Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON - The Republican National Committee unveiled a 100 page blueprint Monday to rebuild the GOP, after months of focus groups and data analysis to find out why they lost last year's presidential election. Sadly, what they found wasn't any great discovery.

They lost because they utterly failed to reach out to our nation's largest minorities, including Hispanics, blacks and Asian Americans, or enough jobless and underemployed people who were hurt by the relentlessly anemic Obama economy.

More than half of all college grads could not find jobs last year that were commensurate with their educational levels and skills, but the president still drew strong support from the youth vote.

On the stump, former governor Mitt Romney delivered a strong indictment of Obama's economic failings, but his campaign didn't effectively deliver his message in the half dozen battleground states that decided the election. His television ads, with few exceptions, were underwhelming.

"Our message was weak, our ground game was insufficient, we weren't inclusive, we were behind in both data and digital, and our primary and debate process needed improvement," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus who produced the report.

The blueprint sent out to the party's national leadership laid out a detailed, multi-step roadmap to reshape the GOP's lengthy nominating process and its positions on some of the most divisive issues facing the country.

The document's most controversial proposal was on the thorny political issue of immigration. "We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our party's appeal will continue to shrink," the RNC report said.

After a decade of warfare over illegal immigration, some of the GOP's most popular conservative leaders -- from Newt Gingrich to Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida -- have joined in an effort to craft needed reforms. Gingrich called the report's recommendations "historic" and the "first big step toward [a] GOP majority."

Priebus plans to send a dramatic signal to the nation's electorate in the coming weeks and months that the GOP got the "wake up call" in November. His ambitious political offensive includes a $10 million national campaign to send hundreds of GOP officials into Hispanic, black and Asian communities across the country this summer.

Calling for a new tone of "tolerance and respect" in the debate over immigration reform, the RNC is creating new "senior level advisory councils" that will focus its outreach efforts on minority voters. "Swearing in citizenship teams" will be sent to swearing-in ceremonies to connect with new voters.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.