tv Newsmakers CSPAN January 2, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
watch live coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> today you will see the grand public places and those only available to the justices and their staff. you will see how the corps' work from a look current supreme court justices, including the newest one. learn about some of the recent developments. "the supreme court -- home to america's highest court," area for the first time in high definition today on c-span. >> c-span is a private nonprofit company created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service. this evening on c-span, "newsmakers" with an wagner, chairman -- candidate for
chairman of the republican national committee. later, watch a c-span documentary on the supreme court. >> joining us from st. louis is ann wagner, one a half-dozen candidates for the republican national committee. joining me is kasie hunt and phil elliott. thank you for being with us. let me begin by asking, what is your candidacy sets it -- what sets her candidacy apart from your competitors? >> i am traveling all of the country meeting with members of the republican national committee, talking with them on the phone, interacting on our website, and all of our multiple social media to get the opportunities out there. what sets me apart is three or four different things. its experience, 20 years of
political service to the republican party, and to public service out there. i am looking for a new direction, new leadership, a turning of the page of the republican national committee. i believe what i can offer to the rnc is a strong fund-raising base. we must be fully funded at the rnc in order to institute the kind of programs that are necessary in 2012. i plan on footing for the very aggressive fund-raising plan that reinstates and reinvigorate our major donors program out there. i want to get out there and talk about our major donors, talk about the plans to the future, our vision going forward to win back the white house in 2012, and to win the united states senate. it is time to finish the job in 2012. fundraising is key here. we have to raise presidential trust money, funded the victory
offices, and efforts at all of the state levels. we are also carrying a deficit in the republican national committee. there's much to do in terms of fund raising. i offer real political savvy. in my 20 years of experience, i observed at the most grassroots level as that township committee woman. i was the first and only woman to do so here it the missouri republican party. and during a tough election cycle, when i took over in 1998 here in missouri, we had nothing but debt. we built that winning at governor's race, three congressional seats, and the crowning jewel was the missouri legislature. it was a great day when we won the missouri senate and the missouri house of representatives. i know how to win elections. i know how to win in talk battleground states in missouri. i had great success in doing that. after returning from a u.s.
ambassadorship in luxembourg, i worked on a senate campaign. that was a marvelous 14. % -- 14% victory. "politico" name did is one of the top 10 in the nation. that was a marvelous opportunity to get that and do what i do best, which is when races for the republican party and for the gop candidates out there. it is fundraising, it is political savvy, and it is also management skills. you have to be a good ceo in order to run the republican national committee. i have had great experience with that with a business background. i am not daughter of a small business owner. i have worked in the business field before entering politics. you have to be a good ceo and put in the kinds of checks and balances and ethical leadership for the people they work in with
and for you. they are only as good as the top leadership. ceo skills are very important in this race and i think i have a number of skills in that regard, also. it's fundraising, it is political savvy, it is management skills, and it is communication. in the next election cycle, we're going to have a tremendous yield of nominees for a presidential race out there to showcase. and for the american people to say. we need to put our candidates forward, our new republican leadership forward. we also need to put some of our new rock star governor fall words for the public to see and talk to. to the extent that you have to put a face forward to the media or the public, i have got a lot of great experience doing that in the last 20 years in terms of being a spokesperson. and communication is not just about the press and the public. it is about the grassroots out
there. it is about bringing in all of our existing and new coalitions out there in groups that are interested in good strong conservative leadership. what i am hoping that i can bring is a breath of experience, turning the page of a new day for the republican national committee. good management skills, political savvy, and communication opportunities and background there. >> kasie hunt, next question from "politico." >> you're one of the only ones who has not supported the current chairman. do you think that is an asset? does that make you more trustworthy to rnc members? >> i hope what it does is at the the sense of a new day and a new leadership. -- echo the sense of a new day
and a new leadership. it is what i have done throughout my political career. i was not just the chairman of the missouri republican party in a tough battle. i was co-chairman of the national committee. i have a great love for the institution and it works in a way that only the rnc can do. whether coordinating with state parties and funding those victory programs, putting together the president took trusts, or a nominating convention, all those things are important. and i think i have the opportunity of bringing a fresh perspective, the perfect insider-outsider, to come in and guide the ship. i know the rnc well because i have worked there in the building for four years when i was co-chairman. i served on the committee for seven years when i was the gop chairman here in missouri. i'm hoping it is a benefit. i think our party is ready for new leadership. it is important that we do this.
