The Republican National Committee (RNC) issued a lengthy report Monday strongly criticizing the party’s inability in recent elections to reach outside an increasingly homogenous and single-minded core of traditional voters.
Essentially telling party members they need to learn how to stop preaching to the choir, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said the GOP “needs to stop talking to itself,” according to The Hill.
“We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.”
The report, which Priebus also presented to the National Press Corps, is intended to retool the perception that the GOP is intransigent in accommodating younger voters who may not share the old guard’s views on social issues. Priebus ascribed Republican Congressional and Presidential candidates’ failings during the 2012 election season as a function of several factors, including the inflexible platform behind many campaigns. Many would have fared better, he argued, if they had followed the more populist and grass-roots campaign strategy that elected many of their counterparts to state gubernatorial seats.
“The GOP today is a tale of two parties. One of them, the gubernatorial wing, is growing and successful. The other, the federal wing, is increasingly marginalizing itself, and unless changes are made, it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future,” the reports states. “Public perception of the party is at record lows. Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country. When someone rolls their eyes at us, they are not likely to open their ears to us.”
The report indicates a key part of the RNC’s future strategy will require embracing the libertarian elements that Priebus himself eschewed at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
The RNC alienated supporters of Ron Paul in effectively marginalizing Paul’s 2012 campaign, but the recent popularity of Rand Paul’s smaller-government message has evidently resonated with Priebus.
The Washington Examiner quoted Priebus at last week’s CPAC event saying the party needs to embrace the “new generation” of young Republicans, even though their adherence to the party’s traditionally conservative social platform hasn’t jibed with party faithful in the past.
“I, for one, praise this new generation of liberty-minded Republicans. Just by speaking out, they got the attention and support of people who don’t vote for us,” he said.