The chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) proclaimed the party “open for repairs,” days after one of its elder statesmen said the GOP should be “closed for repairs” as it figures out how to win national elections.
“I would say that we’re not closed for repairs, but we’re open for repairs,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said on “Fox News Sunday.” “And that’s the Republican Party that needs to grow, that needs to win presidential elections and needs to be a year-round common operation, which is what we’re building.”
Dole, 89 and a former Senate majority leader, was the GOP’s presidential nominee in 1996.
Priebus responded delicately to Dole, calling him a “hero in this country.” But he cited the nominations of Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMcCain says he hasn't met with Trump since inauguration Overnight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal Senate lawmakers eye hearing next week for Air Force secretary: report MORE (R-Ariz.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) in the last two elections as “a pretty good counter-position to what Sen. Dole had to say.”
Priebus defended the party’s effort to regroup after its 2012 defeat, and he acknowledged that while Republicans performed well in off-year elections, they had fallen short for decades in White House campaigns.
“If we’re being honest about it, we haven’t decisively won a presidential race in 24 years,” he said.