Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, joined Roland Martin and the Tom Joyner Morning Show crew to discuss the GOP’s plans to engage the African –American community.
The Republican Party’s kick-off for their new African-American outreach is set to start in Cleveland, Ohio where Priebus and the rest of the Republican party hope to find African-American leaders and people within the community who they can learn from and begin creating relationships with, which Priebus explained to Roland Martin below:
ROLAND MARTIN : You’re going to be in Ohio tomorrow as the kickoff to this African American outreach. And this report was very damning across the board. And one of the areas it says you guys have got to do a better job talking & relating with black folks.
REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, that’s absolutely true. And one of the things that’s glaring as a problem is that we just can’t survive as a party by being a national organization that shows up three months before an election and expects to move voters our direction. You know, the fact of the matter is that we’ve got to be engaged in the communities on a year round basis. And I’m not interested, Roland, in making headlines by just hiring a few people down the hallway and calling that engagement. We want to hire people and get to know people in the communities of which that we want to explain what we’re about and that we want to move voters in. So if we’re trying to engage in Cleveland that means we need to find communities’ leaders in Cleveland that are willing to work with us in Cleveland, to communicate with the voters in Cleveland. And I know that seems pretty simple, but we just haven’t been a party that’s been a year round party on the ground in communities, you know, three years before an election. And that really is a problem and I want to fix it.
However, radio legend Tom Joyner did not believe Priebus was aware of the real issue which has caused a rift between the African=American community and the Republican party, he proclaimed, saying, “Okay, well, one of the problems might be that you tried to suppress the black vote in this last election.”
Priebus responded, saying:
REINCE PRIEBUS: Well, you know, I don’t see that. You know, look, I happen to believe, obviously, that protecting the vote is important, and that voter suppression obviously has no place in our world or our society.
TOM JOYNER : But you did that.
REINCE PRIEBUS : But that’s not the case, you know what, I came from the state of Wisconsin. And I got to tell you, we had a state in our history, we’ve got a state where vote fraud I believe is pretty prevalent. We’ve had a police report issued, it’s about 70 pages long, and part of our problem in a state like Wisconsin was that people could show up and vote on election day with no voter ID, not even an electric bill or anything with a name on it. They could raise their right hand, pass the ballot.
Continue to read the rest of the interview on the next page.