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Two Years Ago, RNC Chair Slammed Anti-Latino Rhetoric. Now He Says Trump Is A “Net Positive” For GOP

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In March 2013, a defeated RNC — still licking it’s wounds fresh from Mitt Romney’s November 2012 loss — released a 97-page report of what exactly went horribly wrong.

Throughout the autopsy report, the six authors — led by the party’s chair, Reince Priebus — called out specific group of voters the GOP had to win back in order to remain viable as a national party in the future, including women, young people, and, in particular, Latinos:

If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence. It does not matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy; if Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies. In the last election, Governor Romney received just 27 percent of the Hispanic vote. Other minority communities, including Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, also view the Party as unwelcoming. President Bush got 44 percent of the Asian vote in 2004; our presidential nominee received only 26 percent in 2012.

As one conservative, Tea-Party leader, Dick Armey, told us, “You can’t call someone ugly and expect them to go to the prom with you. We’ve chased the Hispanic voter out of his natural home.”

We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.

The Week’s Taegan Goddard called the autopsy report, “an extraordinary public acknowledgement of the party’s weaknesses.” But now, even the report’s most prominent author appears to have discarded his own advice:

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus says he thinks Donald Trump is a “net positive” for his party.

During a TV interview on WISN’s “Upfront” this weekend in Milwaukee, Priebus, who has previously asked Trump to tone down his remarks on immigration, now says the “Trump show” is a good thing for the GOP.

“It brings a lot of interest in the Republican field. I think it’s a net positive for everybody and I think it’s an indicator that there’s a lot of folks out there who are sick and tired of Washington and Trump has tapped into that,” Priebus said.

“When you have 30 million people watching [the first GOP debate], not to mention the fact that we have 16 other incredible candidates out there, I think we are showing America that we are the young, diverse party, offering a whole slew of options for people and that’s a good thing.”

It makes sense to get excited about television ratings if you’re a television executive, but Priebus needs voters, not viewers. And, when the Republican nominee will now need to get 47% of the Latino vote in order to win the White House — Mitt scraped by with 27%, the lowest for a Republican in 16 years — Reince has bigger things to worry about than TV.

Especially, considering Reince now says he’d be fine with having a Republican nominee who has called one of the fastest booming electorates criminals and “rapists”:

The RNC chair said he would be comfortable with Trump being the Republican nominee and does not question his loyalties to the party, despite the real estate mogul’s previous support for liberal positions on issues like abortion and universal health care.

“He says he’s a Republican and I take him at his word,” Priebus said.

A new Gallup poll has Trump’s favorability among Latinos at the worst in the entire GOP field. If Reince wants to get to that 47% number when it comes to Latino voters, it’s a good thing Pope Francis is coming to town, because Republicans will need a miracle.

It’s only a matter of time before Reince asks Latinos out to that prom he mentioned in his report. He should probably prepare to go stag.