Republicans roll out inclusive roadmap amid party divisions

By Steve Peoples

Associated Press

Published: Monday, March 18 2013 8:44 p.m. MDT

"There is not an easy path for this," said veteran Republican strategist Sally Bradshaw. "These are difficult recommendations."

A top adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, she was among those on the panel that also included Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, as well as Republican National Committee members Henry Barbour of Mississippi, Zori Fonalledas of Puerto Rico and Glenn McCall of South Carolina.

After November's losses, Priebus tapped the five, considered leaders in the party, to examine how the GOP could better talk with voters, raise money from donors and learn from Democrats' tactics. The group also examined how to better cooperate with independent groups such as super political action committees. They heard from 50,000 rank-and-file members about how to respond to the nation's shifting demographics.

The panel's report detailed the GOP's current challenges and included dozens of recommendations, some that the full RNC must approve and others that are simply recommendations for state parties to adopt if they choose.

To broaden its appeal, the party must reach out to minority voters and others, according to one recommendation in the report: "We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party's appeal will continue to shrink," it said.

But Priebus refused to say whether "comprehensive immigration reform" should include a pathway to citizenship and distanced himself from the issue.

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