GOP MAKEOVER: AUTHENTIC OR JUST FOR VOTES?

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Mar 19, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – Does the Republican party need a make-over? The answer to that has left the GOP divided for now.

After getting a beating from Democrats in the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released findings from its so-called “autopsy” report, which calls Republicans “out of touch” with today’s’ society.

In a speech before the National Press Club yesterday, Reince Priebus, chairman of the RNC said, “As (the report) makes clear, there’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive.”

A Pew survey shows six in ten Americans think the GOP is out of touch. Another CNN/ORC International poll shows that 54 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Republican party.

Joyce Diloy from San Francisco said, “They have been out of touch. But they’re beginning to have a clue why they lost in the last election.”

Rudy Asercion, national chair of the Filipino American Republicans said he agrees with the RNC’s plans to reach out to minority voters from immigrant and gay communities.

He said, “There are conservatives who do not believe in a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. But I’m for it. I’ve been for it for awhile now because I don’t know what you will do with 11 million people that are disenfranchised. The Republican party should also stop treating gays like they’re gays. They need to treat them like voters.”

While Asercion is ready for these changes, he said the Republican party cannot also alienate its very own people and should stay firm on its traditional ideals of going against higher taxes, ensuring a balanced budget and taking care of America’s deficit.

He pointed out, “Those are things that make them different from the Democratic party.”

The RNC also wants to get rid of the Republican’s image as the party of the rich, by taking on corporations who give millions of dollars in bonuses to its CEOs and do not share the wealth with its employees.

The more than 200 recommendations from the RNC also include better use of technology and greater outreach to young people.

Rodel Rodis, member of the Filipino-American Democratic Caucus of California said that it’s a little too late for the Republican party to change its image. He said, “The Republicans went so far to the right that maneuvering to get anywhere close to the center is going to be extremely difficult.”

But he said, when done right, this image overhaul could take votes away from the Democratic party. Rodis concluded, “If it was real and genuine, it could. The problem is, it’s a PR gimmick.”

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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