Obama's policies 'maddening,’ RNC chair says
April 28th, 2011
10:13 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama's policies 'maddening,’ RNC chair says

Washington (CNN) - Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus attempted to pivot the political conversation Thursday from President Barack Obama's birth certificate to the president's policies.

"We're borrowing four and half billion dollars a day and this president is more worried about birth certificates, Oprah Winfrey and fundraisers at the Waldorf Astoria," Priebus said on "CNN Newsroom." "It's maddening and I just wish the president would engage in the real issues that are affecting America."

Obama released the long-form version of his birth certificate Wednesday, seeing to put an end to persistent rumors that he was not born in the United States. He said the country was focusing on the "silly" debate instead of the country's economic obstacles.

But Priebus said it's the president's priorities that are out of whack.

"We've got a president who's not talking about the issue," Priebus said. "We've got him going to Jonas Brothers, golfing, doing everything except figuring out a way to save Medicare that's going to go bankrupt in nine years."

Although he said he has been a steadfast opponent of the so-called "birther" movement, the newly elected chairman told CNN's Carol Costello that it's not his job to dictate topics to potential 2012 presidential candidates. For the past two months real estate mogul and possible GOP White House contender Donald Trump has frequently questioned whether the president was born in the U.S.

"It's not my job to play police officer with the candidates," Priebus said. "It's up to the voters to play police officer and go into the voting booth."

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Filed under: President Obama • Reince Priebus • RNC • TV-CNN Newsroom
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. SayWhat

    The more Republicans mention birth certificates, the more disingeniuos they are appearing to the American public. What is the GOP doing to creat jobs and help the economy, other than trying to legislate their morality? Can't wait for 2012 to send the GOP packing.

    April 28, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. M-AZ

    Another Republican clown saying what amounts to nothing.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 28, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  3. stevetall

    It's disappointing to see that the new chairman of the Republican Party is acting like a pinhead. Come on, stupid. The president isn't more concerned about his birth certificate. It was you chumps who tried to turn the conversation in that direction. By the way, why weren't you whining while George Bush was establishing himself as the 'Vacation President'? He acted more like Nero, fiddling while our economy burned.

    Until the GOP stop crying like a bunch of little girls, they will never again be taken seriously!

    April 28, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. kinglywarrior

    Predictable, flat and empty rhetoric as usual.

    April 28, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. gt

    nero plays the vilolen.....and rome burns....get off this stupid birthe, grades and what ever stupid distraction people bring up... were tripping over midgets ....

    April 28, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Paul1st

    Which party was it that nurtured the birther movement?

    April 28, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    I am sure you might find them that way. So what? Do you want to know that most Americans think of your policies? Take a visit to any local supermarket; not the gourmet one, either. Take a trip to any locally owned store on Main Street, and notice the distressed eyes of the owners. Visit a park where children play, and listen to the mothers discuss their worries. Go visit the local deli or pizza shop at lunch time when the contractors flood in, and listen. When you have trouble falling asleep at night because you did all of these things, listen to these words again.

    April 28, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. Martha in CF

    Well Mr Priebus, if you would have told your crony Republican bunch that President Obama was an American citizen, born in Hawaii, President Obama would not have had to waste the time of producing the document.
    You and your bunch are nothing but hypocrites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope 2012 has a toll on your Redumblicans.......................Racists, thats all you people are. It is shameful and a disgrace to American......................

    April 28, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. GL

    What is you plan other than going after the President day in and day out. WHERE IS THE REPUBILCANS PLAN TO GET THIS COUNTRY MOVING?

    April 28, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  10. kakaraka

    Really? Waccooooooooooooooos with no clues of what they are talking about.

    April 28, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. OneMoreTime

    Oh yeah? Well I wish the Republican members of Congress had not spent two years saying No to everything the
    President proposed, I wish they had not taken their wives all over the word, on our dime during their unearned
    Spring break, I wish they would be honest about the true cost of Ryan's Medicare plan in his budget, I wish they
    would focus on A JOBS BILL, instead of tearing down everything concerning the middle class, that would not
    even make a dent in the deficit. I wish they would care about America and not themselves. I wish the
    Supreme Court had not given carte blanche to the corporations to make unlimited, unnamed donations so the
    President would not have to go to fund raisers. I with George Bush had concentrated on the matters of
    America and not which brush to cut down. I wish Donald Trump would shut up!

