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. nc_mike

    Thank God the GOP remains blind to reality – for moment there I was afraid they'd actually wake up and embrace more moderate policies where the bulk of the voters are that can turn an election one way or the other and crush the Dems! Here is hoping they remain ignorant.

    June 3, 2013 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  2. havamom

    took Priebus a long time to respond....and the respose is weak. Maybe Mr. Dole should be heeded

    June 3, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  3. Xavier

    If republicans were to actually listen to their base... they would lose by An EVEN BIGGER margin than they did.

    June 3, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  4. most corrupt president in history

    Maybe Pribus is open for repairs saying stupid stuff like that. After the current corrupt 3rd world banana republic socialist Obama who barely won in Nov because of harrassing the GOP misusing the IRS making the election an illegal fraud, this entire election should be thrown out the window not to mention the treasonous lying on Benghazi to help win making others believe al-quaeda was eliminated. Now we discover abuses of power in the AP story on bugging journalists as with Fox's Rosen and other major scandals that make Watergate look like a cakewalk.
    Dont forget Nixon won 49 states in 1972 and needed Watergate like a hole in the head and then proceeded to end the democrat war in Vietnam after 65,000 US soldiers were killed at an average of only 19 years old.

    June 3, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  5. franks & beans

    I think they need to crank a hard right turn and go as far to the right as possible. Make it to where the Tea Party
    seem like the moderates. You can't get back to 1950 without enforcing extreme views. Its for everybody's own

    June 3, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  6. Marc Florida

    In the past, Reagan, Nixon, Senior Bush, and the RNC kept the right wing marginalized. They knew they would never vote "D". The far right has hijacked the party and the mainstream republicans are to blame. Unless the "R" moderates get a foothold and offer sensible policy to mainstream America the "R"s will never win a national electiobn. The ball is in their court. The "D"s can just sit back and enjoy the show while winning critical elections.

    June 3, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  7. KieranH

    Not enough duct-tape, bondo, and glue in the world.....

    June 3, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  8. SV

    When every one of your party's plans involves sticking it to the man in the Oval Office and those who voted for him, well, yeah I'd say you have a problem. A very large douchy problem.

    June 3, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  9. Matte

    GOP is out of touch with the people who pay all of their way. Thats the middle class break your back workers. You want to get on board this train you must put you money away and work for our votes.

    June 3, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  10. Anonymous

    The GOP has totally lost its focus on helping lead this great nation. They are so focused on politics of destruction and ideology that they are not offering a vision for the future. Operating purely on ideology will not work. It may get you elected but then you cannot lead.

    June 3, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  11. Sandra Nwankwo

    An just how does the GOP intend to pull that off when the only things they care about are loading their pockets with money and making the president look bad. I don't know what Ronald Reagan did to push GOP to the top, but I bet he is weeping in his grave right know about how drastic his party forgot what it used to stand for. I mean, the Republican party was the one who fought against slavery and segregation. So what the hell happened? WHERE DID IT GO WRONG?

    June 3, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  12. Common Sense

    Conservative must equal crazy. During the last election the point of view of the Rebublican party was that of a religious zealot. The Conservatives complain that they want a smaller government that stays out of a person's business, but at the same time run on a platform where the government should restrict choice on everyone but gun nuts.

    People complain about the second amendment and their rights to a gun. The amendment does mention a strong militia, but if you were in a militia the people knew you were to be counted on to join in a fight. How did they know? They had your name on a list.

    In short the Republican party should be for the moderates, nit the lunatics.

    June 3, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  13. Stephen

    Democrats across the left to moderate spectrum are willing to work with each other and with the opposing party towards solutions that benefit the American people. Republicans on the far right want to hold their own more moderate party members for ransom and flatly refuse to even communicate with Democrats except to tell them NO. If this doesn't change, only one of two things can happen:
    1. The Republican Party will have to purge itself of the wackies
    2. If not, they won't win another decisive election for another 24 years, if ever.

    June 3, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  14. Reality Check

    Very well put Larry L., there is no change in the plans for the GOP...only change in the way they will try to convince the rest of the nation that they suddenly care about anything other than themselves. They have no respect for anybody's beliefs other than there own and they are now the minority in that regards. This leaves them with zero opportunity to every win an election again unless they change the rules wrongfully in attempt to force votes their way or deny them against them. The hole has been dug deep by their own hands in recent years and its likely beyond the point they can climb out of at this point. The main issue that the GOP claimed to be so important towards repairing is the economy and the fact is that they have been proven wrong in this area in almost every economic indicator there is only months following the election. The nation is back on track and it clearly is the case due to democratic changes to right the wrongs of the former GOP regime. Goodbye GOP! We will be happy to shovel the dirt back in to fill the hole and cover the grave you have dug.

    June 3, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  15. Randy

    How about giving us conservative candidates to vote for instead of RINOs?

    June 3, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  16. TONY

    The conservative values are bigoted hateful, and it is design to only accommodate white people. Everyone else you are on your own. As a person of color I cannot see myself voting for a republican even if their intentions are good i cannot trust a party that hate me because of my skin color or a party that attract bigots at the polling station.

    June 3, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  17. Boo

    The GOP should realize it IS NOT the 1950's anymore. Like Dylan said "if you don't start swimming you'll sink like a stone cause the times they are a'changing." Apparently the right still hasn't got the message.

    June 3, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    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.
    See, this is what I mean. It's always about the "messaging" with conservatives when things don't go well. They hold this arrogant belief that once someone gets a first taste of their message, then that someone is hooked for life. The idea just never occurs to them that people would not like the taste.

    They've consumed the same failing message for so long that they haven't realized that's gone stale.

    June 3, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  19. Notagopfan

    Thanks Bob Dole. Keep on pointing out the deficiencies of the GOP and they'll keep spinning the facts to their liking. What hurting the GOP is the GOP, plain and simple. They let the virus known as the Tea Party to hurt them from within. Infighting and finger pointing while trying to woo constituents with fake intentions.

    June 3, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |

    There is nothing wrong with the Republican Party, it is just the American people are stupid. They voted for the worst President of mankind. The American people need an education in politics.

    June 3, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  21. Wake up People!

    Yet people still support them. Especially the poor, uneducated rural types. It's really sad.

    June 3, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Larry L wrote:

    "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
    Salute that!

    I wonder if the person who feels that the GOP abandoned its' base even voted last fall. The Republicans lost because they had nominated poor candidate from an extremely poor field. People saw for the first time what the Republicans really are: hateful, spiteful, and totally dysfunctional.

    June 3, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  23. Name

    the GOP is more messed up than a snake in a lawnmower.

    June 3, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. Al-NY,NY

    well said Larry. Pandering to the fanatics to get the nomination destroys any chance of winning the general election. Flip Flopney, McCain are prime examples. And the "closed for repairs" will not help until they realize they have a ten ton anchor around their neck and that anchor is the T-P loons and religious zealots. When they say enough is enough and allow free will and dissent within the ranks, then they can count on possibly winning. Now, not so much

    June 3, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  25. rs

    Like all addicts, the GOP must acknowledge what their motivation is- anti-Americanism and anti-governmentism in the name of trying to promote their value-less and policy-less agenda of chaos. Until they own up to that, the process simply must put them in check.
    The GOP needs to evaluate their sick fascination for fact-free conspiracy theories, and potential impact their many, conflicting policies would have on America. We got a hint of their devastation under G.W. Bush- and yet they race to return to that brand of reckless militarization, tax-cutting and over-spending.

    June 3, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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