Haul trailer of cash…that hooks up to a nominee” and then isn’t seen until the next presidential election. He wants to turn the RNC into a year-round operation with people in battleground states, and said that when he walked into his job in 2011 the party “had 80 employees. I think Barack Obama had about 800 in Florida alone.”

According to Priebus, the GOP has “become a party that has a hard time losing midterms, but has a hard time winning presidentials.” He pointed out that Scott Walker destroyed his opponent in the summer of 2012, with 600,000 fewer votes than Mitt Romney got…yet Romney got destroyed in the state. (A caveat to this is that any non-presidential elections have low turnout, and the pro-Walker people were fired up.)

He said the GOP needs candidates with whom voters “want to have a beer with,” and it needs to get low-propensity voters out on Election Day. He pointed out that one poll showed 81 percent of Americans thought Obama cared more about them than Mitt Romney, which means many Romney voters supported him even though they thought Obama cared more about them.ha

He also talked about changing the primary system, perhaps to a rotating system of states that go first or a regional system — this former New Hampshireite takes issue with this idea — and how fewer debates and non-liberal moderators will help the party.

Note: Audio of the discussion can be heard here. Pardon the sometimes poor quality of the sound; I had to get up and down a couple of times.

Update (Ed): Dustin has a good accounting of the meeting, but I did want to follow up on another piece of Priebus’ remarks. The RNC chair noted that the debate schedule had gotten out of hand, plus the media involvement had created a “slice and dice” environment for Republican candidates. However, Preibus still spoke of “media partners,” so I asked him how he planned to address the latter issue if he still planned to partner with mainstream-media outlets. He replied that the RNC is now looking into just going with C-SPAN or perhaps even just their own streaming channel as the outlets for the debates, which I think is the smarter play. People don’t tune in to primary debates because they just happen to be on television or think the moderator is awesome; they tune in because they’re motivated to watch the candidates.  That audience will seek out the debates wherever they are broadcast — and so will the reporters who follow the political beat, whether their orgs get to moderate or not.

Update (Dustin): I forgot that in response to Ed’s question, Priebus said he’d consider having bloggers moderate debates — he also said he greatly preferred those of us in the meeting to the moderators seen in the past — so there is definitely potential for some fun in 2016 We could see the Ed/AP/Erika/Erick/Guy/Katie/Jazz-moderated GOP debate!

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Prince Riebus is one of our problems. He needs to go. In fact, I’ve just about come to the conclusion that it’s past time for conservatives to start our own party and leave the GOP for the dustbin of history.

ConstantineXI on March 7, 2014 at 4:53 PM

THIS is the end for RAND PAUL:

RAND PAUL DOES ROBOCALL FOR KARL ROVE GROUP

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/07/Rand-Paul-Does-American-Crossroads-Robocall-To-Thwart-Libertarian-Candidate

Pork-Chop on March 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

I saw the RNC folks in the red hats up close and personal during the March for Life. Count me among the grateful ones that they were actually willing to show up. And yes, shoring up support is important. The first rule in politics always is: “Secure your base.”

Remain utterly silent on issues, and people will begin to doubt that you hold the position that you do, or forget that you even have one.

Stoic Patriot on March 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM

We could see the Ed/AP/Erika/Erick/Guy/Katie/Jazz-moderated GOP debate!

Would AP have a bag over his head?

Stoic Patriot on March 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM

“Here I am, the chairman of a pro-life party…and I got all this appreciation,” Priebus said. “But it was the appreciation that sort of woke me up to say, ‘Why are these folks so appreciative of something that I thought was a pretty easy decision to make?’”

Priebus said that the gratitude of pro-life organizations brought a whole new realization. “I thought to myself, ‘If these folks are this appreciative of something so simple, maybe we need to start reminding people about the core positions of our party more, so that we can grow in places where we’re strong.’”

Really. No Sh1t Sherlock.

cptacek on March 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM

There has been a lot of talk about the GOP’s weaknesses — minority outreach and having likeable, strong candidates among them — but Priebus’ point about not missing out on shoring up support among those who already support the GOP is a good one. Many social conservatives believe the GOP teases them with rhetoric, but does little actual action at the federal level. And on fiscal issues, most fiscal conservatives speak derisively of the GOP’s claim to be the fiscally conservative party.

