RNC Chair Asked About Chaotic CPAC Race Panel

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Monday was asked about a CPAC panel on race that devolved into a shouting match after “disenfranchised” white voters showed up.

“Question about CPAC last week, where a panel on African American voters dissolved into a shouting match with at least one activist saying that — sorry, hard to read the question — talking about voters being systematically disenfranchised. How, given that sort of backdrop in the party, do you plan to overcome those challenges in your role at the RNC?” National Press Club President Angela Greiling Keane asked Priebus at an event on the RNC’s roadmap ahead after the 2012 elections.

As TPM’s Benjy Sarlin reported last week, the panel went downhill when several attendees demanded justice for white voters. One attendee said white voters were being “systematically disenfranchised.”

Priebus responded to the question by saying the RNC plans to hire hundreds of paid staffers to reach out to minority communities across the country.

“For one thing, you have to show up, right?” he said. “I mean, if you’re going to get the order, you have to ask for the sale. I mean, that’s just sort of basic. Which is why we’re launching this unprecedented effort to bring in — I’m not talking about hiring two or three people down the hallway at the RNC — what we’re talking about is hiring hundreds of paid people across the country this year to make the case in minority communities across America. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He’s a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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