RNC Chair: Don't worry, the GOP is not embracing "tolerance"

Priebus was asked to reassure Evangelicals that Republicans are not about to become tolerant of gay marriage

By Jillian Rayfield
Published July 22, 2013 8:42PM (EDT)

RNC Chair Reince Priebus was asked to reassure social conservatives that the Republican party is not about to become more tolerant of gays and lesbians, in light of his post-2012 push to make the Republican party more inclusive. “I don’t know if I’ve used the word ‘tolerance,’ I don’t really care for that word myself. I don’t have a problem with it, I just think it has another meaning politically that can go the other direction," Priebus said.

Priebus was speaking with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who noted that some Evangelicals were upset that Republicans are saying “we have to be more tolerant,” adding that "Evangelicals start to grab the Excedrin bottles when they hear  'tolerance,' because they think, 'oh no, the GOP's changing.'"

Priebus, who has tried to organize more efforts for minority outreach and faced pushback over comments that the GOP should be more accepting of people who support same-sex marriage, replied that the RNC's principles are the same, but Christian "principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect."

“It’s not what you say, I think, it’s sometimes – like our moms used to tell us – it’s how you say it," he continued. "And I think that’s really the issue. And quite frankly, I think some of that has been overblown.”

Watch, via Right Wing Watch:

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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David Brody Reince Priebus Republicans Rnc Social Conservatives Tolerance Video