At the Republican National Committee’s winter convention, the party is taking a hard look in the mirror. Former senior aide to President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer asks “Are we a more inclusive and welcoming party yet?”
This year’s meeting marks one year since plans were initiated by RNC chairman Reince Priebus to broaden GOP appeal to what political scientists call the “coalition of the ascendant.” The group, which includes racial minorities, women, and gay voters, has in recent elections eluded Republican candidates, resulting in losses in the Senate and two Democratic presidential victories.
The Republican National Committee has laid out structural changes, including major plans to change the party’s approach to immigration reform, but implementation has been slow. Policy reforms aimed at rebranding have been held back by infighting in the GOP-controlled House.
National approval ratings for Republicans have been continuously down since the 2012 election, As the Republican party sets its sights on the 2016 senate, what changes are expected? Is the party divided? How will the GOP adapt politically to expand its effectiveness?
Shawn Steel, Republican National Committeeman in California; Founding Director, California Chapter of Club for Growth - an influential conservative lobbying group; Past Chairman, California Republican Party
Ruben Barrales, Republican Political Consultant and President of the political action committee Grow Elect, which focuses on Latino voter outreach and recruiting Latino Republican candidates for office.
Matt Rodriguez, Democratic strategist; founder of Rodriguez Strategies; former senior Obama advisor in 2008