The Republican National Committee is prowling for emails by shilling for car-hailing service Uber.
“Our cities also deserve innovative, efficient and safe transportation choices without excessive and intrusive bureaucratic red tape,” the RNC wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday. “That’s why our cities need innovative solutions like the Uber car service.”
The message wasn’t designed as an advertisement for the Uber, but rather a list-building and messaging effort by the party as it seeks to broaden its appeal to millennials and libertarians before this fall’s midterm elections.
As top party officials gather in Chicago, where the company is embroiled in a fight with the city council and the state legislature, the GOP is highlighting the startup as an example of a company hamstrung by overregulation. Uber has waged public campaigns against taxi commissions and local governments across the country, which in many cases tried to block the company’s expansion at the behest of existing taxi companies.
The GOP’s petition is designed to collect email addresses of potential supporters, who can be bombarded with pitches to donate and support Republican candidates.
“We don’t need the intrusive government implementing any more strangling regulations, limiting consumer choices or interfering in the free market,” the RNC email continues. “But this isn’t about one company or concept. This is about protecting the core principles that make our country so great: our free market principles, our entrepreneurial spirit and our economic freedom. Show your support for free market companies like Uber by signing the petition today.”