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. Hypatia

    Really? Then why is he still there?

    June 2, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. RR

    Open for repairs? I guess someone tore off the "Condemned" sign.

    June 2, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. texasnotea

    None of this was evident until America elected a Black President. Say what you will, the GOP is not color blind.You can't fix stupid.

    June 2, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  4. Cambridge Ray

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

    Conservative is another term for "filled with hatred"

    June 2, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. tony

    The entire conservative base and the NRA membership are the same group.

    June 2, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. Cambridge Ray

    SPLIT in two parties ALREADY!

    June 2, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  7. 1byrd

    Larry: Ya took my words!! Precisely correct. The so-called "base" is the problem. The thoughtful, intelligent, get-things-done Conservatives have become the Republican Party's own Silent Majority, thus allowing the tail (read: butt) to wag the dog.....

    June 2, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Cambridge Ray

    About 90% of Republicans are WASPs, male and DYING.

    June 2, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Larry

    So many of us are Hoping the GOP fails over and over until they are no longer a threat to win a national election and struggle to win any state elections. If ever a party deserved to die it is this abomination of a GOP.

    June 2, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. Dennis

    Open for repairs?...The GOP is in need of a cpmplete overhaul!..Take it to the junkyard.It's a total wreck!

    June 2, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. jim

    I'm more libertarian than conservative (I think gays should be able to marry, and then buy AK-47s), but the GOP has a difficult time with vague concepts like "liberty", when their Democrat competitors simply say "Here's some free stuff."

    Guess which message resonates with voters.

    June 2, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. repair this '!'

    and that is the Priebus plan?................

    This will be much better than Rick Perry's response.
    And much longer to come up with.

    June 2, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  13. Rami

    Are you kidding ? repair? How about re-build, re-construct. No hope with what we have now. Just do it !

    June 2, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Anastasia Beverhausen

    As long as the GOP continues to have a "let them eat cake" attitude, they will continue to lose. They need to acquire a collective brain and a heart.

    June 2, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. No support

    I missed this interview.. Did Priebus skim over the part about Reagan and Dole not being welcome anymore in this GOP? Did he side step the fact that this is the most divisive GOP ever? Did he really mean to say that McCain and Romney are the voice of todays GOP?

    June 2, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. Doug Cave

    Subeirp Ecnier

    This is his name spelled backwards. Put it in his teleprompter. He can be tricked into saying his name backwards . . . and he will be pulled back to the fifth dimension, where he belongs.

    June 2, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. Greenspam

    If I were a Republican, I would blame Obama for every problem, including GOP's problem.

    June 2, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. WHOOPS!

    The Republican party should focus less on their agenda and what is best for the US and I mean sincerely doing what is in the best interest of all Americans, not the Lobbyist who run Washington that Obama promised to get rid of but couldn't.

    I don't want to hear talk, I want to see action. I want the GOP to get involved with topics like Global Climate change, I want them to admit they were wrong and I want them to be pro regulation on things like the Loan Industry and EPA as well as putting reforms in Wall Street.

    I want the GOP to stand for the things no group in Washington stands for anymore, I want them to fix this country, and plainly and sincerely apologize for all the damage they helped to cause.

    Doing all this the GOP would have to do a 360 and that is impossible for them. So they will just pretend and the cycle will begin anew.

    We can't afford to have a party in power be Anti gay, Anti diversity, Anti Social concerns, Anti government.

    June 2, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. vidal808

    Ha? open for repair? Takes more than repair, it will take like a 300% make over to be benefiting the American people. Let's start with getting rid of all the lunatic members, the tea baggers, Sarah Peilin and the Bachmann types (on the way out now, thanks God). . Rush Limbaugh is another nut case and FOX news with it's arroganz does not help to convince the middle class and minorities that the Republican Party is a benefit to them.

    June 2, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. Name

    They should just change the name to the VIP party and be done with it. The only people they represent are the millionaires and billionaires. Everyone else is just fodder too stupid to see that their own party offers them nothing.

    June 2, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. TM

    The problem is staring the Grand Old Tea Party in the face! Dole said it and Priebus CONFIRMED it. They haven't won decisively in 24 years. Do the math. The last time they won "decisively" was when GHW Bush won by following Reagan. Publicly the Republicans want Reagan canonized, they want his face on our currency, and every possible public building named for him. Privately, however, it's another story entirely. If Reagan, or anyone remotely like him, ran for office today they would be pilloried and run out of town by the Teabaggers. Republicans in office have NO fear of losing a general election to a Democrat, thanks to the blatant gerrymandering of districts (which also serve to protect Democrats in their districts) and the outright voter suppression being carried out by Republican led legislatures. What every Republican fears is a primary challenge by the extreme right of their party. Priebus and company need to realize that they will eventually run out of heretics to burn at the stake in the name of ideological purity. Reagan would not recognize the GOP today, and it is increasingly clear that they have forgotten about who he really was and what he stood for.

    June 2, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. HenryMiller

    Then dump all the self-righteous, homophobic, mysogenistic, religious nuts and all the foreign-policy paranoiacs, and keep the real small-government fiscal conservatives.

    June 2, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. Al

    Caterpiller Preibus can say what he wants-the GOP is in WHIG MODE.

    June 2, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. Frank M.

    Amen Larry L. And those crazies that did win lower level elections need to be ushered out of office as well. Please follow Michelle Bachmann & leave so that us rationale, centrist Republicans can have our party back. By the way, this Priebus character comes across as very insincere. Please take him w/you.

    June 2, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. RickFromTexas

    The GOP isn't a party, it's a collection of gun nuts, religious extremists, tax evaders, and small government kooks who think all we should have are a military.

    There just happens to be enough of them that for the moment they've united under one tent. All in all, stability is not their strong point, thankfully.

    June 2, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
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