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)
  1. Paul

    It's all so embarrassing. What a bunch of nitwits.

    June 3, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  2. albie

    Hey GOP ... I would seriously consider voting republican if, and only if, there were no religious ties. Religion, and the christian right in particular is the reason I don't even consider voting republican.

    June 3, 2013 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  3. EvinAR

    Actually, GOP, sometimes something is so broke, you just have to throw it away. Bye.

    June 3, 2013 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  4. Belseth

    Funny how superior the Republicans consider themselves from the Democrats yet no one is suggesting the Democrats close down for repairs. The Republicans are the party of billionaires and wonder why average Americans can't relate to them. If they abandoned religion, gay rights and abortion they would have no platform left! except for tax breaks for the rich The Republicans are the party of hate and fear. If those things are what are most important to you then vote Republican. The sane people are stuck with the Democrats and Independents.

    June 3, 2013 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  5. Justjean

    If the GOP were open for repairs they would listen to their REAL base...the wanna-be Republicans who used to have someone to vote for and IMMEDIATELY look to ways in which they can cooperate with the Democrats to get things done FOR the country. Shutting the country down is not a healthy option. If they really want to win elections, they will run a moderate. The best kept Democratic secret is that Huntsman could've won. Even President Barack Obama could not have said anything against him hardly, because he had himself hired Huntsman and he did a good job.

    June 3, 2013 02:20 am at 2:20 am |

    The Dems and President O'bama are -so- messed up that all the tax exempt Tea Party Republicans have to do is ... oops, oh, never mind.

    June 3, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  7. Robsea69

    "Open during repairs", which is a sign you might actually see on a storefront, implies that a remodel or repairs are actually taking place.

    "Open for repairs" implies that repairs are needed but it does not guarantee that any repairs are actually ongoing.

    Structurally, the GOP needs to change. The Tea Party has hi-jacked the local nominating processes., yet it does not even represent the majority of the Republican Party.

    June 3, 2013 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  8. d

    I have a great solution. Israel and Palestine could form 1 peaceful nation. A sort of United States in the Middle East. Nation: it could be called Palesterael...or maybe Israelistine. States: Gaza, Jerusalem, West Bank, etc.. Each state would have it's own constitution and run itself, with representation in the federal government, voted in by the people, just like Texas or Rhode Island. I kind of like Israelistine better. It could exist as 1 single peaceful nation. Once the nation was formed, there would be no reason for hate or attacks, since they would exist together. Each state running itself pretty much independently whilst staying together under the leadership of the democratically voted in and run federal government.

    June 3, 2013 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  9. Randers

    "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. "

    "Mr" Dole releases a statement that he stands corrected after hearing Priebus' comment. In light of the GOP nominees Priebus cited I no longer suggest the Party announce it's closed for repairs. I realize now that sign needs to state the GOP is out of business, defunct, belly up, beyond repair, it's remains just a shell of what once was a respected party.

    June 3, 2013 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  10. les_b

    Uh, repairs? Excise the hate base and see what's left.

    Sometimes the building's so far gone you have to move. Maybe the new Whig party is on to something.

    June 3, 2013 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  11. Gwen Boucher

    Gee, I used to be a Republican. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars were badly managed, cost too much, and the Republicans used bully tactics to make all that happen. I don't like the hate speech the Repubs use. Surely there is a better way to manage disagreement. The full on hate and sabotaging of Obama is bad form actually. I sometimes felt it was because he was black. The stupid criticisms of his study of the Quran, and the birth conflict, made Repubs look a bit unstable. There were other, more intelligent ways to manage the terrorist crisis. And, Bush's gang scared me really badly in the months after 9/11 making me feel like we were going to have a Nazi state very soon. I had a massive nervous breakdown over Bush's stupidity. Yes, I think the Repubs could do with some repairs.

    June 3, 2013 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  12. Robert R

    The GOP fails because they continue to push policies than never work long term. Deregulation of Wall Street, the dismantling of safety nets at a time of growing insecurity, and the dietification of the military industrial complex are just a few examples. Forget ideology, some things just dont work.

    June 3, 2013 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  13. Tim Fotinos

    Its hard to win an election when the standard bearer dismisses 1/2 the population as freeloaders and the activists say he was being too moderate.

    June 3, 2013 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  14. Scott

    This goes far beyond "repairs". This requires major renovation, perhaps starting with demolition.

    June 3, 2013 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  15. Guest

    You would really be in the national interest if the Republican party really did take an introspective look at themselves and try to evolve more into a party that represents a wider cross-section of the population. It would be in the national interest if the Democrats did the same thing. Too bad no one will give any of them any constructive ideas. All you clever little comment section trolls can do is dream up clever little names to call people with whom you disagree. The reason our political system is so gridlocked is because of the appallingly low quality of the American voter.

    June 3, 2013 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  16. scootfl78

    Want to repair your party GOP chief? Get rid of morons and bigots like Priebus, Issa, McConnell, and the thousands of other Republican politicians in the country who are ruining your image and replace them with garden gnomes who are hundreds of times more intelligent and less crony.

    June 3, 2013 05:11 am at 5:11 am |
  17. Jack Be Humble

    I really hope the GOP repairs itself between now and the midterm elections in 2014. The USA operates best with two distinct and strong parties that can draw moderates into their philosophy and cooperate with the other party in creating and updating laws.

    June 3, 2013 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  18. mb2010a

    The Republican Party/tea party is waaaaay beyond repair...

    June 3, 2013 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  19. clem kadiddle

    Closed for repairs,huh, at this point not even a major over haul can get the GOP running. Even Michelle B knows the elephant is going to the scrap heap.

    June 3, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  20. Marie MD

    Man with funny name and face lies again. Your party is broken and even Gorilla glue can't help to put it back.
    Poor little nobody from the rnc.

    June 3, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  21. MightyMoo

    A famous internet meme comes to mind... "Not sure if serious." Time will tell.

    June 3, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  22. Anonymous

    repair for what u guys should stop being saying stupid party is okey..democrats are worst..I think demorats needs repair instead..

    June 3, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  23. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Open? You could have fooled the whole country.

    June 3, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  24. rconatser1

    Open for repairs; but closed for ideas.

    June 3, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  25. Former GOP

    ......hey.............WINKY333.......................You still don't get it, do you. The rabid, self centered, uncaring, ANTI science, ANTI truth portion of the EXTREME RADICAL RIGHT represents a small portion of true America.
    ....The MORE CONSERVATIVE your group pushes the GOP to the right.......the LESS moderate voters from BOTH PARTIES will vote with you.
    I voted GOP many times over the last 40+ years, Regan, Bush Sr and W.'s first term...........BUT......the current crop of extremists that are just to the left of the Taliban............are simply NEVER EVER EVER going to win a national election.......NOT EVER.................

    June 3, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
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