Reince Priebus on 'This Week'

RNC Chair Reince Priebus discusses the state of the Republican Party.
6:11 | 08/18/13

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Reince Priebus on 'This Week'
Public and party leaders met in boston to map out a strategy for taking back the white house amid a series of family feuds. Our roundtable and gop chair reince priebus here to analyze what's next. And the fall showdown with the white house. First, background from our senior white house correspondent. Let's start the family feud. Reporter: For republicans, it seemed like a summer right out of an old game show, with policy feuds pitting some of the party's top stars against each other. Chris christie versus rand paul on national security. This strain of libertarianism is a very dangerous thought. I'm trying to grow the party, and attacking me isn't helping. Reporter: And mitch mcconnell versus ted cruz on the wisdom of shutting the government down on funding health care. The bill that would shut down the government wouldn't shut down obamacare. Cocktail chatter and wisdom, that it's a political disaster is not borne out by the data. Reporter: Still unsure whether to join president obama on immigration reform. Is it trying to redefine itself for 2016? Is it a healthy debate? It's hard for the libertarian to make the establishment happy and vice versa. Welcome to politics. It's a tough business. Reporter: There's no shortage of republican conditioneds, and that makes it harder to resolve the ideological divide. And we are joined by the man who's got the job of bringing the gop together. Mr. Chairman, thanks for joining us. I want to start off by showing this big story in politico called eve of destruction. Ominous headline. Went on to say it's almost impossible to find an establishment republican who's not downright morose about 2013 that has been and about to be. Most dance around it in public, but it's a year that's a disaster in the making even if most elected republicans don't know it or admit it. Your response? First of all -- hi. You got it in, okay. Listen. And if you saw the next few politico articles, you saw articles just yesterday about the peace and actually detente on the republican national committee between those libertarians and the rnc. I actually think, george, look, you know what, a healthy family debate is not a bad thing at all. I really believe that. I don't think at a time when we just came off of a presidential election that having a party that's dull and boring is something that is good for not just our party, but for this country. I think the debates are good. I was there in boston. Obviously I would appear to be someone that would be claiming that everything is hunky-dory, but we had a very positive meeting, and there was peace and there was debate, and everyone left energized about the future of a party that is drastically changing its approach to politics. And I think you got a standing ovation when you called for a resolution saying no republican debates on cnn and nbc if they continue to go forward with the documentaries and films about hillary clinton. One notable dissent came from mitt romney's former sr. Adviser, eric fehrnstrom. He had this tweet, it's bad optics to block cnn and nbc from sponsoring the presidential debates. Attacking the media is a loser's game. Well, I don't know if that's etch a sketchs on tilt, george. I'm not really taking advice from eric fehrnstrom right now. I'm trying to build a party that's year-round. I'm trying to fix a data and digital operation, get a hold of a primary process, and a debate debacle that as you know I've called the traveling circus. The fact of the matter is I've got to protect the party and the nominees. We don't want a whole lot of 23 debate rounds like we've had before. And I would just say that entities like nbc and cnn that are moving forward with four-part miniseries about hillary clinton are not going to take part in the debates. Look, if you're not going to have 23 debates, these guys are making it a lot easier for us to pare that down to a reasonable number in front of people and entities that give a darn about the future of the republican party. You were willing to call them out for mitt romney's comments about immigration, saying self-deportation was horrific. Do you believe they're ready to reach out to win and bring in greater numbers of women, hispanics, blacks and gays? Well, look. I mean, we're deploying the biggest field operation we have ever done in the history of our party, george. What we're doing is something no national party has done in an off-year. Since the april meeting back in los angeles, we've hired 157 people, full-time across the country, we're going to double that number by the end of the year. In an off-year, coming off the heels of an election loss, to have that many field people in hispanic, asian, african-american communities, it's unheard of. If you're going to get the sale, show up and ask for the order. My point about our party has been you can't show up five months before an election and expect to move mountains. This is a big, cultural shift in our party as far as our field operation, our data operation. And obviously I think we've got some infrastructure issues in regard to our primaries. That's what I'm working on. I've got to control the world that I live in. And that's the world of party mechanics and operations. And I think that if you look at the press that came out of boston, as a whole, positive stories from the wall street journal to politico to even abc. Mr. Chairman, thanks for joining us this morning.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"6:11","description":"RNC Chair Reince Priebus discusses the state of the Republican Party.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/ThisWeek","id":"19994461","title":"Reince Priebus on 'This Week'","url":"/ThisWeek/video/reince-priebus-week-19994461"}