This morning, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus held a press conference call to discuss Vice President Joe Biden’s comment that middle-class Americans have been “buried the last four years.” He also talked about his view that, despite poor poll numbers in the swing states, Mitt Romney has a path to winning the 270 electoral college votes necessary to defeat President Barack Obama, and he gave the RNC’s take on footage of an old speech by the president that resurfaced on conservative media outlets last night.
Mr. Priebus said he agreed with Vice President Biden that the middle class has been “buried” during the first four years of the Obama administration.
“Obama and Biden have buried the middle class, and now they want to bury them some more,” said Mr. Priebus. “I mean, just imagine what Barack Obama would do. He buried us economically in this country knowing that he would have to face re-election. Just imagine what he would do with nothing but daylight in front of him. Just imagine where this economy would go.”
He went on to discuss Mr. Romney’s economic policies, which he said would improve the country’s financial situation.
“Getting our economy back on track, getting Obamacare off the books, reducing spending in Washington, cutting small business taxes, getting Keystone pipeline started and exploring energy across America is just the start. And that’s the Romney/Ryan plan to save this country today,” said Mr. Priebus. “We need a new direction. Joe Biden admits it, the American people know it and, thankfully, Mitt Romney has a plan to take us there.”
Polls have increasingly been showing President Obama pulling ahead, specifically in Ohio. However, Mr. Priebus said he believes the Buckeye State is “extremely close.” He’s also confident the GOP has the ground game necessary to get a win for Mr. Romney.
“That’s the one thing that I think that is a narrative out there that I just think is blatantly uninformed, which is the fact that the Democrats have this great ground game. I think we’re going to crush the Democrats on the ground,” Mr. Priebus said. “I just don’t think they’ve got a very good ground game. I’ve looked through it, I’ve seen it. It’s all smoke and mirrors. It’s a lot of talk, but when you go around the neighborhood and you look at who’s getting absentee ballots in the municipal clerks’ offices and you figure out who’s hitting their goals, in our case, we’ve got a sophisticated program around our GOP universe and we check that every single morning with municipal clerks’ offices that are hooked up to our system. And I just know that we’re better than them on the ground, and I think that we’re going to crush them in Ohio.”
Ohio isn’t the only state Mr. Priebus is optimistic about.
“We have other good things going for us right now as well: Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada. There are other places that we’re doing very well in that, quite frankly, we didn’t win in ’08 but we’re doing better this year,” he said. “So, we’ll wait and see. We’ve got it all on the table. Ohio is, of course, extremely important. It’s nothing new, but I also see avenues to 270 opening up for Mitt Romney in places that weren’t there in ’08.”
Mr. Priebus concluded the call by answering a question about a video of a speech President Obama made at Hampton University in 2007 in which he acknowledged the controversial Reverend Jeremiah Wright and criticized the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina as evidence of racism. The speech was covered by the media when it first occurred, but it was heavily hyped last night by Fox News and the conservative websites Drudge Report and The Daily Caller, which argued it “escaped scrutiny” in 2007. The DNC sent an email last night describing the resurfacing of the video as “lame” and “desperation tactics.” For his part, Mr. Priebus said he believes “people are going to draw their own conclusions from the video.”
“Clearly, I know that some people are pretty troubled by it, but, you know, the fact of the matter is people have to watch that video on their own and draw their own conclusions,” he said. “I think that President Obama’s views shape his policies and his policies, in turn, are having a very negative impact on our economy. I don’t believe that government is the solution to our problems in this country. I think free enterprise is the solution to the problems in our country. I don’t think handouts are the solution to our problems in this country.”