RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Remarks From CPAC

Reince Priebus - March 16, 2013

Remarks As Prepared For Delivery

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus

Conservative Political Action Conference

Saturday March 16, 2013


Good afternoon, fellow conservatives! And congratulations, CPAC, on your fortieth year! I feel blessed to be with you again.

The future of our movement and our party has been on display here at CPAC this week--and I say we have a lot to be excited for! This is our future!

I’m grateful to be joined this week by my friends and fellow Cheeseheads: Ron Johnson, Scott Walker, and Paul Ryan!


When you all arrived here in Washington, you sent Washington a message.

Today, our message is clear: the old Washington ways aren’t working. We need conservative solutions to our liberal induced problems.

Here we are in 2013--and Democrats are still in love with a vision of big government that’s outdated and ineffective.

Their philosophy is one-size fits all. Bureaucrats choose your healthcare, choose your energy, choose your child’s school, and choose where to spend your money…. You have more options when you’re ordering a pizza from your iPhone.

Just slap a Smithsonian sign on those government office buildings. They’re museums of another time. Artifacts of the old way.

We’re here to say there’s a better way. The conservative way.


Republicans believe the individual makes better decisions than the bureaucrat. We believe caring for this generation shouldn’t require robbing the next.

This week House Republicans put out a budget that protects our seniors and balances in ten years.

And by the way, who’s ready for our elected officials to defund Obamacare once and for all?

The House Republican budget is right for America. In contrast, you’ve got the Senate Democrats whose budget--the first one in four years--calls for more taxes and spending. You know how long it takes for them to balance the budget?

Sorry, that’s a trick question. They never balance. Never.

If Democrats and the President joined a self-help group for their addiction to spending--you know, Spenders Anonymous--they wouldn’t make it through the first meeting. The first step always is admitting you have a problem.

But Nancy Pelosi said it’s “a false argument to say we have a spending problem.” This week the president insisted there’s no debt crisis.

He says he’s for a balanced approach, but his approach is about as balanced as political coverage on MSNBC.


Washington liberals can’t get it right. They just keep grabbing money and power. And they’re pretty good at it.

So we’ve got to introduce these guys to the 10th amendment… an amendment drafted to ensure that powers NOT given to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people.

Obama’s federal government is a disaster, lurching from crisis to crisis. They think federal action can solve everything. The reality is they haven’t fixed anything.

So I say to them, just get out of the way. Let states and cities and families take the lead in helping Americans improve their lives. It’s not just constitutional; it’s common sense.

And we’ve got thirty Republican governors who can prove it.

They’re showing that government of the people, by the people, for the people should be kept closest TO the people.


To fix our nation, conservatives have to hold the President accountable. Just like we did last week when an ophthalmologist from Kentucky challenged the President on the Senate floor.

When President Obama refused to answer a simple question, Rand Paul didn’t sit down. For thirteen hours, he stood proudly on the principles of liberty. One by one, other Senators joined him. And how great was that?!

Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and more. I for one want to applaud this new generation of liberty-minded Republicans.

Just by speaking out, they got the attention and support of people who don’t always vote for us.

We need that spirit of unity every day--as a party and a movement. Because if we’re going to win more elections, we have to grow the party.


After the election, I convened a task force called the Growth and Opportunity Project to figure out how the party can grow and win. They’ve listened to 40,000 individuals, hopefully many of you. And on Monday, they’ll release their recommendations.

We’re going to compete in every state. Because being a “blue state” should not be a permanent diagnosis.

We’ll develop the best technology with the best minds—and train volunteers and candidates with the modern tools to succeed.

We’ll take our message of opportunity where it’s not being heard… because we’re concerned about every American in every neighborhood across the country.

I’ll announce the specific actions we’re taking Monday morning. It will be big and it will be bold. I’ll be speaking at the National Press Club -- because after all,… I said we have to take our message to those who haven’t heard it or don’t understand it.

Seriously, I hope you’ll listen in and tell us what you think.

But the RNC can’t do this alone. Each of us has a stake. Our party’s success will determine our country’s success. So we have to be united and work together.

In the next election, I don’t know who will win—or even who will run. But I know this: Republicans will be a party people will want to join. The growth and opportunity party.

We won’t compromise our timeless principles, but we will make them relatable to all voters as we champion prosperity, success, and freedom for all.



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