Look around these threads. We are told all the time to sit down and shut up. That we are the reason the party is losing and that people can’t wait until we are gone from the party.

cptacek on March 7, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Pork-Chop on March 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

This is one case where I don’t mind. The Libertarian will only siphon votes from Jolly leaving Sink to take the seat. And she’s a shrew not unlike DWS.

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Would AP have a bag over his head?

Stoic Patriot on March 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Probably go for the Blofeld pose.

de rigueur on March 7, 2014 at 5:01 PM

He also talked about changing the primary system, perhaps to a rotating system of states that go first or a regional system — this former New Hampshireite takes issue with this idea — and how fewer debates and non-liberal moderators will help the party.

States that went to a non-Republican in the last election need to go last. States that went to the Republican in the last election should go first.

cptacek on March 7, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Many social conservatives believe the GOP teases them with rhetoric, but does little actual action at the federal level

I am not sure this is entirely true. What we want is defense at the federal level. We want the government to stop the left from pushing their social issues and mores through judicial action. I know of NO social conservatives who want proactive legislation. Most social cons want to be left alone, and some assurance that Massachusetts mores are not going to spill over to Tennessee. Social cons are not proactive, but reactive.

melle1228 on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Remember when Republicans used to be able to run a ground game?

You know, knock on doors and stuff? Low tech.

So 1980′s. Wins elections. They might want to try it again someday.

ajacksonian on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

REINCE PRIEBUS OMITS SARAH PALIN FROM WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH TRIBUTE

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/02/Sarah%20Palin-Absent-from-RNC-Womens-History-Month-Statement

idesign on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

NOT ONE CENT

OmahaConservative on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Stoic Patriot, I was thinking a bear suit.

Dustin Siggins on March 7, 2014 at 5:07 PM

“I thought to myself, ‘If these folks are this appreciative of something so simple, maybe we need to start reminding people about the core positions of our party more, so that we can grow in places where we’re strong.’”

Oh! I’m sorry but if you are the RNC Chair and it is a wake-up call that you might want to be reminding people of the core positions of the Republican Party. Then it is time that your ass be fired.

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM

We could see the Ed/AP/Erika/Erick/Guy/Katie/Jazz-moderated GOP debate!

Dustin, I think very highly of you and hope that you will become a full timer here at HA. However you are mistaken if you think Allah will ever moderate a debate. Lest he be able to do it remotely and not compromise his ID.

Bmore on March 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM

This is one case where I don’t mind. The Libertarian will only siphon votes from Jolly leaving Sink to take the seat. And she’s a shrew not unlike DWS.

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I’m just being overly dramatic. I agree with the reason that he’s doing it, but, I don’t get why he didn’t just do an independent robocall, or work with someone else, instead of kissing up to Rove. The association certainly won’t help Rand. Nothing kills a non-establishment Republican’s credibility like playing in Rove’s sandbox.

Pork-Chop on March 7, 2014 at 5:09 PM

He also talked about changing the primary system, perhaps to a rotating system of states that go first or a regional system — this former New Hampshireite takes issue with this idea — and how fewer debates and non-liberal moderators will help the party.

States that went to a non-Republican in the last election need to go last. States that went to the Republican in the last election should go first.

cptacek on March 7, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Great ideas.

talkingpoints on March 7, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Reince: “All our base ARE belong to us.”

StubbleSpark on March 7, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Stoic Patriot, I was thinking a bear suit.

Dustin Siggins on March 7, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Ha!!! Now get busy Dustin and try to get the glitches at this site fixed. Its a mess!!

Bmore on March 7, 2014 at 5:11 PM

did, well, cronyism come up? the Party of Big Business…the light bulb ban, the Ethanol program…did the Chamber come up?

r keller on March 7, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Remember when Republicans used to be able to run a ground game?

You know, knock on doors and stuff? Low tech.

So 1980′s. Wins elections. They might want to try it again someday.

ajacksonian on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

I’m really tempted to snark like the rat-eared wonder and say “the 1980s called, they want their political strategy back.”

