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. Janet, Oregon

    The GOP is so out of touch with much of the electorate.

    They assume that we are stupid enough to believe what they say during the campaign season and then continue to obstruct the creative solutions of the Obama administration. There are no solutions coming from the Republican side of the aisle so they jump on the latest scandal as a smokescreen for their inaction.

    The people are intelligent enough to recognize this and will reward them with more losses if they continue what they have been doing.

    As a Democrat, I think they should stay just as they are.

    June 2, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  2. Thatguy371

    They can 'review' all they want, but until the jaded old geezers calling the shots croak off, they'll keep being the party that doesn't matter anymore.

    June 2, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  3. Woody Hilliard

    The GOP is only trying to put prettier wrapping on the same sorry package. Their message which is a loser with mainstream voters has not changed one iota.

    June 2, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  4. Concerned

    “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 problem is they don't know what positive agendas are anymore.

    June 2, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    The first thing you do is stop blocking min wage and keeping people living in poverty and on food stamps when big companies don't pay enough wages these people are on welfare and the middle class picks up the tab lets get them fair wages and get them off food stamps

    June 2, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. brash

    Both parties are pathetic. They primarly serve lobbist and special interest. The GOP will succeed when they can relate to issues that average Americans have, opposed to only relating to issues of the top 1%(deregulation and anti-taxes).

    June 2, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. guest718

    1. Stop lying.
    2. Stop spinning.
    3. This country was built on cooperation and compromise. --Learn from it.
    4. There is such a thing as a just wage.
    5. Greed will be your downfall.

    June 2, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Phattee

    Any news site you go to, if you read the comments under any article (particularly articles about blacks, Muslims, Latinos, immigration, gays, Obama, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, poverty, or the federal government) you'll immediately see why Reince's rebranding effort is doomed to fail:

    If you try to appeal to minorities, you alienate the GOP base. If you try to appeal to the GOP base, you alienate everyone else.

    June 2, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. CM

    Let's see...since "Christians" are the "hated" minority now, per CNN's article, let's see the Republican party now claim they're not Christian... lol At least they'd be telling the truth for once. They have no idea what being a Christian is about.

    June 2, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. mssimmons

    The first thing you need to do is stop blocking min wage increases, People making these wages are beneath the poverty level and receive welfare to survive, The big companies profit and have loop holes and the middle class pick up the tab,

    June 2, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  11. mssimmons

    Women it's are choose not yours are anyone esles are female organs should never be used in your political tactics ,Freedom Americans have rights

    June 2, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  12. Michael Bauer

    Lipstick on a pig...

    June 2, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  13. Josh

    The GOP cannot distance themselves enough from the Tea Party. Conservatism has its place in our system, but whiny, loud, bigoted, racist, obstructionist do not.

    June 2, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  14. mssimmons

    Stop blocking funding for the modern superfast railroads, The new Railroad would create millions of job and save gas and keep the price down

    June 2, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. mssimmons

    Stop denying special education funds from the Federal government Rick Scott turned down billions for special education these children can learn to live outside of being hospitalized which in the long run saves billion

    June 2, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  16. charlie

    52,000?! Well, shucks, problem solved! Please, PLEASE, follow all the suggestions you got. Democrats everywhere will thank you.

    June 2, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. TruthandConsequence

    Win or lose, the GOP is the last bastion of a once great America. The America of our fathers, no matter the party, which settled here four hundred years ago, declared and fought for our independence and religious freedom, which fought both for the freedom of the slave and the rights of a free people to cast their own future, which paid the highest price for our struggles and built the greatest institutions known to man and the greatest abundance of wealth. Which built great navies and armies and patrolled our borders to insure our lasting freedom. The Democrats left America behind with their assaults on our freedoms, their "evolutions" on American culture and families, their flirtations with open borders and patronizing of illegal immigrants, their increasing support for assaults on religious belief, their class warfare and their big state nannyism which focuses more on spending than on finding real jobs for Americans. Today, too many "Americans" like the easy life, the abuse, the entitlements, the prevailing immoral environment and the corruption of our souls for material pursuits and drugs, the pervasive political correctness invading our minds and the hatred of those who get in their way. I am sad to say we are not witnesses to the "greatest" Generation. Romney would have set a better tone for the future, but a good doctor can only do so much for an ever sicker patient.

