RNC Chair: I’m ‘Very Satisfied’ With GOP 2012 Field

Sep 15, 2011 8:46am
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That’s what the Chairman of the Republican National Committee told me this morning when I asked if there’s still time for other candidates – namely Chris Christie or Sarah Palin – to jump in the race.

“I think that there is time for a lot of people to get in. I mean Bill Clinton joined the race I think in October of the year before the election,” Reince Priebus said.

“But I’m also very satisfied with where the field is at in the Republican side of the aisle. And I think that it’s time to start to debate about how to get American back on the rails and save ourselves economically and make Barack Obama a one-term president,” he said.

The Republican candidates taking shots at each other doesn’t bother Priebus – he said it makes the Party stronger. But he refused to weigh in when I asked if Sarah Palin was right when she called the mandatory HPV vaccination in Texas “crony capitalism” because Gov. Perry took campaign donations from the drug maker and his former chief-of-staff went on to lobby for Merck.

“You know, I’m not going to debate that. I’m not going to referee that issue. I’m the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, I can’t take sides,” he said.

Throughout the interview Priebus questioned President Obama’s leadership, telling me it’s time to put an “authentic” person in the White House. But he wasn’t concerned when I brought up a possible re-election game plan – using President Truman’s 1948 strategy and running against a do-nothing Congress.

“You know I’m not worried about it. Because I think that at the end of the day the fish rots at the head,” Priebus said.

The president is rotting?

“Well I tell you what, I don’t think this president has led, I think that he’s frustrated even his own base. You saw that in New York just two nights ago when even Democrats are saying ‘Look, we don’t like the direction that even Barack Obama is taking this country.’ And he’s going to have to answer to that,” he said.

Watch the interview here:

George Stephanopoulos

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