But the reality is that GWB was elected and re-elected by grassroots activism. 2010 gutted the Democratic party by grassroots activism. It wasn’t due to the GOP but by conservatives supporting Republican candidates but to ignore that fact would be just wrong.

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2014 at 5:12 PM

However you are mistaken if you think Allah will ever moderate a debate. Lest he be able to do it remotely and not compromise his ID.

Bmore on March 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM

I can see a way for it to happen.

sharrukin on March 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

He also talked about changing the primary system, perhaps to a rotating system of states that go first or a regional system — this former New Hampshireite takes issue with this idea — and how fewer debates and non-liberal moderators will help the party.

States that went to a non-Republican in the last election need to go last. States that went to the Republican in the last election should go first.

cptacek on March 7, 2014 at 5:02 PM

One of the key changes in the primary process that needs to change is to limit those voting for GOP primaries to be registered GOP voters. No more open primaries where crossover Democrats can influence the selection of the GOP candidate.

I think that’s far more important than which state will go first. One of the challenges, also, with a regional approach, is that a candidate could very well be selected before some regions are held.

I’d prefer to see fewer primary days (think of multiple Super Tuesday’s) spread a little further apart that involve states across the nation. Something like a primary season that has just 5 votes, 10 states per vote, 4 to 6 weeks between.

Athos on March 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Dustin Siggins on March 7, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Oh, and one more favor. Tell Steve to fix the broken Global Security link on his post. Please.

Bmore on March 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

You would think the democrats are infiltrating the party.
Michael Steele and Reince Priebus have alienated the base and done the work for them.

Cheese Wheel on March 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

kissing up to Rove. The association certainly won’t help Rand.

Pork-Chop on March 7, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Hes just keeping his options open. And how many rank & file, other than us, knows A/C is Rove or even cares?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no fan of Rand and I’m no Libertarian. But with a looming Crist election, we don’t need any more ‘rats in the Florida delegation.

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

I can see a way for it to happen.

sharrukin on March 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Lolz! Screw the candidates, I’d pay big dough just to see that! ; )

Bmore on March 7, 2014 at 5:15 PM

I am astounded by how completely out of touch this Rinse Prybar guy really is.

ElectricPhase on March 7, 2014 at 5:16 PM

States that went to a non-Republican in the last election need to go last. States that went to the Republican in the last election should go first.

cptacek on March 7, 2014 at 5:02 PM

THIS!

Also NO MORE Candy Crowley’s, Wolf Blitzers etc.

How about Brit Hume as a moderator?

No more MSM mediators. They don’t moderate they propagandize for the Dem Party.

What Crowley did should forever be remembered.

neyney on March 7, 2014 at 5:18 PM

THIS is the end for RAND PAUL:

RAND PAUL DOES ROBOCALL FOR KARL ROVE GROUP

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/07/Rand-Paul-Does-American-Crossroads-Robocall-To-Thwart-Libertarian-Candidate

Pork-Chop on March 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

The Libertarian has no chance to win in that district. Unless Rand thinks that Jolly is as bad as or worse than Sink I don’t see anything wrong with what he’s doing.

By the way, the NRCC seems to be abandoning Jolly just as Crossroads is jumping in to support him. I thought those two were on the same page?

kcewa on March 7, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Remember when Republicans used to be able to run a ground game?

You know, knock on doors and stuff? Low tech.

So 1980′s. Wins elections. They might want to try it again someday.

ajacksonian on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Eyewitness here, to the fiasco that was Romney’s ground game in Las Vegas. Volunteers knocking on the same doors for Romney over and over– 3 or 4 times over a period of a few weeks, often a day or 2 after the last time– to the visible annoyance of over half of those contacted. Other areas missed entirely. The screw-up was both strategic (ORCA– you’d better believe the GOP needs to catch up on technology) and tactical (as in– ahem, precinct captains– “uh, déjà vu all over again or something, but don’t these house numbers and doesn’t this map seem familiar?”).

Nevada was a state that the GOP had an outside chance to flip, and volunteers from 3-4 surrounding states (“safe” and Dem-locked states) clamoring to get in… and the GOP couldn’t process them.

