Priebus: Rob Portman ‘a good, conservative Republican’ after announcing support for gay marriage

GOP boss says party must be one of ‘addition and multiplication’

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus batted away the idea on Monday that Sen. Rob Portman would receive any less support from the party after he recently expressed his support for same-sex marriage.

“I think that there isn’t anyone in this room — Republican, Democrat, in the middle — that doesn’t think Rob Portman, for example, is a good, conservative Republican. He is. And we know that,” Mr. Priebus said at a breakfast hosted by the National Press Club.

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The event was to outlined elements of the RNC’s “Growth & Opportunity Project” — a roadmap for a broad overhaul after a disappointing 2012 election cycle.

The Ohio Republican said Friday that his views on the issue changed after learning his son was gay.

“I mean, it’s his decision. It’s his decision,” Mr. Priebus said. “It’s not a matter of whether I support his decision; I support him doing what he wants to do as an elected person and as an American. If that’s his opinion, then I support him having that opinion.”

Mr. Priebus did say that the GOP must be a party of inclusion.

“I think it’s going to take discipline, and I think that party leaders have to constantly remind everybody that we can’t build the party by division and subtraction,” he said. “You can only build the party by addition and multiplication, We get that, and that’s going to be our endeavor.”

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