Priebus in Memphis


Georgeann King and Reince Priebus

Georgeann King and Reince Priebus

When he took the podium as guest speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner Friday night, Reince Priebus began his talk with an admission. “It’s a bizarre name,” he said.  “My son’s name is Jack, my daughter is Grace, my sister is Marie and I got Reince.” It’s pronounced like the river Rhine with an s on the end. “It’s a mix of my German and Greek background, ” he said.

With that out of the way, the newly elected RNC Chairman said he was here “for one reason: to make Barack Obama a one term president.

“The president is on target to run the first billion dollar campaign. We won the Superbowl last year (with the 2010 midterms), but we’re going to have to work together for victory in 2012,” he said.

Priebus outlined his plan. “We need to do three things. No. 1 – find people of their word to run for office. Second, win elections. Third, govern like we campaign. We must be the Republicans and conservatives we said we were on election day and govern that way.”

He says we will ask “are you better off today than you were three years ago? The deficit is up, unemployment is up, health care costs are up, gasoline is up. We needd as a party to wake up and start the outrage now and say enough! No more hiding about where we are financially. We are on the verge of spending 42 cents on every single dollar made in the U.S. to run the federal government. If Americans can cut back, the federal government can do it, too.”

Priebus says the GOP governors are already doing it with spending cuts. “Governors Walker in Wisconsin, Kasich in Ohio, Daniels in Indiana and Christie in New Jersey are leading the way. Frankly, it’s time we had this discussion. What happened in Wisconsin means the green flag has gone down.”

Priebus, who is from Wisconsin, believes Governor Walker will prevail. He helped him win and helped the legislature flip from Democrat to Republican as chairman of the Wisconsin Republican party. “People ask me how did we turn the state around? We did because we made more phone calls and more track calls than any other state. We had an army on the ground.”

But Priebus acknowledges that it wasn’t and isn’t just about seeing one party succeed.

“You’re here tonight not because of the party, but because you care about the country.”



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