GOP might want to re-learn the ground game before they try it again.

de rigueur on March 7, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Ed/AP/Erika/Erick/Guy/Katie/Jazz-moderated GOP debate!

Would prefer Michelle Malkin moderating.

Or Ben Shapiro.

Ed is not tough AT ALL in interviews and supports amnesty. So does Guy and MKH.

Jazz isn’t even conservative and is pro-establishment.

I want Malkin as sole moderator.

bluegill on March 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Who let the hagfish swim in?

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

THIS is the end for RAND PAUL:

RAND PAUL DOES ROBOCALL FOR KARL ROVE GROUP

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/07/Rand-Paul-Does-American-Crossroads-Robocall-To-Thwart-Libertarian-Candidate

Pork-Chop on March 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

I don’t see the problem with this. If Rand Paul can sway libertarian voters away from a fringe libertarian candidate that has no chance of winning, that’s a good thing.

midgeorgian on March 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Oh! I’m sorry but if you are the RNC Chair and it is a wake-up call that you might want to be reminding people of the core positions of the Republican Party. Then it is time that your ass be fired.

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Who else would do a better job?

rockmom on March 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

What about AP? He would be a great moderator…of course he would have to emerge, but maybe he could do it over the net?

Blaise on March 7, 2014 at 5:27 PM

He replied that the RNC is now looking into just going with C-SPAN or perhaps even just their own streaming channel as the outlets for the debates, which I think is the smarter play.

So instead of allowing MSM “moderators” to shape the discussion through their biased questions with a wider audience that only watch because it is on tv we will instead get to listen to MSM reporters interpret the debate performances that the masses didn’t watch because they didn’t see them on tv.

Which is worse?

I agree with Ed when talking about motivated voters, but we still get LIVs voting in the primaries, and they will vote based on perceptions from MSM reporters. At least with nationally televised debates on the major networks, we run the chance of people tuning in and hearing the conservative message first hand. I believe more in Cruz and Rand’s ability to challenge the premise of idiotic questions than I believe in Brian Williams giving a fair representation of how they performed in a debate online that hardly anyone watched. Far too easy for the MSM to paint conservatives as RWNJs if no one actually watched the debates.

Engage the major networks, push to get our own moderators for debates on their network. If they insist on having their own moderators, have Newt hold a class with all the candidates on how to properly attack the premise of their questions and move forward.

Broadcasting debates on channels and media outlets that will only reach the motivated GOP voters will mean swift death to the more conservative candidates.

We have to reach a wider audience, even if the questions are rigged.

airupthere on March 7, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Eyewitness here, to the fiasco that was Romney’s ground game in Las Vegas. Volunteers knocking on the same doors for Romney over and over– 3 or 4 times over a period of a few weeks, often a day or 2 after the last time– to the visible annoyance of over half of those contacted. Other areas missed entirely. The screw-up was both strategic (ORCA– you’d better believe the GOP needs to catch up on technology) and tactical (as in– ahem, precinct captains– “uh, déjà vu all over again or something, but don’t these house numbers and doesn’t this map seem familiar?”).

Nevada was a state that the GOP had an outside chance to flip, and volunteers from 3-4 surrounding states (“safe” and Dem-locked states) clamoring to get in… and the GOP couldn’t process them.

GOP might want to re-learn the ground game before they try it again.

de rigueur on March 7, 2014 at 5:21 PM

They need to bring back Ken Mehlman, or whoever ran the ground operations for him, to do what they did in 2004. That ground operation was awesome, and won the election for Bush in Ohio. I had some friends who went there from DC and said the level of organization and detail blew the Democrats away. This was one reason the Obama team put so much focus on data mining and people on the ground. Our side made their side up their game.

That 2004 campaign was very much a turn-out-the-base campaign too. It was crucial in Ohio. GOP turnout was much higher than even some Republicans expected.

There is a science to doing this stuff right, the logistics are not simple, but there are pros who know how it’s done.

rockmom on March 7, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Update (Dustin): I forgot that in response to Ed’s question, Priebus said he’d consider having bloggers moderate debates — he also said he greatly preferred those of us in the meeting to the moderators seen in the past — so there is definitely potential for some fun in 2016 We could see the Ed/AP/Erika/Erick/Guy/Katie/Jazz-moderated GOP debate!

