RNC Chairman Priebus Wasn't Paying Attention To 2010 Elections

February 25, 2011 12:32 pm ET — Kate Conway

Just after the midterm elections, Reince Priebus ascended from the position of Wisconsin Republican Party chairman to Republican National Committee Chairman. Yet in a Fox News interview this morning, Priebus provided no evidence he was paying attention to the 2010 elections in either his home state or on a national level.

First, Priebus made it clear that he had no idea what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) had campaigned on, claiming "collective bargaining issues ... weren't just discussed vaguely by Governor Walker in the campaign. He specifically ran on the numbers of what he was going to do in this budget, he won the election handily, and now he's just delivering on his promises."

PRIEBUS: Well Gretchen, here's the problem. On top of what Speaker Gingrich said, these are items, these collective bargaining issues, and government employees paying more for health care and their pensions. These issues weren't just discussed vaguely by Governor Walker in the campaign. He specifically ran on the numbers of what he was going to do in this budget, he won the election handily, and now he's just delivering on his promises. And what the Democratic senators need to do is come back to Madison, get some clean clothes and some toothpaste, debate the issue and vote no or try to improve the bill. But they need to come back and do their jobs.

While Walker did campaign on certain reforms, including some limited changes to the bargaining process, he did not campaign on doing away with collective bargaining for public workers - and most Wisconsin residents oppose Walker's plan.

Priebus went on to reveal that he also had no idea what the GOP's  national campaign message was. Asked by host Gretchen Carlson whether he thought Senate Democrats were going to "blink first and pursue their own cuts," Priebus responded that "they're doing all the talk about government shutdowns, and Republicans are governing as they campaigned."

PRIEBUS: Well I certainly think that they're doing all the talk about government shutdowns, and Republicans are governing as they campaigned. We're the ones that said we would cut $100 billion off the CR, which we've delivered on. We'll see what the Senators do. I know that the Republicans are not talking about a public shutdown, but we are talking about getting real about crushing deficits and out-of-control spending.

Watch:

First of all, Republicans have been talking about a government shutdown for months, and their refusal to make any sort of compromise is what's driving us toward that shutdown. Moreover, Republicans campaigned heavily on the promise that job creation would be their "first priority," but since taking the majority they've spent more time floundering around in controversial social issues than trying to spur economic growth. And the cuts in the continuing resolution that Priebus brags about aren't going to help matters: according to some estimates, they could drive up unemployment by a full percentage point.

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