The Republican National Committee will be spending big bucks this year – $10 million to be exact – to reach out to the "47 percent" of Americans its 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney notoriously dismissed as freeloaders.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told CBS's “Face The Nation” on Sunday that it will launch a branding initiative that sends hundreds of paid employees into minority communities across America. These people will be paid to talk about the GOP and its beliefs within Hispanic, Black and Asian communities.
“[They will] make the case for our party and our candidates,” Priebus told host Bob Schieffer.
“If you’re not in the community, if you are not talking to people and the level of familiarity isn’t there, then silly thing like Todd Akin and some of the goofy things that were said, when there is a vacuum the caricature becomes true if you’re not there,” he added. “So, if you have unscripted moments and you’ve got no relationship to explain anything, obviously, I believe you’re a sitting duck.”
News of the initiative came ahead of the committee’s release of a study on Monday that seeks to define what went wrong in 2012 that caused the GOP to lose the White House – along with Senate and House seats – and how to fix it.
Republicans were confident of defeating President Barack Obama hoped to capture the Senate because of the weak economic climate and the perceived weaknesses of several Democratic incumbents. But several Republican candidates shot themselves in the foot last year, when they tripped over some of their own beliefs.
Former Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., lost his Senate race to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill when he grabbed national headlines last summer over when he was asked about abortion in the case of rape.
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said.
Furthermore, Romney was videotaped at a Florida fundraiser last year, casting off nearly half of Americans as nothing but moochers who saw themselves as “victims.”
“My job is not to worry about those people – I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said.
He later apologized for the hurtful remarks, saying, “When I become president, it will be about helping the 100 percent. This is all about the 100 percent. And, you know, the president can talk about the things he’d like to talk about -- I’m going to talk about how I’m going to get America working again and help all the people of this country.”
But it was too late. A record number of minority voters sent Obama to victory in urban areas of swing states like Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and Florida. Moreover, Obama snagged nearly three-quarters of Latino and Asian votes.
Priebus said Republicans must do a better job at relating issues to people’s lives and their candidates will now have to learn how to “win the heart war.”