…if they don’t do it this way…he’s just a Rinsed Peni$………..again!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Ed is not tough AT ALL in interviews and supports amnesty. So does Guy and MKH.

Jazz isn’t even conservative and is pro-establishment.

I want Malkin as sole moderator.

blueballs on March 7, 2014 at 5:23 PM

…which one of you guys…just took a shit?

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Let’s spend millions on closing the technological gap and then televise our debates to the smallest possible audience…brilliant!

airupthere on March 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

…which one of you guys…just took a shit?

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 5:33 PM

Heh. blueballs. And I’m outta breadballs.

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 5:35 PM

I saw the RNC folks in the red hats up close and personal during the March for Life. Count me among the grateful ones that they were actually willing to show up. And yes, shoring up support is important. The first rule in politics always is: “Secure your base.”

Remain utterly silent on issues, and people will begin to doubt that you hold the position that you do, or forget that you even have one.

Stoic Patriot on March 7, 2014 at 4:57 PM

yeah i mean if you really believe in something, fight for it. if you really believe in something, be vocal about it. otherwise you give the impression that you don’t care that much. and this is true not only for politicians but regular people. (the grassroots)

Sachiko on March 7, 2014 at 5:36 PM

He also talked about changing the primary system, perhaps to a rotating system of states that go first or a regional system — this former New Hampshireite takes issue with this idea…

This Texan is damn tired of seeing our state have to put up with the dreck that much smaller, less conservative states dictate to us in terms of candidates.

Something needs to be done to change this; I’m not sure it should be Texas being first and telling everyone else what to do, either – but if it has to be done on a ‘few states go first basis, and only those states will ever be it’, well… f*ck New Hampshire, Delaware, Iowa, et all, frankly.

Either change the method, or let’s at least put the powerhouse conservative/Republican states *first*.

Midas on March 7, 2014 at 5:37 PM

What about AP? He would be a great moderator…of course he would have to emerge, but maybe he could do it over the net?

Blaise on March 7, 2014 at 5:27 PM

i want this to happen so badly =D

Sachiko on March 7, 2014 at 5:37 PM

maybe we need to start reminding people about the core positions of our party more…

Maybe the party’s elected officials should be reminded of the party’s core positions. You could start by having them tattooed inside their eyelids.

Or not. The party’s core positions seem to be ‘going along to get along’ and ‘hoping to win next time’.

Electability!

trigon on March 7, 2014 at 5:40 PM

He replied that the RNC is now looking into just going with C-SPAN or perhaps even just their own streaming channel as the outlets for the debates, which I think is the smarter play.

Hmm; so *no one* would actually see them, and just find out about it, and it’s content, in conveniently pre-packaged, pre-spun doses distributed by their friendly neighborhood MSM folks?

This is smarter?

No – MSM must still carry them, but location, audience, moderators and questions must be out of MSM hands entirely. That’s the smarter play.

Midas on March 7, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Who else would do a better job?

rockmom on March 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

You’re suggesting Reince is the best guy in the country for the job?

Midas on March 7, 2014 at 5:41 PM

This Texan is damn tired of seeing our state have to put up with the dreck that much smaller, less conservative states dictate to us in terms of candidates.

Something needs to be done to change this; I’m not sure it should be Texas being first and telling everyone else what to do, either – but if it has to be done on a ‘few states go first basis, and only those states will ever be it’, well… f*ck New Hampshire, Delaware, Iowa, et all, frankly.

Either change the method, or let’s at least put the powerhouse conservative/Republican states *first*.

Midas on March 7, 2014 at 5:37 PM

I figure Texas sec-sedes when the dollar finally collapses. It won’t take long for the mid-west and south to follow us. The libs left on the coasts will be too busy trying to find a rich guy to punish for the mess to do anything about it.

trigon on March 7, 2014 at 5:44 PM

So instead of allowing MSM “moderators” to shape the discussion through their biased questions with a wider audience that only watch because it is on tv we will instead get to listen to MSM reporters interpret the debate performances that the masses didn’t watch because they didn’t see them on tv.