still the kind of credibility in our donor base, in the public, and all follow on the committee. >> if i follow on that, what you think about -- what you think that chairman steele meant when he said who you pay speaks volumes about the party of lincoln? >> i think we are the strong party of lincoln and conservatives. the coalition is built on so many constituencies out there. we have to do outreach in so many of these areas, whether in minority areas, whether it is with the new tea party and patriot groups out there -- i had tremendous success there. and after the freedom works forum that i've participated in, engaging in recognizing the true authentic nature of this grassroots movement. you've got to engage and listen
and you have to respect the views of all those that want to be a part of moving forward with good conservative leadership toward 2012. >> phil elliott. >> you bring up the tea party. is it part of the republican party? >> i do not think they are part of the republican party. i think they're very much an independent voice. i think that they are interested in a constitutional efforts of limited government and many fiscal standards that are important. i think they'd play a tremendous role in the last election. i think they have a tremendous role going forward. one has to recognize the independent nature of this patriot group, tea party, grassroots movement out there. they must be engaged. they are always welcome to have a seat at the table to talk about candidates, to talk about policy, off to talk about how we win elections. i think they differ vastly from
state to state, and from community to community. but i applaud their efforts and they are welcome to be a part as we go forward toward winning the white house in 2012. >> would you welcome a tea party presidential campaign? or is it your role is chaired to prevent a splinter nominee? >> i believe in our to-party system. this is a great democracy and i think that all views ought to be brought together. it is the job of the republican national committee chairman to bring people together. and to listen and to dialogue and to come to some level of consensus moving forward. sometime in our democracy, that as possible. sometimes it is not. i will try very hard to get all the support possibly can garnered from the new and existing coalition groups that i would consider a part of this
conservative movement to support our republican nominee, whoever he or she may be. i think we will of a great opportunity in the coming year and that after showcase our nominees for president out there. i think this grassroots movement, what you call tea party, patriots, whatever might be, is going to play a major role in this. >> you talk about fund raising and the importance it will play this time around. in 2010, we saw the arrival of outside groups like american crossroads in the american action network. you think donors will be willing to come back to the rnc? >> i think so. the republican national committee does not take soft money. we take hard money and there are limits to what one can give individually to a national party committee. i think it is important that we get out there and get out there early and put forward to our donors some kind of business
perspective. i come at this from a business background, showing them a plan, a pathway to victory, how we're going to get that, if what the results will be, what good government will mean under republican leadership, and lay that vision now in a very specific manner. you have to make the task and keep the donors in the loop in terms of giving them good information, having invested truly in the program, and you have to go out there and work hard and meet with them. wherever two or more are gathered, whether one on one in round-table groups, what ever it takes, i want to put something tangible in front of them that the rnc can do. and there are things that only the rnc can do from the fund raising standpoint, especially during a presidential year. we of the president of trust money, around $25 million, that must be raised. there is a convention to be put
on and there is coordination that only rnc can do with the states out there in terms of get out the vote and grassroots. that needs to be funded, also. i welcome the 527 groups out there. it's on a much larger in different scale i think they can enhance our efforts. i think we can all work together to get things done. it is important that we get out and talk to these donors, reinvigorate then, real engage them most importantly in this process. i plan on doing that from day one. >> how would you assess the tenure of michael steele over the last few years? >> michael steele, i worked with him when he was a chairman in maryland. i think he is a great patriot and a wonderful man. i think importance -- his service to the republican party. he ran for lieutenant governor. we're grateful for the work that he has done and the great victories we have had in 2010. but i think we need some new
leadership and a new direction going forward, one that focuses much more on fundraising and the needs that the party has in that regard. i am hoping that i can bring those kinds of skills, whether fund raising, whether winning elections, whether the kind of experience that i have had over 20 years in the public and political arena, i am hoping i can bring a new direction there. >> the rnc is facing death from michael steele. >> i will not judges -- debt from michael steele. >> i will not judge him. i've think we're grateful for his work going forward. there needs to be more focus on major donor programs. we have -- we cannot just raise money from telemarketing and direct mail effort. we have to engage our major donors.
