A study ordered by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus after election losses in 2012 calls for major party reforms that would shorten the primary season and spend millions reaching out to minority voters.
At the National Press Club on Monday, Priebus said that he had initiated the “most comprehensive post-election review in the history of any national party” after getting a “wake-up call” in last November’s election.
The so-called autopsy report determined that there was no one reason that GOP candidates lost, but suggested that the party had a problem with messaging, an insufficient ground game and failed to include minority voters.
The “Growth & Opportunity Project” report recommended spending $10 million dollars Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and other minorities. The party, however, seemed most concerned about courting Hispanics. Priebus insisted that it would be a “tremendous benefit” to have a presidential candidate — like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — who speaks Spanish fluently.
The party also hoped to establish an “RNC Celebrity Task Force of personalities in the entertainment industry” and encourage candidates to speak to outlets like Comedy Central’s The Daily Show in an effort to reach younger voters.
“For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view,” the report said. “Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.”
The document suggested that the party would not budge on its opposition to same sex marriage and other LGBT rights, but “that does not mean we cannot come together on the rest of the issues where we do agree.”
On Sunday, Priebus told CBS News that he was focusing on cosmetic changes like having less debates, earlier conventions, “hackathons” and year round “marketing.”
“And so one of the things we’ve brought out of this is not just branding and marketing around election time, but year round,” he explained.
“[The debates] hurt because there was no way to control it,” Priebus added. “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.”
On Monday, the current chairman was asked if former Chairman Michael Steele had ruined the party by leaving it in debt.
“I’m not going to go there, but the numbers speak for themselves,” he quipped.
Watch this video from C_SPAN, broadcast March 18, 2013.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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