The chairman of the Republican Party on Sunday explained that he had a plan to turn around his party’s recent losing streak by having less debates, earlier conventions, “hackathons” and more “marketing” — cosmetic changes that give candidates fewer chances to damage themselves without any serious policy changes.
In an interview with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on Face the Nation, CBS host Bob Schieffer noted that the GOP had recently completed a study after conducting focus groups and polling thousands of people about Republican losses in 2012.
“What did the focus groups — what did they tell you about what people think about the Republican Party?” the CBS host wondered.
“They told us what you would think that they would think,” Priebus sighed. “Number one, we’re a little too math focused and not focused on people’s hearts, so that we don’t relate to average Americans more than we should — stuffy old guys too much.”
“And it really is painful to hear because reality is we got a very young party,” he continued, citing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC). “But it just kind of shows you, we’ve done a lousy job of branding and marketing who we are.”
“And so one of the things we’ve brought out of this is not just branding and marketing around election time, but year round.”
Priebus explained that part of his plan included compressing the Republican primaries, having less debates and an earlier convention.
“[The debates] hurt because there was no way to control it,” he insisted. “So while we were playing footsie debating each other 23 times, what was the other side doing? They were spending potentially hundreds of millions dollars on data, technology, voter outreach. They were actually getting the job done. We were debating and bailing the Republican National Committee out of debt. That tells you a lot of the story.”
“So if it gets to technology and all of the work that we need to do there and opening our technology efforts up to an open source, setting up an office in the Silicon Valley, doing hackathons across the country. This is going to be huge, Bob. And we’re ready to go and we’re ready to lead.”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast March 17, 2013.