RNC chairman: "Self-deportation" arguments are "horrific"

Reince Priebus decried the position, though self-deportation was part of the GOP's 2012 platform [UPDATED]

Published August 16, 2013 1:16PM (EDT)

RNC chairman Reince Priebus called it "horrific" to say that undocumented immigrants in the United States should "self-deport," an argument repeatedly made by Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign, and a platform endorsed by the Republican Party at the last convention.

“Using the word ‘self-deportation’ — it’s a horrific comment to make. I don’t think it has anything to do with our party," Priebus said. "When a candidate makes those comments, obviously, it hurts us.”

As Steve Benen points out, however:

As recently as a year ago, Priebus helped oversee the completion of his party's national platform, and guess what it said on immigration? "Republican delegates hammered out an immigration plank calling for tough border enforcement and opposing 'any forms of amnesty' for illegal immigrants, instead endorsing 'humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily,' a policy of self-deportation."

After the election, Priebus and the RNC launched a new outreach effort toward Latinos, following a dismal showing among minorities in the returns, and an "autopsy" report that showed that voters see the GOP as "narrow-minded" and "stuffy old men."

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post cited a Business Insider report that misquoted Priebus as calling remarks about self-deportation "racist." BI has since corrected the post to read that Priebus remarked that when a candidate makes those kinds of comments, "it hurts us."

By 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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2012 Elections Immigration Reform Mitt Romney Reince Priebus Rnc