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Republicans to spend $10 million on outreach to minority voters

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By USA Today
Sunday, March 17, 2013, 8:51 p.m.
 

Republicans are to announce on Monday what they plan to do to attract a broader swathe of voters in the next elections, after a three-day conference revealed tensions among the party's conservative wing on what direction the GOP should take.

After an analysis of the party's image and failings that led to losing the presidency and the Senate in 2012, Republicans will spend $10 million this year in outreach to Hispanic, Asian and black voters, GOP chairman Reince Priebus said on Sunday.

“We have become a party that parachutes into communities four months before elections,” Priebus said on “Face the Nation.” In contrast, he said, “The Obama campaign lived in these communities for years. The relationships were deep.”

He also said he wants to have fewer primary debates and move the party convention to June or July to give candidates earlier access to general election funds.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, held just outside Washington, speakers including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged the Republican Party to embrace “inclusion and acceptance” to regain power.

“All too often we're associated with being anti-everything — anti-immigration, anti-women, anti-gay,” Bush told the CPAC gathering. “The face of the Republican Party needs to be the face of every American.”

The topics at CPAC notably included immigration changes and same-sex marriage, though the gay marriage panel was not an official CPAC event; it was hosted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an event sponsor.

“There are a few people in our movement who just don't like gay people. In 2013, that's just not OK any more,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, founder of GOProud, a gay conservative organization that wasn't invited to CPAC but was included in the panel discussion.

Speakers on the immigration panel favored a form of legal status for illegal immigrants. “The evolution of the conservative movement on the issue of immigration is nothing less than astonishing,” CPAC organizer Al Cardenas said Sunday on CNN.

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