GOP chairman lays out what the party’s for

Republican Chairman Reince Priebus Thursday outlined what the Republican party is for, as he tried to erase an image that the party’s strength is in opposing President Barack Obama.

“Many have labeled this midterm election a referendum on the policies of President Barack Obama,” he said in at a forum at George Washington University. “In many ways, it is, and if you ask the country, most people would say they know our party opposes many of those policies.

“We oppose them, because we know there's a better way. Republicans have new ideas to solve the country's problems, bottom-up solutions founded in the free market, compassion, responsibility and the idea that America is headed for better days.”

So Priebus offered a list of principles where the party has taken firm positions, fitting into three categories: A strong economy, a strong society and a strong defense.

The principles, “whether you're running for governor in New York or Congress in the South or the state house in the West,” cover the Constitution, jobs, spending, health care, our veterans, national security, education, poverty, values, energy and immigration.

Immigration has often divided the party, and Priebus got personal.

“We need an immigration system that secures our borders, upholds the law, and boosts our economy. Border security must come first. The humanitarian crisis at the border made that abundantly clear,” he said.

He noted his mother is Greek. She grew up in Sudan and emigrated to this country after meeting and marrying his father, who was in the Army in Ethiopia.

“So I've seen the American dream come true in my own family. We need to make sure America remains a place where people aspire to work and dream and live. Our country should be a welcoming place for those who want to come here and do it the right way,” he said.