The Washington Post

Hey, Uber! Republicans have your back.

The Uber Technologies Inc. car service application (app) is demonstrated for a photograph on an Apple Inc. iPhone in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. (Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg)

Like Uber? So does the Republican National Committee!

So much so that it has posted a a petition in support of the app-based ridesharing service on its Web site.

"Our country was built on the entrepreneurial spirit. Our cities deserve innovative and effective solutions without government getting in the way. That’s what innovative businesses like Uber provide. And that’s why our cities need Uber," the petition says.

Uber, which competes with traditional taxi companies, has run into legal hurdles in states and municipalities across the country like Virginia, which just reached an agreement with the company. (The RNC blames "government bureaucrats," FYI. Darned bureaucrats!)

"We must stand up for our free market principles, entrepreneurial spirit and economic freedom," the petition says.

Oh yeah, they want your name, e-mail address and Zip code.

So why would the RNC do this? Well, for one thing many Uber users are young people who reside in cities. And urban 20-somethings aren't exactly the GOP's sweet spot right now. The party would love to collect information on these people and improve relations with them.

The Daily Beast highlights another reason:

The timing of the petition coincides with the RNC summer meeting set to begin in Chicago today, and could likely serve as a list-building mechanism for future fundraising and Republican support efforts. Kirsten Kukowski, the RNC’s press secretary told The Daily Beast that the petition is especially important in Chicago now as Democratic incumbent governor Pat Quinn may sign a bill that would impose stricter regulations on Uber drivers in the Midwest city.

Finally, the whole "entrepreneurial spirit" line is consistent with the GOP's oft-repeated pro-business talking points.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



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Sean Sullivan · August 6, 2014

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