The Republican Party will be ruined if one of their candidates can’t win the White House in 2016, the chairman of the party admitted Friday morning.
“I do think that we’re cooked as a party for quite a while as a party if we don’t win in 2016. So I do think that it’s going to be hard to dig out of something like that,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told the Washington Examiner. ”I don’t anticipate that,” he added. “I think … history is on our side.”
The GOP is fielding its most crowded primary in years, with fifteen candidates still running for president after two dropped out. It’s also one of the most qualified and diverse crowds in years, with seven former or current governors, five former or current senators, and three political outsiders all mounting campaigns.
But with so many candidates, voters’ loyalties are divided: The billionaire businessman Donald Trump leads the polls and a retired neurosurgeon with a history of inflammatory statements, Dr. Ben Carson, trails close behind him, but the party is far from unifying behind either one.
The Republican National Committee works to elect Republican candidates for all national offices, including in the House and Senate, but Priebus – who led the party through the last failed election – said losing the White House for a third time would do serious damage to the party’s national standing.
RELATED: Carson edges closer to Trump
“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 said. “We’re seeing more and more that if you don’t hold the White House, it’s very difficult to govern in this country – especially in Washington, D.C.”