In response to Dole, Priebus declares RNC 'open for repairs'
June 2nd, 2013
04:16 PM ET
10 years ago

In response to Dole, Priebus declares RNC 'open for repairs'

(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.

Filed under: Reince Priebus • RNC
soundoff (298 Responses)

    What is the point in supporting the GOP when they ignored their entire conservative base last election?

    June 2, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. GOP = Greed Over People

    "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,"

    And the GOP con solution was to "go after more of the white vote"!

    June 2, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    The close sign will continue to hang on the door of the repair shop because conservatives and Tea Partiers will not concede without a fight.

    June 2, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Larry L

    What is the point in supporting the GOP when they ignored their entire conservative base last election?
    The conservative base was the reason for the GOP loss. Candidates who were crazy enough to win the primary couldn't win the general. Romney's dishonest "etch-a-sketch" attempt to shift from hateful conservative to electable moderate was foolish and cost him any chance of winning. The conservative base is a liability because the complex problems of the modern age can't be solved with overly-simplistic, narrow-minded, bigoted, and hateful solution sets.

    June 2, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Oliver A. Dyer

    "Open for Repairs" until further notice. The GOP has been so consumed in being "ANTI OBAMA" they have not done a substantive thing to really make themselves more inviting to independents, minorities nor women. If they would put as much effort into creating jobs, improving the country;s roads, bridges and power grids as they put into congressional investigating committees, I would be a believer. All I see so far is political moves that they feel will give them political edge. Everything else be damned.

    June 2, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Thaddeus Kozubal

    Even God couldn't save the Republican party since they are already relegated to hell.

    June 2, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Thaddeus Kozubal

    "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.

    That's when they decided that witch-hunting would work better than filibustering. After all, it worked so well in Salem.

    June 2, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Friend, GOP is gone to Dogs pretty much–nation knows, so does world. Greece your BRAINS, first, come down to the planet called EARTH.

    June 2, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Gary

    They can start by repairing Reince. Biggest looser the GOP has.

    June 2, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Sandy C

    'even Reagan wouldn't find a place in it' is the dang truth! There's so many that are crazed extremist chasing off many of us with the idiotic RINO garbage. Good luck with chasing people out of your 'party'.

    June 2, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Pete

    So it took old Bob Dole to wake Priebus,republicans up the supposid sanctumonious ones that can do no wrong but since Pres.Obamas inaugeration hasn't done anything right if nothing at all!!Remember republicans you can't pass the buck on these problems since before Pres.Obama came in because its been this way for too many years with not only your partys complacency but with your arrogence overshadowing your ignorence, you really didn't think about ever being wrong did yah!!Now with mounting facts that show your partys worthlessness and how you've don't more to destroy this countrys economy,populus than help it leading up to years ago downgrading of our nations S&P ratings as well to top it all off...I'd wish you republicans were as enthusiastic about creating jobs,infastructure bills to help America and its citizens as you do in obstructing,filibustering everything that destroys our chances of ever seeing a healthy vibrant economy and remember its you republicans with Bushs debacles that created these messes...But remember times flying republicans and Novermbers midterms can't come fast enought to see you all go and don't say we didn't warn yah because we happily have!!

    June 2, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. RINO Bil

    If the Republican Party wants my financial support and my vote, their candidates are going to have to reflect MY values. Otherwise I am not shy about voting for Dem moderate candidates whose views are closer to mine. The days are long gone when I would vote for someone just because they have an "R" after their name. If conservatives, Southern Evangelicals or the Tea Party do not like that, too bad. They can just continue their little trek to political irrelevancy.

    June 2, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. king

    its over priuvis, the American people know the deep rooted hatred these right wingers have for the president as much as to turn away from the very thing they've been pushing for decades just because he came over to their side. history will tell how this republican party tried every sabotage tactic in the book to derail this recovery, and at the same time pointing out the things they are sabotaging that it aint working. these repubs must really think everyone in this country is gullible. i know they've got the media on their side right now because of the classified documents the media has been peddling. now its msnbc against the fox news and all its corporate news outlets like cnbc, fox business news, a hoard of right winged radio stations, now the main stream media has joined the right winged side, all the dems has going for them now is msnbc, and a lot of those pundits are conservatives. i hope msnbc can stand up to the onslaught of fake scandals that the main media and fox and its ilk has to throw at them. the right seems to forget the middle class, the poor and the economy.

