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Republican leader says party seen as scary and narrow-minded, calls for changes

Following a monthslong review, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, says the party needs to reach out to young people and minorities and reform its process for picking presidential candidates.
by Chris Casteel Published: March 19, 2013
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The report generally does not make policy recommendations but does say the party should “embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform.”

And it says the party needs to ensure that “people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view.”

“Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the party is a place they want to be.”

Oklahomans react

Matt Pinnell, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, which has been growing in recent years, praised the report on Monday for its blunt message and inclusion of voices from around the country.

Pinnell said he didn't think the whole solution to attracting more Hispanics was supporting immigration reform.

He said the party's outreach should mean that Republicans don't shut down their operations in minority communities right after an election.

The party's message will resonate, Pinnell said, “but we have to be where they are.”

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, a former chief of staff at the Republican National Committee, said Monday, “Whenever a party loses a presidential election as important as the one in 2012, it ought to engage in serious reflection and analysis.

“I applaud Chairman Priebus for undertaking an exhaustive examination of the Republican national defeat in 2012 and for recommending a specific series of reforms and programs to correct deficiencies and make the party more competitive in 2014 and 2016.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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Whenever a party loses a presidential election as important as the one in 2012, it ought to engage in serious reflection and analysis.”

Rep. Tom Cole,
R-Moore

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