- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Sen. Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich deny plot to oust Priebus
Rumors hint at Maine man
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, two of the Republican Party’s big guns, are sticking by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and rejecting rumors that they have joined a group trying to block Mr. Priebus from another two-year term as head of the party.
Supporters of Mr. Priebus‘ challenger, Maine RNC member Mark Willis, have been making those claims in emails and through a whisper campaign suggesting that Mr. Paul and Mr. Gingrich have been supporting Mr. Willis behind the scenes. Mr. Willis was a supporter of the 2012 presidential campaign of Mr. Paul’s father, Rep. Ron Paul, a Texas libertarian.
“Rand has not endorsed anyone officially and looks forward to working with Reince over the coming two years,” Doug Stafford, the younger Mr. Paul’s chief of staff said in an interview, adding that the senator “believes Reince will be handily re-elected this week.”
Despite the party’s setback in the 2012 elections, including the defeat of presidential candidate Mitt Romney and unexpected losses for the Senate, Mr. Priebus, the former GOP state chairman in Wisconsin, has the endorsement of the top Republican leaders in Congress. He is credited with retiring the $24 million debt he inherited from his predecessor, Michael S. Steele, and with having raised enough from once-alienated major party donors to help bankroll Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign and still leave the RNC with $4 million in the bank.
Claiming more than 150 assured votes — well over the 85 needed to win, Mr. Priebus appears ready to sail to easy victory when the 168 members of the RNC vote on the third day of their annual winter meeting in Charlotte on Friday. And the rumors of top-level defections to the opposition appear to be exaggerated.
Mr. Willis and his supporters have suggested that Mr. Priebus‘ decision not to solicit competitive bids from consultants who were awarded millions of dollars in contracts for the 2012 presidential elections amounted to misuse of donors’ dollars to the benefit of favored consultants. They also accuse Mr. Priebus of using the machinery and resources of the RNC itself to ensure his re-election.
“We know of no misuse of funds by the chairman and don’t believe this is where we should concentrate our time and effort,” Mr. Stafford said, speaking for his boss. “We are aiming for a stronger, more vibrant party with the right message and waging grass-roots involvement and support.”
Mr. Paul’s Kentucky voter base was strongest among tea party activists and libertarian conservative backers of his father.
While preparing for a 2016 presidential nomination run of his own, Mr. Paul has been broadening that base to include evangelical Protestant and Jewish supporters, two groups who were unfriendly toward his father.
Trying to bounce back
A smooth re-election for Mr. Priebus would give the party‘ machinery a welcome break from the negative headlines and internal finger-pointing that followed the November election results, and the party’s spending decisions and its get-out-the-vote infrastructure came in for heavy criticism. But first Mr. Priebus must get by his challenger.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- Jindal v. Obama: The new school choice battle; La. voucher fight revives reform led by conservatives
- Chris Christie's coup: George W. Bush appears on his behalf at GOP summit
- GOP governors lay out own agenda with Washington gridlocked
- Walker, Christie: The tale of 2 very different GOPers on a quest for the presidency
- Rick Perry visits Israel again, insists GOP won't be bruised by Ted Cruz
Latest Blog Entries
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Galaxy S4 owner claims Samsung tried to silence him after phone caught fire
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow