RNC chairman, in outreach effort, to powwow with black leaders in Atlanta

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus will meet with black community leaders in Atlanta, Ga. on Thursday to discuss how the GOP can more effectively appeal to minority voters, RNC spokesman Ryan Mahoney confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution, which first reported the meeting, described it as a “quiet, private therapy session” to which the press and top state legislators would not be invited. However, Mahoney said there was no effort to avoid publicizing the event. While the meeting itself will be closed-door, the RNC will hold a press availability afterwards.

ADVERTISEMENT
“It’s part of a growth and opportunity project in which Priebus is going across the country listening to input from different groups on how we can build and grow the GOP to win future elections,” Mahoney said. “It’s a diverse group of African Americans from across the state. We’ve got youth leaders, community leaders, small business owners - we tried to gather a group together that would provide some good input.”

President Obama won 93 percent of the black vote, 71 percent of the Hispanic vote and 73 percent of the Asian vote in the 2012 election, provoking many Republicans to re-examine their message and policies as they relate to minorities.

Mahoney said Thursday’s event is one of many nationwide meetings Priebus will conduct in the coming months.

At the RNC winter meeting in Charlotte, N.C., last month, Priebus made minority outreach the focus of his speech.

“I’m no math whiz; I’m an attorney. But I don’t need a calculator to know we need to win more votes,” he said. “We have to find more supporters. We have to go places we haven’t been, and we have to invite new people to join us … On the local and state level, we have many success stories in states like Texas and Florida — where Republicans are winning in minority communities. Let’s learn from them, highlight them, celebrate them, and apply those lessons nationwide.”

Priebus also argued that the GOP needs to highlight to the public that Hispanics and blacks have been disproportionately hurt “in the Obama economy.”