    April 28, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. GL

    It's not my job to play police officer with the candidates," Priebus said. "It's up to the voters to play police officer and go into the voting booth."

    Never in my 48 years have any President been asked to show me your papers. RACIST IS ALIVE IN WELL IN THIS COUNTRY and the Repubilcans are trying to blame this on the President.

    April 28, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. Obama 2012

    He was not worried about birth certificates. Your party was worried about birth certificates. When he issues it so that your party can talk about the issues, you are still worried about birth certificates. DO YOUR JOBS.

    April 28, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  14. Uche

    The President has been focussed on the economy from DAY1 of his presidency but you guys have been playing politics with the economy etc. GOP has been calling for a proof of his citizenship and other GOP Presidential hopefuls have been conducting fundraisers everywhere. You guys are just a big distraction. and I blame the MEDIA including CNN for playing along.

    April 28, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. LovesIrony

    What is maddening is the Ryan attack on the middle class, taxpaying workers. This medicare voucher crap is what is truly maddening. Just can't stop with tax breaks for the wealthy can you guys. In the same proposal to rip the rug out from under those of us under 55 that have been paying in to the system for years you want MORE tax breaks for the wealthy.

    This proposal is as bad as when House Republicans tried to change the definition of rape.
    Not included in the new definition of "forcible rape" are acts of rape where a woman drinks too much, was given drugs, has a limited mental state or was date raped.

    April 28, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Maddening, you say? Not half as mad as the American people at the 2010 election sucker punch thrown by the Republican Party thrown at entire nation. The American people are just as righteously indignant as you are, Mr. Priebus. But, I think your party has grossly misread the wind direction.

    It was never at your backs. Your party was warned all last summer that the big score you saw coming on Election Day would be misinterpreted. Your party was warned by the left of self-destruction. Your party has demonstrated once again the capacity to misread reality. American voters are satisfied that your feelings are mutual.

    April 28, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. ABM

    They are maddening because the GOP is not in the White House. The GOP sound like spoiled kids when they do not get what tehy want. How about a change in attitude and face the facts. The people elected him the President for 4 years – get over it and work WITH the Obama administration. Wasting years crying over the lose is not accomplishing anything positive for the American people.

    April 28, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Bob Dog

    Republican = HYPOCRITE.

    April 28, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Genial

    Reince Priebus? Further proof that the GOP higher-ups are actually aliens. Can they prove they were born on this planet? Why doesn't he ask his homeboy Paul Ryan, also from Wisconsin (supposedly), about saving Medicare?

    April 28, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Thankfully Independent

    And this come from a group that spends more than they receive. So does the RNC cut back its spending, like they say the government should? No! They keep on deificit spending and keep asking for more money. Well, if they believe that's the way to go, why don't they want to raise taxes too? The only way to solve our fiscal problems is to cut spending and raise taxes.

    Gues the RNC hasn't gotten the message yet.

    April 28, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. hcx

    Unbelievable....now they want to blame Obama for the birther silliness? Unbelievable. The GOP is hilarious.

    April 28, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Jess C

    Nice "bait and switch", dude. The President is more worried? Did he bring up this birther crap? Really? It never seizes to amaze me how the GOP can turn their crap around and point the blame elsewhere. They are truly the party of no accountability whatsoever. Sadly, they are able to fool their loyal minions.

    April 28, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. I can see mexico from my house

    Well, you republicans started it, the birther thing, now you got it and you are still crying.

    April 28, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Al-NY,NY

    who cares what you think? Get on your own people and CREATE JOBS like you promised

    April 28, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. larryw

    his remarks are so dishonest. For over 2 years the republicans and some democrats on Fox have talked about the birth certificate and now this clown Rebutt is trying to blame Obama. The republicans are trying to take the country 50 years with their attack on unions, women, and the elderly just to line the pockets or the wealthy. Don't these republican clowns know we can read and we are not dumb. We know what they are trying to do and they will be stopped.

    April 28, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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