RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
2013 RNC Summer Meeting
August 16, 2013
2013 RNC Summer Meeting
August 16, 2013
[Remarks As Prepared For Delivery]
…Looking around, you can see that we’ve put together a great team in the last few months. And we’ve accomplished a whole lot.
We’ve come a long way since we gathered in Charlotte and vowed to renew our party, to grow, and to win.
As you’ve seen these last few days, we’re making great progress. We’re meeting our goals. We’re ‘making it happen.’
Instead of constructing an operation and then breaking it down like the RNC’s always done, we’re laying a foundation on which we’ll never stop building.
With Andy and Chuck on board, we’ll build a tech team that fosters innovation with the work ethic of Silicon Valley.
Andy likes to say we should think of our new data operation as a start up. And the good news: investors are eager to support it. I’m confident that we will be able to leapfrog Democrats’ capabilities—because our data operation won’t be built around a single candidate; it will be built by and for the entire party.
On all these things, I could go into greater detail. But you’ve heard and seen most of the numbers by now. So I just want to underscore the big picture. What we’re doing together is unprecedented for the RNC, for any party committee. We already have more people in the field than we do in headquarters. That’s unheard of in an off year. In some cases, that’s unheard of in an election year.
And we’re accomplishing these things because we’re united.
I feel blessed that as a committee, we can disagree at times, but we don’t have to be disagreeable. Even here, at this meeting, we’ve had our debates, but we see the same big picture.
There are forces out there that want to divide our party. But we’re not going to let them get in the way of our mission—whether they’re naysayers or news networks.
That’s why we said to the media, with a united voice, that a network that spends millions to spotlight Hillary Clinton is a network with an obvious bias. And that’s a network that won’t be hosting a single Republican primary debate…
…It’s time that we do what’s right for our party and our candidates. And by the way, this is the right thing to do for voters. They’re not going to get a real debate of substance if it’s run by a network who wants to help out Hillary Clinton.
We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other outlets. We’ll still reach voters, maybe more voters. But CNN and NBC anchors will just have to watch on their competitors’ networks.
The media overplayed their hand this time. It was so obvious even liberals saw it. After we took a stand, we found some unlikely allies on the Left.
Did you ever think you'd read the New York Times' Maureen Dowd writing “Reince is right”...?
And some reporters at CNN and NBC are upset at the Democrat donors in their companies who made the decision to run these Clinton promos.
The networks can talk all they want about the lines between their divisions. But the same week that people at NBC promised that NBC News and NBC Entertainment are separate--the very same week—we heard they’re giving a prime time MSNBC slot to Alec Baldwin.
We don’t have time for the media’s games. And, really, that goes beyond the debates.
There are also people who want to turn the healthy conversations we’re having into headlines. They want to make a family discussion look like division. But we’re not going to let that happen, either.
I think it’s a good thing that we can have honest discussions on policy. A robust party should take time to debate the right solutions, and the right tactics. But there shouldn’t be any question: We’re united on our principles…
…yes, our party has come up with multiple ways to protect Americans from the consequences of Obamacare. But does anyone doubt that we’re united in saying that America deserves better than the Unaffordable Care Act?
Likewise, Republicans have many approaches to helping government live within its means. But we all agree that protecting this generation doesn’t require robbing the next.
We’ve got a healthy, energized party…. We’re a party that believes in the exchange of ideas anchored by the values of freedom and opportunity. Not a party of top-down conformity.
On the Democrat side, they haven’t had a new idea since the 1960s. When they see a problem, it’s the same answer: another government agency, another round of taxes, or another set of bureaucrats.
But our leaders, especially our governors, are coming up with new solutions to the problems Americans face each and every day.
I can’t think of anything more depressing than if our party was, at this moment in history, quiet and dull. We should be bursting with new ideas, new leaders and - yes - some internal debates. Thank goodness we are. I say bring on these conversations. They are the sign of a renewed Republican Party preparing itself to lead our country.
Our principles are sound, and we’re united in that belief. Freedom will always be a powerful idea. Equal opportunity is the essential ingredient to achieving the American Dream. That’s the message we need to share. As we build relationships and engage with new communities, we have a positive story to tell.
And the key is to go to communities we haven’t gone to before…to talk directly to people we haven’t talked to before. We have to listen to them before they’re going to listen to us.
So it shocks me when I hear people suggest that our engagement efforts are just an attempt to ‘win at any cost’--that talking with people who haven’t supported us is somehow compromising our values….
…No, I was taking our party’s values to people we don’t talk to enough. Our values of the right to liberty and the right to life. Our belief in quality schools and strong families. Our conviction that no government bureaucrat should come between you and your American Dream.
I believe that our party is called to be champions of unlimited opportunity for all. And that means we have to talk with ALL people….
…In our vision for the future, we want to be a big, welcoming, inclusive party… We’re here to share our hearts, our ideas, and our values with all voters.
And that’s what we’re doing. And we’re doing it as a united party.
Finally, before I close, I want to say a few words for the people of Boston. Four months ago, this great city was hit by a terrible attack during the proud annual tradition of the Boston Marathon.
Three people lost their lives from the explosions; one police officer later lost his in the line of duty. And all of their families lost precious loved ones.
Over 260 were injured. Time has healed some of the physical wounds. But many are still recovering, some learning to walk again, to work again.
Spaulding Rehab, right along the Boston Harbor, was a rehab center for the bombing victims. And I’m pleased that the RNC will be a sponsor of their annual “Set Sail” benefit next month, which directly benefits the hospital.
This city has proven their resilience. The 2014 marathon looks to be larger than the last. And next year’s runners will be greeted along the route by yellow daffodils to be planted as a sign of hope.
So let’s pay tribute to Boston, to the heroes who came to rescue their fellow citizens, to the citizens who became heroes. This is a city of patriots, and we want to say to all still recovering, we’re standing with you, Boston strong.
I want to thank you all for being here this week. We’ve accomplished a lot, and we’ve got a lot more to do.
We’re not just building an operation for the next election; we’re building a legacy for the next generation.
We want them to look back and say this was when the RNC got it right. This was when the much-admired Republican permanent campaign was born. We want to be the party that takes no voter for granted and that fights to earn every voter’s trust. And I want 2013 to be the year people say it all began.
Thank you so much. And God bless.