(CNN) – Responding to criticism from Sen. Bob Dole, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus bluntly stated Sunday that the GOP is in fact "open for repairs."
Last week the 1996 Republican presidential nominee said his party has changed so much in the past decade that even former President Ronald Reagan wouldn't find a place in it.
Instead of operating daily in a nonelection year, the national party should focus on broader plans to rehabilitate itself after the losses of 2012, Dole said.
“I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says ‘Closed for repairs’ until New Year’s Day next year. Spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas,” the former Kansas lawmaker said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Appearing on the same program Sunday, the party's chief praised Dole as a hero but argued the party has nominated two men – Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney - who paint a different picture than "what Mr. Dole had to say. "
Priebus also pointed to the RNC's months-long review after losing the November election and its efforts to change the party's messaging strategy to reach a broader range of voters.
'We basically went around the country, we talked to 52,000 people, we have a serious project that we're working on, we unveiled it," Priebus said. "And I would say we're not closed for repairs, but open for repairs."
Priebus argued the party hasn't "decisively won" a presidential race in 24 years.
"This is not something that suddenly happened, but it is something that the national party and Republican Party, et al., have to address, which we did," he added, referring to the RNC review.
- CNN's Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.