New RNC Ad Aims to Showcase Diversity in GOP

The RNC will run a series of new ads before and after next week's GOP debate.

ByABC News
January 6, 2016, 9:35 PM
Two voters enter their booths to vote at Londonderry High School for the Republican New Hampshire primary election, Jan. 10, 2012 file photo.
Two voters enter their booths to vote at Londonderry High School for the Republican New Hampshire primary election, Jan. 10, 2012 file photo.
Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

— -- The Republican National Committee is set to run a series of ads before and during next week’s GOP debate highlighting a new effort to attract diverse voters in 2016.

ABC News got a sneak peek at the “Where You Lead, Others Will Follow” ad campaign featuring a diverse group of Republicans that are already active in the party. The series features a former prostitute; a 9/11 firefighter in The Bronx, New York; the son of Haitian immigrants and a mentor from Queens, New York; a mother of a child with autism from Tampa, Florida; and a first generation Hispanic American college student from Pueblo, Colorado.

Vallerie, the former prostitute, says in the ad her mother passed away when she was jail and she was “not allowed to go to her funeral.”

“I had this epiphany and realized I didn’t need to live like this,” she said, adding she has “already started organizing within my neighborhood.”

Pierry, the son of Haitian immigrants from Queens, said when his parents came to the United States they “didn’t speak the language, didn’t understand the culture,” but he got involved with the GOP because he “wanted to be the best version of myself.”

Those featured in the ad are volunteer leaders in the RNC’s Republican Leadership Initiative Program, an initiative launched last year to recruit and train GOP field organizers.

In 2013, after Mitt Romney’s 2012 loss, the RNC unveiled its Growth and Opportunity Project or what some called an “autopsy” looking at why they lost. The RNC committed then to launch an extensive outreach to women, African-American, Asian, Hispanic and gay voters.

Party Chairman Reince Priebus said then he thought the party's policies were fundamentally sound but may require a softer tone and broader outreach.

In 2012, Romney won 6 percent of the African-American vote and 27 percent of the Hispanic vote.

This ad campaign seems to be an effort at trying to fix that problem, but also comes after GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s polarizing comments during his campaign. Trump has been heavily criticized for his controversial comments about immigrants, Mexicans, women, Muslims amongst other groups.

In a statement, Priebus said their “effort to win the White House is fueled by the diverse and unique personal stories that motivate each and every individual to get involved in the political process.”

The RNC says the effort is an initial $300,000 ad buy, which includes television commercials before and during Thursday’s South Carolina debate and a digital buy for the first quarter. The effort also includes an Instagram account and a new website featuring the series.