At the same time, the RNC has continued its strategy of picking fights with liberal institutions over racial issues. When MSNBC tweeted a crack earlier this year about how “the rightwing” would hate a commercial featuring a biracial family, Priebus announced that the RNC would boycott the network until they apologized. By the end of the day, MSNBC’s CEO had fired the staffer responsible for the tweet, and asked the party for its forgiveness. The RNC also repeatedly called out MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry after guests on her show made fun of a Romney family photo featuring Mitt’s black adopted grandson.
Spicer said part of the purpose of all this goading is to illustrate how the political biases of community gatekeepers often prevent Republicans from reaching voters of color.
“If you open certain publications, you might say, ‘I never see anything about Republicans,’” Spicer said. “Well, in a lot of cases, it’s not for lack of trying. It’s because they don’t want to highlight the work we’re doing. The ultimate win for us is that we create a dialogue where readers of that publication see more conservative thought and opinion and ideas and understand how many people in their community share those ideas.”
RNC officials stress that they’re investing in a long-term strategy and that the results won’t always be immediately visible, but they do have one favorite statistic they like to pass along to reporters: From January 2013 to January 2014, the Republican Party’s favorability among black voters increased from 12% to 16%, according to a Wall Street Journal–NBC poll.