Which is worse?

airupthere on March 7, 2014 at 5:31 PM

I don’t think it’s about biased questions – it’s more about MSM reporters creating “issues” that have nothing to do with the campaign so they can get ratings.

If no one asks “Planned parenthood says you supported a law that restricted women’s access to Birth Control. Why are you against Birth Control?” then there won’t be any artificial controversy for the dem’s to exploit.

kcewa on March 7, 2014 at 5:45 PM

What about AP? He would be a great moderator…of course he would have to emerge, but maybe he could do it over the net?

Blaise on March 7, 2014 at 5:27 PM

i want this to happen so badly =D

Sachiko on March 7, 2014 at 5:37 PM

There’s surely still a handful of nutballs that want to get to him for naming himself after the prophet, SBUH.

slickwillie2001 on March 7, 2014 at 5:45 PM

maybe we need to start reminding people about the core positions of our party – Reince Priebus

Do you think anyone still knows where that dust covered document might have been filed?

sharrukin on March 7, 2014 at 5:46 PM

People don’t tune in to primary debates because they just happen to be on television or think the moderator is awesome; they tune in because they’re motivated to watch the candidates. That audience will seek out the debates wherever they are broadcast — and so will the reporters who follow the political beat, whether their orgs get to moderate or not.

Ed, I believe our statement is more feel than fact.

In the 2012 debate cycle the first half of the televised cable news/msm debates ranged from 3-6 million viewers.
Bloomberg tv debate had 1.3 million viewers. Apparently the motivated primary voters couldn’t find it and waited for the media coverage to tell them who won.

airupthere on March 7, 2014 at 5:47 PM

This is sort of like how Chris Christie talked about how conservatives need to speak more on what they are for.

And then, you know, didn’t.

WE are the party of Better Ideas! But we don’t discuss them in public, it isn’t decent. Or something.

fretlesst on March 7, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Hmm; so *no one* would actually see them, and just find out about it, and it’s content, in conveniently pre-packaged, pre-spun doses distributed by their friendly neighborhood MSM folks?
This is smarter?
No – MSM must still carry them, but location, audience, moderators and questions must be out of MSM hands entirely. That’s the smarter play.
Midas on March 7, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Agree with this^^^ 100%.
The worst thing the GOP can do is take the debates underground.

airupthere on March 7, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Who else would do a better job?

rockmom on March 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Does anyone else even want the job?

monalisa on March 7, 2014 at 5:51 PM

This is sort of like how Chris Christie talked about how conservatives need to speak more on what they are for.
And then, you know, didn’t.
WE are the party of Better Ideas! But we don’t discuss them in public, it isn’t decent. Or something.
fretlesst on March 7, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Let’s have really good substantive debates that no one watches. What could go wrong?

airupthere on March 7, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Does anyone else even want the job?

monalisa on March 7, 2014 at 5:51 PM

I don’t understand why DeMint doesn’t take it.

Lanceman on March 7, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Update (Dustin): I forgot that in response to Ed’s question, Priebus said he’d consider having bloggers moderate debates — he also said he greatly preferred those of us in the meeting to the moderators seen in the past — so there is definitely potential for some fun in 2016 We could see the Ed/AP/Erika/Erick/Guy/Katie/Jazz-moderated GOP debate!

Definitely AllahPundit — The Masked Moderator!

rbj on March 7, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Priebus said he’d consider having bloggers moderate debates

Here’s the thing Reince-

No journalist (or blogger) should be moderating these debates. Candy Crowley putting down the bucket of KFC long enough to save Obama by waving a transcript in her grease-stained sausage fingers should mean that the GOP refuses to agree to moderators from the media in any form (including bloggers).

How about going into a community who just had their coal mine closed but the Dems are claiming are beneficiaries of Obamacare and have a panel of moderators. The mayor, a coal company official, a business owner, a coal miner, and a local doctor. Let’s have them ask the questions instead of some fat cow with an agenda!

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2014 at 5:56 PM

There is a science to doing this stuff right, the logistics are not simple, but there are pros who know how it’s done.

rockmom on March 7, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Yes, there are. And for the logistics you don’t even need to be a political organizer to know how it’s done. All kinds of companies and professions have routine experience housing, feeding, transporting, deploying and assigning tasks to large numbers of people. Even Hollywood production offices do it on a daily basis. Just hand them database or the precinct sheets.