    June 2, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  14. Jeb

    The party of NO says what?

    That's right, they just say NO.

    June 2, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. The Elephant in the Room

    The GOP doesn`t stand for anything. Like Romney, they have no consisyency of position; ZERO integrity.

    Furthermore, the GOP has no intellectually sound solutions; nothing that remotely passes the "smell test" when thinking Americans [Democrate, Independent & MODERATe Republicans] take time to analyze what they are saying. The GOP is too dependent of Fox News trying to fool their "low infomation base" with innuendo and false, bombastic "birthier-caliber" histronics.

    Until a moderate republican , [an everyday citizen] can synthicize an argument at a cocktail party to explain a GOP position, the "Party of No", the "Stupid Party", will remain broken & bankrupt. Despite fooling themselves at the national level, the GOP can`t do so today.

    June 2, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. starblazer one

    It's only going to get worse for the GOP, the largest part of their supporters, the baby boomer voters, are starting to pass on. The GOP will have a very difficult task reaching out to young voters, the group of people they consider to be the deadbeat generation.

    June 2, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. RealityCheck

    Romney's attempt to be moderate within the GOP was even too conservative for voters. Not so much because of him personally, but the campaign engine behind him. The GOP can add a lot of value to this country, but they've got to get past their toxic combination of an intolerant social agenda and unwillingness to compromise. Sure, I'd like to see less federal involvement in the day to day affairs of citizens, but I'm practical. The government is not your mommy, but it's not your abusive step-dad either. The extreme left and right wing both think it's all the government's fault, and they're both wrong and neither can win elections.

    Before the GOP reforms, I think it has at least one more epic failure in it by pushing to the extreme right.

    June 2, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. myway

    The GOP has a numbers problem. Not the polls, but registered voters. In order to fix the GOP it would have to alienate selected voter blocks causing its influence to shrink further, at least temporarliy, kind of like rebuilding a sports team allowed to grow too old. The last straw was when the GOP embraced the Tea Party hoping for a win in 08. In doing so the Tea Party took over the GOP agenda and moved it several notches to the right, too far for many. Undoing that will not be easy. The GOP needs to restore respectability with rational conservative voters. Presently there's too much irrationality on the far right pushing the centrists to the left. That's mirrored in the petty stirring up of "scandals" with the current administration. It looks deperate and irrelevant in the face of much bigger issues. Eventually the Obama administration will figure out how to deal with these "scandals" that are going nowhere, hurting the GOP's chances for a win in 16 even more.

    June 2, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. tstorm92

    Good luck! Whether it's "booing" gay soldiers on duty in Afghanistan, accusing teachers, firefighters, and police officers as underworked and overpaid, attempts to destroy healthcare, attempts to destroy remaining middle class tax decuctions, or attacking recent immigrants, the Republica party IS A MESS!

    June 2, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. blakenaustin

    The GOP's best hope lies in purging out all the RINOs and presenting a clear and attractive, conservative alternative to the Democrat Socialist party. Of course the far left media will oppose this every step of the way.

    June 2, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    Sorry man with the funny name and look but your party is past broken.
    You recycle the same old candidates and the tea trolls of your party will not help one bit.
    Our country is changing and you are being left behind with your old ideas and your wanting to control what women, gays, veterans, seniors do. Not going to happen.

    June 2, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. tstorm92

    Good luck! Whether it was the "booing" of gay soldiers serving in Afghanistan during your last convention, attempting to portray teachers, firefighters, and police officers as overpaid and underworked, trying to bankrupt the US Post Office, trying to take away healthcare, trying to take away the last of middle class tax exemptions, or ridiculing recent immigrants, the Republican Party IS A MESS!

    June 2, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  23. a-ron o'elkhorn

    How many GOP candidates does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, they just declare darkness the standard.

    June 2, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. John

    The Republican Party need lots of repair, and the TEA PARTY Is a big part that needs fix. And they need to worry about the American People ,Instead of lobby groups ,the Rich and big Business.

    June 2, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. Itphil0

    You just described Fox News; "over-simplistic, narrow-minded, bigoted, and hateful". Wow...nice job!!

    June 2, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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