National Committee « Spring 2015 Meeting
RNC CHAIRMAN REINCE PRIEBUS
SPRING MEETING 2015: GENERAL SESSION
MAY 15, 2015
REMARKS AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERYGood morning.
We’ve heard a lot this week about the great things our party is doing across this country.
We are on the verge of one the most dynamic, exciting, and engaging primary contests of our lifetime.
We’re likely to have the most diverse presidential primary field in history. Of either party.
And thanks to the reforms we made at the RNC, we will have some of the best debates, and most inclusive nominating contests.
These are the signs of a party that is growing and vibrant. People across this country have a reason to show up and cast a Republican ballot. Their vote will make a difference and it will mean something.
But if you’re a Democrat today,…it’s a very different story.
I don’t often feel sorry for the Democrats. But this cycle, I feel sorry for the DNC Chair. She has to pretend that there’s a primary competition on their side.
You know it’s bad when they’re propping up Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, just to make it look like they’re not coronating Hillary Clinton.
Now, if the Democrats want to embrace their socialist side, I won’t get in their way. That’s a rebranding I can support.
But the truth is, if you’re a Democrat in this country, your nominee has already been chosen for you.
Hillary Clinton wants a coronation. The last thing she wants is a contest.
In other words, she doesn't want the Democratic Party to have a democratic nominating process.
In the Republican Party, if you want to win the nomination, you have to earn the nomination.
The Democrats have put all their eggs in one basket. And it’s a pretty risky basket.
The American people are looking for a new direction. But Hillary Clinton isn’t just a rehash of this administration. She’s a bridge backward to the last century.
And Bill Clinton isn’t doing her any favors. Back in the 90’s, people praised him for being able to relate to people. That Bill Clinton is gone. He has disappeared.
I have to give credit to NBC on this one. They asked him about his speaking fees the other day. He makes half a million dollars for one speech, often from foreign companies that wanted a little help from his wife’s State Department.
NBC asked him why. And this was his response. He says, “I gotta pay our bills.”
Half a million dollars from a Russian oligarch for one speech. But it’s just “paying the bills” for the Clintons.
I think someone has lost his touch.
The average American could pay their bills for more than a decade with one Clinton speech.
Believe me, it’s not about paying the bills. It’s about paying Bill.
The Clinton Empire is one big conflict of interest. When you look at the finances, it’s pretty clear their foundation was more a slush fund than a charity.
They did some good work, I’m sure. But the Clintons also enriched themselves. Because at the Foundation, the Clinton family is both the benefactor and the beneficiary.
The sordid history of the Clinton Empire is that they think playing by the rules is beneath them.
And Americans need to know that. So while our candidates are debating and campaigning and meeting with voters, it’s up to us, the RNC, to hold the Clintons accountable.
Our job is to get out there and tell the truth.
We’re going to work every single day to make sure Americans know the facts and the truth.
For example, we have to lay out the facts about her email scandal and why it matters. It gets to the issue of trust.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton said she was the “most transparent person in public life.”
But in 2009, she set up a secret email account on a secret server in her basement to avoid public disclosure.
Her own State Department required people to use a work email account.
But she still used her secret email and secret server.
The government required her to turn over work related emails.
But she didn’t do so until she was caught years later.
At a press conference at the UN, she said she used the email account for the “convenience” of having just one device.
But soon after, we discovered she had been sending private emails from two devices, a Blackberry and an iPad.
She promised Americans honesty and transparency.
But then, she wiped the whole server.
You know, if you can’t do something like following a simple email rule, I don’t think we can trust you to follow the Constitution.
Now, we also have to expose the truth about the Clinton Foundation.
In 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed an ethics agreement with the Obama Transition Team to disclose all foreign donors.
But now we know that thousands of foreign donors and millions of dollars from foreign governments were not disclosed.
At her confirmation hearing in 2009, she promised, “foreign government pledges will be submitted to the State Department for review.”
But the biggest arm of the Foundation, the Health Access Initiative, didn’t disclose a single donor or submit them for review.
The Foundation is required to report foreign donations on their tax returns.
But for the three years in a row the Health Access Initiative didn’t report a single foreign donation—even though they received millions of dollars.
Hillary Clinton promised that the Foundation would create no conflicts of interest.
But her State Department approved a business deal that gave American uranium resources to a Russian government owned company, whose associates made undisclosed donations to the Foundation and paid Bill Clinton.
And, as the Wall Street Journal reported, “At least 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure donated a total of more than $26 millionto the Clinton Foundation.”
The Clinton campaign’s response is there is “no smoking gun.” That doesn’t sound like a clear conscience to me.
And Bill Clinton says the Foundation didn’t do anything, quote, “knowingly inappropriate.”
But does anyone really trust Bill Clinton to know what’s inappropriate?
It’s no wonder the majority of Americans say Hillary Clinton isn’t honest or trustworthy.
And it’s no wonder she’s running from the press. No interviews. No press conferences. No answers. She took eight press questions in her first month as a candidate.
I guess her big “reset” with the press worked about as well as her “reset” with the Russians.
But if you can’t answer simple questions, how can you make hard choices?
As president, you can’t just wipe your email server to make problems go away.
Of course, with all that said, what unites us here today is more than our common opponent. What unites us is our common vision for this country.
We believe in building a future that offers each and every American, no matter where they come from or who they are,…more freedom, more opportunity, and more prosperity.
Freedom to choose the right schools for your kids and the right healthcare for you needs.
Opportunity to start a business, follow a new career, or pursue a dream.
Prosperity to afford a good home, to save for the future, and to retire with security.
We believe that strong families are the building blocks of a strong society. And that our strength at home allows us to defend against threats abroad.
We’re the party of Main Street. Of the small bank crushed by Dodd-Frank. Of the small business shuttered by ObamaCare. Of the small town threatened by the EPA.
It’s been a long time since the other party’s nominee has driven down Main Street. We know that because it’s been two decades since she’s driven herself anywhere.
I want to know: How can a person understand the average family when she hasn’t even driven a car and filled up with gas for decades?
And how can that family trust a person to understand their struggles when she makes $300,000 for a 45-minute speech?
She’s not doing anything to earn that trust. Republicans, however, are working every day to earn voters’ trust and listen to their concerns.
This is America. No voter should be overlooked. No voter should be taken for granted.
Once we have our nominee, once voters and delegates have made their voices heard, we will unite like never before to send a Republican to the White House.
Because to win in a presidential election year, the Democrats have to be good. As Republicans, we need to be about perfect in order to win.
I want you to think about how you are going to step up, get out of your comfort zone, and do your part to grow this party.
It’s not time to rest on our laurels. Whatever we’ve done in the past, we have to do more. New voters need to hear from us.
There are millions of people across this country who just don’t know they’re Republicans yet. It’s our job to welcome them.
At the RNC, we will continue to build the mechanics and infrastructure across America. Our nominee will be able to plug into the absolute best operation in the history of our party.
This is what we’re laser-focused on. Enhancing the best data operation ever. Expanding our permanent, community-based ground game. Engaging with voters of all backgrounds, especially minority voters and new voters.
It may not always sound like the most exciting thing. It doesn’t always make headlines. But it’s the important stuff. It’s the mechanics that any good candidate needs to win elections.
That’s why I’m still your Chairman because I want to continue the work we started together. I want to make people proud of our party. Because I believe in our vision for this country.
So let’s defeat the Clintons once and for all. Let’s hold the House, let’s hold Senate, and let’s elect a Republican president who will fight for working Americans each and every day of the year!
Thank you so much, and God bless.