February 29th, 2012
09:50 AM ET
6 years ago

RNC chair says primary process still good for party

(CNN) – The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Wednesday a prolonged GOP primary would only strengthen his party, and maintained the bitter battle between the four current candidates would be ancient history by the general election.

“I feel good about this," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said on CNN’s “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien.”

He continued, “I know that people argue over whether, you know, having a tough primary is a good thing or a bad thing. I just happen to believe that it's good for a party, as you and I have talked about many times.”

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Priebus was reiterating comments he’s made going back to the beginning of the election season. In November Priebus told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” the nominating process could continue through March 6th, Super Tuesday, or the contest-heavy month of April.

On Wednesday, Priebus said Republicans would have no problem rallying around a candidate in the summer months, arguing there was plenty of time for a GOP nominee to generate the support needed to win the White House.

“I just think that sometimes we lose perspective of how long June, July, August, September, October are,” Priebus said. “It’s going to be eternity. I'm not nervous about this at all. I think the drama and the tough primaries is a good thing for us.”

The 2008 election “put people to sleep,” Priebus said.

“I think it's laughable when I hear people claiming that, you know, we ought to put people to sleep again this time around and just move on,” he added.

As for Rick Santorum’s effort in Michigan to get Democrats to vote for him, Priebus said he wasn’t a fan.

“As chairman of the Party I wish people would follow Reagan's 11th commandment,” Priebus said, referring to Reagan’s edict that “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

“I’m not particularly a big fan of that tactic,” he said. “As Party chairman, playing referee and getting in the weeds and, hey, this little piece is good and that's not good and this 30-second ad is over the line, I really don't get into that.”

Also see:

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Super PACs provide air cover to GOP candidates

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Filed under: 2012 • Reince Priebus
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Jilli

    Well Mr. Priebus, thanks for that view from your alternate reality. If nothing, it was good for a laugh.

    "The 2008 election 'put people to sleep'" – seriously?

    February 29, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. steve

    RNC Chair, maybe you should hang out with Gingrich and talk about the moon

    February 29, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. westward

    The GOP is in SHAMBLES!

    If Romney had THAT narrow margin in 1)his home state, 2) with basically an unlimited SuperPac, 3)against the likes of Rick Santorum as his closest competition, 4)after he has been campaigning for president for 20 long years....No – the GOP is sliding into obsolescence.

    February 29, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Dee

    "This guy is a "Legend in his own mind". I,m thinking he,s as "Looney" as Rick and Newt!! Big problem for Goppers!

    February 29, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Fla Pete

    This so called political process has great material for comedians everywhere.They don't have to adlib anything,just list to debates,speeches ,so on,its great political satire in a sickening sense.What these candidates say and do to generate votes are beyond most sane peoples logic.Lies heaped upon lies,so much they need a team to keep them fresh,no stale material here.Superpacs money are creating new work for future comedians thirsting for the limelight for years to come.How funny the republican party,a mire shadow of its past self,how sad....

    February 29, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. king

    Ohh the RNC is at again quenching the destructive road the repubs on. Lesson every day the people know the destructive ways of pushing money to a selective few and taking money from the Spencer's, which gives big businesses to seek spenders in China, will doom their party. Lesson I know the repubs does not believe in maths or science, but the more money is spread around, the more small businesses will benefit and the more jobs will be created, the more money will go to the federal budget.

    February 29, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Tony

    Yes, the Republican primary has been good for the Democratic Party.

    February 29, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. Wobbly Walker

    I think the drawn out process would be good for the party if not for all the negativity and using up previous campaign funds. Just think if the election was over next week, how is the party going to stay revelant until the election? There wouldn't be anything to talk about and people would forget them.

    February 29, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Sure buddy, of course it's good. What else are you going to say about your pathetic candidates!
    We need to change something about our election process. It's never ending, tiresome and after 200 debates by the rethugs it's like who cares until November and Obama/Biden!!!

    February 29, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    Just remember, when you take the vowels out of his name you get RNC PR BS. Which is exactly what this is. Rest assured that when the GOBP deathcult finally has a nominee, the rally round the flag theater will begin as the GOBP elites start trying to tell America what a "well-vetted" candidate they have. They will ignore the low voter turnouts and the candidates refusals to address America's biggest concerns: the growing wealth/income gap and the millionaire tax favored by three quarters of America and half the GOBP's rank and file voters. So while the GOBP nominee will be the new emperor with no clothes, the RNC will try to sell that as a positive. It's not. Anyone who gets the nomination without addressing the concerns of average Americans, as has been the case so far, does not deserve and will not get the presidency, Cowards all, they are, beholden to the wealthy psychopathic predators that own the party. They care nothing about the needs and goals of average Americans.

    February 29, 2012 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. oman

    Yes Mr. Priebus, it is laughable, how can people be put to sleep when you have the greatest show on earth. Let's give it name. Welcome to the Freak Show.

    February 29, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Thomas

    This guy is the outcome from the cause and affect of elementary school bullying .

    This GOP poster man is not very attractive .

    February 29, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    Nope Reince. It may be history for the sheep and the people who would vote for Mao before Obama but for thinking Americans (who decide the election), the GOP is TOAST. Mittens flaws are being exposed on a daily basis and all Obama has to do is repeat them on the election trail. And forget the ObamaCare angle.....RomneyCare negates that one

    February 29, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |