In journalism, it’s simply bad form to publish a partisan press release in its entirety, but once in a great while, it’s worth making an exception. Last night’s RNC press release responding to the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses, for example, was genuinely important.
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement on Super Tuesday:“While Democrats have seen turnout drop across the board, the record number of Republicans who have gone to the polls in each state shows the country is ready for change after eight years of failed leadership from President Obama. Democrats simply aren’t being energized by Hillary Clinton’s calculated campaign to maintain the status quo or Bernie Sanders’ fringe calls for a socialist ‘revolution.’“The Democrat Primary has become a race to the far left between an embattled frontrunner facing an FBI investigation and a self-avowed socialist who continues to win states and outraise the Clinton machine. At the end of the day, Democrats are saddled with two fundamentally flawed candidates destined to fail in a general election and a message that isn’t resonating or in line with the majority of Americans.”
That’s not an excerpt; that’s the whole thing, start to finish.
Now, there are some obvious errors of fact and judgment in the statement. Clinton is not actually under an FBI investigation, for example, and Priebus’ use of “Democrat Primary” is just childish.
But more important than what was in the RNC’s statement is what the RNC left out.
Priebus’ press release managed to reference President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, but it neglected to mention any Republicans.
As the RNC hopefully noticed, several million Republican voters cast ballots on Super Tuesday across nine primaries and two caucuses. And yet, the RNC didn’t congratulate any of their party’s victors.
In fact, not a single Republican candidate was mentioned by name.
It seems as if the RNC is deeply motivated to oppose the Democratic candidates, but perhaps a little embarrassed by the Republicans?
Update: In a rather unpleasant response, the RNC’s Sean Spicer said on Twitter that in previous election-night statements, Republican officials did reference Republican candidates. How this explains and/or justifies the RNC’s Super Tuesday statement ignoring the party’s own candidates is unclear.