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Reince Priebus Reiterates RNC's Opposition To Same-Sex Marriage After SCOTUS Decision: VIDEO

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today reiterated the GOP's opposition to marriage equality and blasted the Supreme Court for its decision yesterday to let stand lower court rulings that found bans on same-sex marriage in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana and Wisconsin to be unconstitutional. Think Progress reports:

Appearing on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown on Tuesday, Reince Priebus reiterated the GOP’s support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, before arguing that social conservatives like David Lane and Tony Perkins are “right to be concerned about what’s happened here in this country over the last couple of years.” Preibus also seemed to support Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) push to introduce a constitutional amendment prohibiting the federal government from changing state marriage laws.

“I don’t think [marriage equality] is a top here issue for the midterms,” he said. “I think long term it’s an issue in regard to what we need to do in the country to have a strong economy, a strong defense and a strong society.”

Suggesting that the nation is hurt by same-sex families and quoting men who claim that if gays are permitted to marry “America will ultimately collapse,” is at odds with the GOP’s promise to be more tolerant toward gay people.

Though many top Republicans were notably silent yesterday following SCOTUS' decision, Republican Senator Ted Cruz commented,

The Supreme Court’s decision to let rulings by lower court judges stand that redefine marriage is both tragic and indefensible. By refusing to rule if the States can define marriage, the Supreme Court is abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution. The fact that the Supreme Court Justices, without providing any explanation whatsoever, have permitted lower courts to strike down so many state marriage laws is astonishing. This is judicial activism at its worst.

Watch Priebus' interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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RNC Chair Reince Priebus Calls on Anti-Gay Michigan RNC Committeeman Dave Agema to Resign

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Calls for the resignation of Michigan RNC Committeman Dave Agema are now coming from the top of his party.

Agema, the notoriously anti-gay RNC committeeman who, in the past has said that gays falsely claim people with AIDS as their lovers in order to cheat the system and get free medical benefits, and last week said Russia's anti-gay law is "common sense", is being called on to step down by RNC Chair Reince Priebus, the Washington Blade reports:

PriebusSean Spicer, an RNC spokesperson, tweeted on the second day of the RNC winter meeting in D.C. that Preibus as well as Michigan Republican Chair Bobby Schostak asked for the resignation of RNC committee member Dave Agema.

RNC Chair @reince and @MIGOP Chair @BobbySchostak have called for the resignation of Dave Agema

— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) January 24, 2014

Kirsten Kukowski, another RNC spokesperson, confirmed the tweet for the Washington Blade, saying “For the good of the party we believe Dave Agema should resign.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, Priebus and Schostak called for Agema to step down shortly after Priebus spoke to the RNC on Friday at the winter meeting about the need to expand the party’s base of voters.

We'll keep you updated.


GOP Hires First National Youth Director in Effort to Reach Out to Millennial Voters

Elliott EcholsThe Republican Party took its first step in a new effort to reach out to more young voters last Thursday by naming Elliott Echols (pictured right) as the party's first national youth director, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports:

"Today's announcement is groundbreaking," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus (pictured below). "Bringing Elliot on board in an off-year will help us build relationships with young voters and mobilize students and young professionals to take our message to their peers."

Yet Echols' work will resonate beyond the 2014 elections, Priebus said, noting that "young Americans are independent-minded people who are concerned about getting our nation's economy back on track." Echols, 23 of Rome, Ga, told the Tribune-Review he has goals for his new role.

Priebus"The biggest is to bring young, energized people to the GOP," he said. "There are a lot of young people who are eager to make a change, but they can't change anything if they're not a part of the process."

The RNC's new efforts have also extended to attracting minority voters. In recent weeks, the RNC has hired new heads for black media communications and rolled out an aggressive Hispanic outreach program in Pennsylvania, California, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia.

