TIME 2014 Election

GOP Chief Says Party Doesn’t Have a Problem With Women

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at the National Press Club in Washington, in 2013.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at the National Press Club in Washington, in 2013. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at the National Press Club in Washington, in 2013. Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP

RNC chair Reince Priebus brushed off the idea that women are turning their backs on the party and predicted big gains for the GOP in 2014. "I think that among youth and women you’re going to see the greatest increase in 2014, because of...Obamacare," he said.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus criticized media “laziness” in reporting on the GOP Tuesday, saying his party doesn’t have a problem with women—only some women.

“We basically have a single-women problem under 35-ish,” he told reporters Tuesday morning at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast. “But when you talk about women over 35, when you talk about married women, when you talk about women with children the question is why does the Democratic Party have so many problems in their engagement with married women or women with children.

“We’ve recognized that we need to speak to single women under 35,” Priebus added. “It’s a demographic issue that we want to do better with.”

One year after the release of the party’s so-called “autopsy” report examining its 2012 electoral defeat, Priebus highlighted the party’s efforts to build permanent ground and technical operations. He predicted that 2014 would be a “tsunami-type election” for Republicans, with the GOP retaking the Senate and even picking up seats in the House, in large part because of Obamacare, calling it a “total poison across the country.”

“I’m just guessing here, but I think that among youth and women you’re going to see the greatest increase in 2014, because of number one: Obamacare,” he said. “It’s very personal among women. I think losing your doctor, getting your insurance cancelled. I think it’s going to be an issue that’s going to cause us a great improvement among especially single women over 35 that are working. And then young people: Obamacare was intentionally designed to screw young people over.”

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz scoffed at Priebus’ optimism in a news conference Tuesday, bashing the GOP’s rebranding effort. “Their prediction accuracy isn’t exactly on the mark of late,” she said.

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