On Friday morning, Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman, made an overture to the GOP’s Paul wing. Here are his comments from a National Review briefing:
REPORTER: There seems to be a demographic tension between the older, traditional conservative base and the younger, more libertarian people that the party is trying to attract; the people who are far more likely to be Rand Paul fans than Rick Santorum fans. It seems like a balancing act to try to keep both aspects of the party together.
PRIEBUS: Yeah, it’s a tightrope, it’s a balancing act, but it’s all part of trying to lead a party with diverse opinions in a way that keeps everyone on the same team, and that’s not easy. But if you look at what we have to do to grow, we’re not going to grow by cutting people out. If you look at the liberty movement, I think it’s really important for us to recognize that the liberty movement is one of the major, growing areas of our party. If you look at the youth, where’s the youth? It’s in the liberty movement. You go to CPAC, what do you see? I mean, you see over half the crowd is younger than me. I’m not that old, I’m 41 years old. I think you have to embrace as many people as you can, and you have to remind people that you grow through addition and multiplication, not subtraction. You have to agree that my 80-percent friend is not my 20-percent enemy. We want to win. We don’t want to compromise our principles, but we want to win. I think it requires a lot of people, including me, making sure we allow as many people in the door as we can.