By: Bobby Cervantes
December 5, 2012
Former GOP Rep. J.C. Watts stepped up his attacks on RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on Wednesday for not spearheading efforts to make inroads in the party’s “nontraditional constituencies.”
“I would submit to you that this is much broader than J.C. Watts or Chairman Priebus,” Watts said on MSNBC’s “Live with Thomas Roberts” in response to to a question about a nearly all-white, all-male committee chairmanship roster among the House GOP. “But at the same time, I would say to you that if any CEO or any head coach or any pastor would have delivered the results that we got on Nov. 6, when we were wrong in every category…that CEO would be fired, that head coach would be fired.”
The Oklahoma Republican remained noncommittal on whether he’d challenge Priebus’s reelection effort. Watts, who said he was “encouraged” by calls for him to run, said the outreach initiatives that start at the RNC will trickle down and make a more diverse House caucus if the party commits to the change.
“So when you see it happening there [at the RNC], I think you’ll eventually see it filter through in those committee chairs,” he said. “We can’t expect to have diversity in our committee chairs when we got our Republican Party chairman that I don’t know, that I don’t have a relationship with. So if I don’t know him, how do we expect Joe Six Pack black guy or Joe Six Pack working white guy or Joe Six Pack working Hispanic…I have no confidence that they know him.”
On a possible bid for chairman, Watts said, “I’m not so sure. I understand the chairman has 120, 140 votes out of 168 votes. That tells me the RNC probably isn’t ready for the kind of change that I would be proposing.”
Priebus’s leadership is under fire in the wake of a rough election day for Republicans, when the GOP failed to recapture the presidency and the Senate, and Democrats increased their seats in the House. For his part Priebus is on a post-election listening tour, most recently meeting with donors in New York on Monday.
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