Sally Bradshaw, Florida State Board of Education Member and veteran Republican strategist, was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal regarding the newly released Republican National Committee ‘autopsy’ report that sharply criticized the GOP after the 2012 election, sharing her perspective as one of the five authors of this report. The RNC’s Growth and Opportunity Project was undertaken to give the party engine a top-to-bottom tune-up.
Bradshaw said the autopsy involved about 90 days and input from over 50,000 people including individuals and Republican voters who didn’t support the GOP in 2012.
The WSJ interview, published today, asked Bradshaw a series of questions regarding the report’s take on the GOP presidential primary process (moving the convention earlier) and primary debates (limiting them to 10 or 12), but focused mostly on issues of messaging and inclusiveness.
Bradshaw reiterated something that many have lamented: the party’s dismal reach among women, minorities, young people, and increasingly among those who feel excluded based on having even slightly different views.
“We have to show there are different types of Republicans in our party who want to be welcoming, who want to grow the party from a different demographic,” Bradshaw said. “…We have to do this one person at a time and re-open the big tent.”
Regarding the women’s vote, she said: “It shows we have to be more welcoming to people who don’t agree with us on every issue.” Republicans, she said, should be able to say, “If we agree on a majority of issues, then you’re welcome in our party.”
And, finally, “There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m an optimist.”
The RNCs focus is well justified, coming at a time when, according to this report, “public perception of the Party is at record lows…”
The first recommendation within the 100 page report states, “The Grand Old Party should be synonymous with the name ‘Growth and Opportunity Party'”, and follows with a thorough and detailed analysis of every aspect of tactics and messaging.
Those interested in being a part of this shift should take the time to read through it.