Presumably, these efforts are in response to the party's report released back in March that analyzed data from its 2012 presidential election loss. The report, entitled "Growth and Opportunity Project," proposed ways that conservatives could attract young, gay, women, and minority voters, all blocs that sat firmly on Obama's side during election night last year.

The Daily Kos, however, remains skeptical of these so-called "groundbreaking" developments on the GOP's part:

Basically, Echols's job will be to convince young voters that Republicans aren't anti-gay, anti-immigrant, or anti-21st century, and then, once he accomplishes that, his job will be to convince those same voters that it's just a coincidence that GOP policies are perfectly consistent with a party that is anti-gay, anti-immigrant, and anti-21st century. Then, and only then, will his achievement be groundbreaking, because he'll have achieved the impossible. 

(picture via Twitter)


MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Grills RNC Chair Reince Priebus About Shutdown, Obamacare: VIDEO

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Thomas Roberts got into it today with RNC Chair Reince Priebus over the shutdown and House GOP demands on Obamacare.

“Have you been watching the news?” he said, referencing glitches consumers have experienced in trying to access online exchanges. “At the very least, at this very moment, Obamacare’s not ready for prime time.”

When asked by host Thomas Roberts to explain House Republicans’ unwillingness to pass a clean continuing resolution bill without ties to delays in Obamacare, Priebus blamed the president for refusing to negotiate, before turning the crosshairs on his interviewer.

“It sounds like I’m debating the chair of the DNC,” Priebus said to Roberts. Priebus also advised Roberts to watch Schoolhouse Rock for lessons on how a bill becomes law.

“So we have to capitulate to whatever the president wants?” asked Priebus.

“No, you have to govern,” said Roberts.

Asks Roberts, later: "Is this really what the Tea Party conservatives have wanted all along is to demonstrate the power that they have on being able to 'choke out' the American people?"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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RNC Leaders Congratulated Thomas Roberts On His Marriage: VIDEO

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Out MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts joined Joe Scarborough oh his "Morning Joe" talk-show today. Amidst discussion of the Republican National Committee's continued opposition to same-sex marriage in the party platform, Roberts discussed his own personal experience with the Republican leadership that seemed to him at odds with their publicly stated political beliefs:

"Reince Priebus, when I got engaged, congratulated me at the White House Correspondents' weekend. Last year, Sean Spicer congratulated me on getting married to my husband. Yet they incorporate into the platform of the RNC their stance against marriage equality," Roberts said.

"It's odd, because why congratulate me? I didn't bring it up, I didn't say give me a congratulations, but they offered it," Roberts said. "So it's odd, because then they'll go out and drumbeat that they're against marriage equality. It's weird."

In an email to Politico RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer clarified his position:

"Believing marriage is between one man and one woman and being polite, courteous and respectful are not mutually exclusive."

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP...

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RNC Chair Not Embracing 'Tolerance': VIDEO

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Attempting to put at ease Evangelicals, who "start to grab the Excedrin bottles when they hear [the word] 'tolerance'" in the context of gay marriage, RNC chair Reince Priebus spoke to the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody about "the whole gay marriage situation," ThinkProgress reports:

"I don’t know if I’ve used the word ‘tolerance,’ I don’t really care for that word myself. I don’t have a problem with it, I just think it has another meaning politically that can go the other direction. I happen to believe that our principles are sound. I do believe, and I still will tell you that our party believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said, which I don’t think should be controversial at all and I would think that Christians and pastors and everyone in between should agree that our principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect and that’s not code language, that’s the New Testament. [...]

So ‘tolerance’ — maybe some people use that word, what I would tell you, when I think about it, I think about grace, I think about love, and I think about respect, and I think those are things that are very square with our beliefs as Christians."

Back in April, Priebus received a letter from 13 anti-gay groups threatening to leave the GOP if they did not support a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and the now defunct DOMA. They seem like a charming bunch to have to kowtow to all the time.

Right Wing Watch provides video of the interview AFTER THE JUMP...

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