Okay… maybe keep Hollywood out of this…

de rigueur on March 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Why can’t we just weight the primaries based the schedule. A state can choose to go whenever it wishes, but the earlier you go the less you’re worth.

DFCtomm on March 7, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Learning from the past to win the future.

Yeah, right. Please forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

RoadRunner on March 7, 2014 at 6:54 PM

“We wanted to remind people about where we stand on life, we went to the March for Life, as an RNC. And I will tell you, personally – which is something I don’t think I’ve shared a whole lot – the RNC going to the March for Life, for me, was a little bit of a wake-up call for me as chairman.”

OK. That’s a long overdue start. Now, Reince Priebus needs to share that “wake-up call” with the California Republican Party.

The new mantra for the California Republican Party is the importance of reaching out to Hispanics.

If the Republican Party would ever take the time to attend the annual Walk For Life West Coast in San Francisco in January, they would see for themselves that tens of thousands of Hispanics have been participating in the Walk For Life West Coast for years!

The Republican Party can find out more about the Walk For Life West Coast at this link:
http://www.walkforlifewc.com/

It is the Republican Party that doesn’t show up for obvious events where their base has been active for years.

Meanwhile, the “Democrats for Life” group has been a very visible leader at the Walk For Life West Coast.

wren on March 7, 2014 at 8:02 PM

OMG. Priebus, you idiot. WHY is it so difficult for the GOPers to realize how far off they have gotten from the party platform, and that’s what has pissed us all off for so long???

chelie on March 7, 2014 at 9:19 PM

How about a better stance.

For the Primary debates, all moderators or questioners should be within the ideological range of the candidates, or the range of the GOP Party. Preferably early on they should be the full spread of the aforementioned principles. This leaves the viewership with the question of why all the general election moderators and questioners are from the (comparatively) far far left.

jhnone on March 7, 2014 at 9:33 PM

idesign on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Because, really, truly, what has she accomplished?

limecat on March 7, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Priebus has actually been pretty good. He called Senators and told them to go to the floor and support Rand Paul and Ted Cruz during their filibusters. He has defended the Tea Party on numerous occasions. He actually showed up at the March for Life. Priebus is not the RINO that some of you think he is.

fight like a girl on March 7, 2014 at 10:39 PM

idesign on March 7, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Because, really, truly, what has she accomplished?

limecat on March 7, 2014 at 10:38 PM

More than Nikki Haley has.

sharrukin on March 7, 2014 at 10:44 PM

Two and big reasons the GOP will lose in 2016-it will fail to lose the image of being the party of corporate America(thank you Chamber of Commerce)and it will never overcome the divisiveness within it among conservatives and RINOs,libertarians and traditional conservatives,hawks and isolationists,secularists and evangelicals,and fiscal hawks and compassionate big government types.No matter who wins what will be an extremely contentious nomination battle there will be enough dissenters who stay home over issues of great importance to them that the Socialist/Progressives will win again.

Will conservatives show up for a Chris Christie? Will RINOs show up for Ted Cruz? Will the middle class show up for Jeb Bush? How about anti-amnesty folks for Marco Rubio? Or libertarians for Mike Huckabee? Not enough to make a difference.

redware on March 8, 2014 at 9:14 AM

If the RNC, Rep. state gov’s at least, and all Rep. candidates do not work to support voter ID and supporting the FEDERAL National Voting Rights Act (YES, we have one) in cleaning out the dead, MIA, and fraudulent registrations from voting rolls, we will maybe never win a national election again.

rennyangel2 on March 8, 2014 at 9:20 AM

He also talked about changing the primary system, perhaps to a rotating system of states that go first or a regional system — this former New Hampshireite takes issue with this idea

Take exception to it all you want. You are flat out wrong.

The state with the highest percentage of it’s vote for the Republican nominee for President should go first in the Republican primary system for the next Presidential election. The rest should then follow suit in order.

No more having Democrats cross over in open primary states which never vote Republican anyways in order to determine who our nominee is. Period.

Theophile on March 14, 2014 at 8:31 PM