Republicans target minorities with millions


By Philip Elliott, AP

WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee (RNC) plans to spend US$10 million this year to send hundreds of party workers into Hispanic, black and Asian communities to promote its brand among voters who overwhelmingly supported Democrats in 2012.

The Republican Party is reeling from back-to-back presidential losses and struggling to cope with the country’s changing racial and ethnic makeup. The outreach effort was among the recommendations resulting from a months-long look at what went wrong in the 2012 election.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday also proposed shortening the presidential nominating calendar in 2016 and limiting the number of primary-season debates to avoid the self-inflicted damage from inside-party squabbling over the eventual nominee. Priebus’ top-to-bottom changes include picking the moderators for the debates and then crowning the nominee as early as June so he or she could begin a general election campaign as quickly as possible.

“Mitt Romney was a sitting duck for two months over the summer,” Priebus said of the party’s 2012 nominee.

Exit polls indicated Obama carried female, black, Hispanic and Asian voting blocs. He also won among voters under the age of 45 and those who lived in mid- to large-sized cities.

That spells troubles for the Republicans in a nation that is increasingly diverse. The latest census data and polling from The Associated Press suggest non-Hispanic whites will lose their majority in the next generation, somewhere around the year 2043.

To help his party ahead of the 2016 contest already in its earliest stages, Priebus said he would be hiring new staffers to build the Republican Party among voters in the states.

“It will include hundreds of people — paid — across the country, from coast-to-coast, in Hispanic, African American, Asian communities, talking about our party, talking about our brand, talking about what we believe in, going to community events, going to swearing-in ceremonies, being a part of the community on an ongoing basis, paid for by the Republican National Committee, to make the case for our party and our candidates,” Priebus said.