Priebus Calls for GOP Reconstructive Surgery

Priebus Calls for GOP Reconstructive Surgery

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After suffering a brutal loss in the 2012 election, Republicans are looking to reboot their image and reconnect with voters who see them as “out of touch, stuffy old  men,” according to a 100-page report released this morning. Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman, laid out the report, which includes a lengthy, laundry list of what needs to be done to revamp the  Republican party. The report, which is based on extensive polling data, found that voters see the Grand Old Party as “out of touch” and “scary” and recommends a slew of suggestions to modernize the party. The recommendations include enacting comprehensive immigration reform, addressing middle-class economic challenges and spending $10 million on minority voter outreach.  
“There’s no one reason we lost,” Priebus said.“Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement.”  -  Read the report

NEW POLL WARNS GOP ON ITS  FOCUS      Going into the 2014 midterm elections, Republican lawmakers should focus more on education, gas prices and issues that directly affect voters’ personal finances, a poll commissioned by the YG Network suggests.

“Even Americans concerned about deficits and debt are far more concerned with their own personal economic well-being. Voters are willing to consider some changes to the Medicare system – raising the eligibility age to 67 and means-testing benefits – but less than half are enthusiastic about changing the system immediately to balance the budget over a decade,” Politico reports.   - Read more at Politico

WHO DO VOTERS TRUST MORE ON BUDGET?     A new poll by The Hill shows that on budget issues, more voters (35 percent) trust Democrats over Republicans (30 percent), though the majority prefers Republican budget proposals. The poll asked respondents to identify which of two budget plans they preferred, without revealing which plan was associated with which party. The majority of respondents, 55 percent, said they preferred a budget plan that would balance the budget in 10 years by slashing $5 trillion in government spending, with no additional tax revenue – which is what House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget would do. Just 28 percent of voters preferred a proposal that would include $1 trillion in added tax revenue as well as $100 billion in infrastructure spending (the proposal released by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray last week.)

Surprisingly, many respondents who identified themselves as Democrats supported the Republican proposal.   -  Read more at The Hill

A DEAL IN THE MAKING?   Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Republicans and Democrats could still reach a broad deal on deficit reduction and entitlement reform, in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“There, by the way, is a chance on a deal. I know the president is saying the right things. And we have an opportunity over the next four to five months…I think Republicans, if they saw true entitlement reform, would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenue,” Corker said. “And that doesn’t mean increasing rates. That means closing loopholes. It also means arranging our tax system so that we have economic growth.” -  Read more at The Fiscal Times

BOEHNER: DIFFERENCES REMAIN    House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday on ABC’s “The Week” that a deficit reduction is still possible, but the two parties remain deeply divided on taxes and spending. “If the president doesn't believe that the goal ought to be to balance the budget over the next 10 years – not sure we're going to get very far… This is the whole issue.” -  Read more at Politico

PEREZ FOR LABOR SECRETARY    President Obama is expected to nominate Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez to be his next secretary of Labor this afternoon. Perez has served as the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division since Oct. 8, 2009. He also served as the secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor.   -  Read more at CNN

INCOME INEQUALITY AND HIGHER EDUCATION    A New York Times study shows the majority of low-income students with top SAT scores and grades do not even apply to the nation’s best colleges, further contributing to economic inequality, since college graduates earn much more on average than non-graduates.

The study also found that low-income students who excel in high school often do not graduate from the less selective colleges they attend. Only 34 percent of high-achieving high school seniors in the bottom fourth of income distribution attended any one of the country’s 238 most selective colleges, according to the analysis, compared to 78 percent of the top students in the highest income quartile who attended the most selective colleges in the country.   -   Read more at The New York Times

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.