The chair of the Republican National Committee said Monday that speaking Spanish would be a “bonus” for any presidential candidate in 2016, and announced that the GOP will spend $10 million on outreach to women and minorities.
In a lunch at the National Press Club in Washington, Reince Priebus left the door open in the 2016 elections for the “great Hispanic leaders” currently in the Republican Party, like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Priebus presented the RNC’s post-mortem on the November elections, which saw President Barack Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney among Latinos by 71 percent to 28 percent.
To have a chance of winning Hispanic votes, the GOP “must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,” the report insists.
Priebus underscored the need to promote minority leaders within the party, and though he said it’s not essential that the Republican candidate in 2016 speak Spanish, it would definitely be a “bonus.”
“It’s a tremendous asset to be able to have, and so I don’t think it’s necessary, but it certainly is a bonus,” the RNC chair said.
“When Republicans lost in November it was a wake-up call. We know that we have problems. We’ve identified them, and we’re implementing the solutions to fix them,” he said.
“The way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough,” Priebus said. “Focus groups described our party as ‘narrow-minded,’ ‘out of touch,’ and ‘stuffy old men.’ The perception that we’re the party of the rich continues to grow.”