"Cooked as a party" shocker: Republican chairman admits "terrible feeling" about GOP's future

Reince Priebus says without a win in 2016, the Republican Party's days are numbered

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published October 16, 2015 12:51PM (EDT)


Looks like the rise of Ben Carson and Donald Trump as his party's figureheads hasn't assuaged chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus's "terrible feeling" that the 2016 presidential election is a “a do or die moment” for the GOP, as he is still panicking that the GOP is "cooked as a party" if they fail to win back the White House.

Priebus has been sounding the alarm for quite some time, but now he has finally come out and said the Republican Party will cease to exist if one of its 15 presidential candidates doesn't win the 2016 election.

"I do think that we're cooked as a party for quite a while as a party if we don't win in 2016," Priebus told the conservative Washington Examiner.

"I think that we have become, unfortunately, a midterm party that doesn't lose and a presidential party that's had a really hard time winning," Priebus concluded, adding, "we're seeing more and more that if you don't hold the White House, it's very difficult to govern in this country."

Back in June, Priebus sounded similarly down on the GOP's future when he spoke to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.

“On a scale of 1-10, how do-or-die is 2016 presidential race?” Ingraham asked Priebus.

“Ten. 10-11-12. I mean, we don’t exist as a national party if we don’t win in 2016,” Priebus told Ingraham. “You can’t compete 16 years out of the White House, it’s just not possible.”

Now, with the House Republican conference coming apart at the seams and political neophytes leading his party's presidential ambitions, Priebus just sounds outright gloomy: "I do think that it's going to be hard to dig out of something like that."

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia Tesfaye

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Extreme Right-wing Gop Gop Civil War Reince Priebus Rnc