The Washington Post

Priebus wants to move Republican National Convention to June or July

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday he wants the party to hold its presidential nominating convention earlier in the year, preferably in June or July.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. (Charlie Neibergall/AP) RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

"I'm calling for a convention in June or July," Priebus said on CBS News's "Face The Nation. "We are going to set up a commission that's going to make that decision. I'm going to be a part of that, I'm going to chair that commission  But no more August conventions."

The RNC chairman argued that Mitt Romney's inability to use funds slated for after he was nominated left him vulnerable to Democratic attacks in 2012, in the lead-up to the late August convention.

Priebus also urged other changes in the presidential nominating process, including  reducing the number of GOP primary debates and shrinking the primary season.

"I would limit the [GOP primary] debates to a reasonable amount -- I don't know, maybe seven or eight, but not 23, Bob. It's ridiculous," Priebus said.

The chairman's remarks came on the eve of a speech in which he is expected to discuss details of party's future strategy. In December, the RNC launched a post-mortem designed to figure out what went wrong in 2012, and how the party could improve its standing moving forward. Priebus is expected to announce the results of that study on Monday at the National Press Club.

Among the new initiatives the RNC will be announcing: A multimillion-dollar effort to boost community outreach and the party's relationship with minorities, Priebus said.

"For the first time in our party's history, we're not talking about having a few people down the hallway working on outreach and inclusion," he said. "We're going to be announcing a $10 million initiative just this year, in which it will include hundreds of people, paid across the country, from coast to coast, in Hispanic, African American, Asian communities talking about the party, talking about our brand, talking about what we believe in."

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

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