Gregg County GOP chief: self-examination necessary for party

Gregg County GOP chief: self-examination necessary for party

POSTED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 8:00pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 8:14pm

An internal review by the Republican Party released Monday chastised the GOP for ignoring growing constituencies and urged the party to shed an image of narrow-mindedness.

Gregg County Republican Party Chairman Keith Rothra predicted the review would lead to internal soul searching that will be good for the party.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus previewed the Growth and Opportunity Project, a survey of some 50,000 people, by announcing a $10 million marketing campaign to Hispanic, black and Asian voters at an annual conservative gathering.

Those constituencies rallied to Democratic President Barack Obama’s re-election in November. They also poured cold water on GOP attempts to win back control of the U.S. Senate.

“We’ve got to be smarter in the way we do things on the Republican side,” Rothra said, paraphrasing the audit’s criticism of the GOP as clinging to ‘stuffy old men’ in leadership. “We are still looking to octogenarian leadership, or close to it. Ronald Reagan was a nice guy, but the people we need to reach weren’t born when Ronald Reagan left office. It’s scary.”

Parties typically go through a healthy self examination during low political tides, he said.

“It’s no new thing,” Rothra said of the GOP audit. “It’s the same thing. It’s just that we conservatives are being looked at as a strange beast. Reagan was looked at as a strange beast up until four years before his election. ... That’s where we are, is in a major shakeup for the party. And I think it’s healthy for the politics.”

Rothra said he “tended to agree” with the report’s observation that Republicans largely are viewed as out of touch in the wake of the 2012 election.

Continue reading this story from KETK newspaper partner the Longview News-Journal here.

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