ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nearly three months after losing the 2012 presidential election, Republicans seem to have a simple prescription for what ails their party: Turn those frowns upside down.
“We want to build a massive party that’s exciting, that smiles, has a good message across America, and that’s what you’re going to see,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told reporters at a news conference on Friday shortly after he was re-elected to another two year term.
Priebus may be following the advice of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who told his fellow Republicans at the same gathering on Thursday to “learn to be a happy party” and to try to be “cheerful and persistent.”
“Angry persistence doesn’t work very well,” he noted. “Depressed persistence doesn’t work at all.” (Recall that it was Gingrich, who at a Republican primary debate last February, used the word “cheerful” to describe himself).
There’s substance behind the sentiment echoed by Priebus and Gingrich at the RNC’s annual winter meeting.
It’s part of the GOP’s effort to re-brand itself as a more inclusive and inviting party after suffering stinging losses at the polls on Election Day last November, especially among some key segments of the electorate like Hispanics, African Americans and young voters.
“It doesn’t matter where you live, who you are, what you look like, or what your last name is,” Priebus said on Friday, “because we will be a party for everyone, everywhere.”
Sharon Day, a GOP activist from Florida who serves as co-chair of the RNC, put the party’s new approach even more bluntly: “I will talk to a head of lettuce if I can get them to vote Republican.”