    June 2, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. alpeaston

    The fact that the GOP has survived for as long as it has is remarkable! One needs only to look at the last vice-president and the last vice-pesidential candidate to see the problem!

    Dick Cheney's daughter is an "out" and "open" lesbian with a life partner and a child (by the way, who the hell is the father of this kid)? Keep in mind, the homophobic GOP prides itself on being the party of the conservative, Christian, fundamentalist, religious right. In fact, most astute observers might suggest that it was the GOP's fiendishly clever plan to have a "gay marriage" related issue in every important "swing state" during the 2004 presidential election in order to guarantee large turn out of those (Republican) value voters, and give George "W" Bush the only "number of voters" win of his presidency!

    Then we have the remarkable governor of Alaska and John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin! A sane person has to wonder – Was McCain's vetting committee, so terrified by a very possible Hillary Clinton presidential run, that they chose the first (or perhaps more realistically) the only Veep candidate with a vagina?

    Ah, and where to start with Ms. Palin? She is fiercely religious bordering on delusional (she did, after all, have her pastor, an Assemble of God minister, perform an exorcism on her person, to rid herself of evil spirits)!

    Then there was that pesky knocked-up teenage daughter with the cute, but dumb as a stump teenage baby daddy hanging around stage making us all feel like we were attending a bad Maury Povich show!

    Then there were the less stellar performances between Sarah and national news media! Simple questions, which any well vetted candidate should be able to handle, stumped her completely!

    The hypocrisy, dishonestly and general lack of authenticity have left the Republican Party shattered and I don't know if they can piece themselves back together into a viable national party!

    June 2, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  19. TruthandConsequence

    Look – we all know the few points off the popular vote was won by the black man voting for the black guy and the latino voting for the illegal immigration guy. Racial pride and patronizing illegal aliens is strong stuff in Obama's America where native whites are losing grip of their own country. Entitlements and big state nannyism goes the rest of the distance in luring away Americans who form common cause with leftish culture destroyers and class warfare goons.

    June 2, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  20. Kevin

    The Republican Party is the voice of conservatism and the swell of young people my age, the immigration influx, and other age/cultural/ethnic factors (particularly socio-economic ones) will keep the GOP out of the Oval Office unless it loosens up on the social conservatism and only embraces the economic cpnservatism to win moderate independents (many of whom are socially lineral and evonomically conservative)

    June 2, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  21. shane

    its simple really. the repulican party is focusing on issues the bring it to the limelight in opposition to the democrats. these same issue also divide the party, resulting in loses on the national level. In truth the divide with in th eparty will become less over time, but until then the beating the take at the national level will get worse, unless the democratic side just does something flat out horrible or stupid beyond belief. And i dont mean political crude, it would have to be huge.

    June 2, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. deee510

    As long as have openly racist and prejudice loud mouths repping for you and laying down the parties agenda you will never have majority vote.

    June 2, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  23. Jup June

    1. Be nice
    2. Be honest

    Do these 2 things and I'll consider joining the GOP.

    June 2, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  24. midnitemgt


    Even with the support of all the ultra conservative base,the republican party cannot keep ignoring the ever growing diverse American population The share numbers of which will never vote for those who still cling to narrow views who are unwilling to listen work and except as equals those that have differing viewpoints beliefs and most importantly.
    Until then the party will keep diminishing and at some point become obsolete.

    June 2, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  25. porkchops

    The GOP will continue to lose elections because they've built their voting blocs in dishonest sinister ways. Now they've got all the wingnuts and extremists expecting results for their votes and the rest of America is stepping away from the implosion.

    June 2, 2013 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
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