i've spoken with many of our donors out there in the last campaign season certainly, and in the last five to six weeks very intensely. and with a number far form -- number of our former finance chairs. it varies, everything from the question whether their investment will be spent wisely, the question why they have not been approached to be supportive and to put their investment and resources into the cause of the rnc. there's so many tremendous people out there that want to invest in conservative candidates and causes. we need to bring them home to the republican national committee. there's certain things that the rnc can do and do well and wisely. especially during a presidential cycle, it is difficult sometimes in this last cycle to
communicate with all of the outside groups out there and to be flying blind when you were not sure if you are have the resources from the republican national committee to get the job done. going forward, we need to be much more focused on fundraising, the engaging the donor group, and i intend to do that very vigorously. >> you talk so much about fundraising here, funding the trust, funding victory operations, pay anding -- paying a convention, and paying down the debt. you will be a fund-raiser on steroids and leave very little time for everything else? >> you have to be able multitask. one thing i can definitely do as a busy woman and someone who who has for most of perlite been juggling a bowling ball and a chain saw and in the cell phone rings. i can do all of those things and
to a, i hope, weld with great energy and passion. fundraising is one of our most immediate needs. you have to manage the building. we have to get more transparency and accountability. there needs to be some checks and balances. i have called for the reinstatement of a comptroller, some kind of electronic accounts payable and receivable. were you have actually checks to sign off of individuals whether payment of expenses, whether it is any of our expenditures going forward. we have to bring overhead down. people need to know that the cost of the investment that they're making, that the cost are as low that they possibly can be. i think vendor contracts have to be overhauled and completely reviewed. one of the first things i would do from a financial standpoint when i hopefully become chairman of the republican national
committee would be to do a full audit and to look at that kind of accounts that we have in the kind of things going forward that we need to do from a finance and budgeting standpoint. i would have to look at the talent in the building. we need to put some great operatives in place in order to do the political plans. coalition building, there is communication, so many different areas of the rnc. there is also lifting of the state parties. i want to reinstate finance directors in the field to help state parties raise moneys. there are other things i want to do that are not just fully focused on fundraising. which is the most immediate need, but also the real management of the building will be important. that will lend itself to donor confidence out there, public confidence in the republican national committee, which is important. and then ultimately it is our job to win elections. you could have the greatest
plans and programs in the world and if they're not funded, they are just on a piece of paper. that is what we cannot have happened. winning elections, helping the state parties, getting there in terms of turnout efforts in helping their candidates is very important gni. i think i can handle the communications, -- very important going forward. i think that can handle the communications and do the fundraising ban is to be done. >> you talked about messaging and strategy. what do you view the rnc's role in those two things? especially considering the rise of the tea party and the fact that they have their own agenda but one that meets very well with your electorate? >> absolutely. messaging is something that we should be coordinating and working on altogether, whether with are different coalition groups out there, new
organizations like the tea party and others. i think we can set up regional groups to talk about these things. it will be important for the next rnc chairman to bring together the leadership in congress, our other national parties, and to bring together some of the leadership within the executive board of the republican national committee and its officers. to sit down and talk about messaging and to coordinate everything from fund raising to candidate recruitment, messaging, redistricting, all sorts of important things. it is really about communication and bringing people together. i have never been one to shy away from taking anything from criticism to good advice. i do not believe in reinventing the wheel. i believe in coordinating and working together as a team on as much as we possibly can going forward. messaging is going to be very
important and we need to coordinate with our candidates, with our leadership, with our states, and with the leadership of the republican national committee. a plan to bring them together along with our grassroots organizations and field operations out there as much as possible. didn't you say you do not want to reinvent the wheel. what would you keep on board? >> i would keep some of the communications to the membership. that is been terrific. i would want to continue with the session so that members can speak freely and openly with each other so -- whether a conference call or our annual meetings that are out there, i think that is important. some of the outreach and the grassroots has been very important. chairman steele and the rnc has been a part of that. getting out in the field, lifting up all 50 states --
there are things that the rnc can do from a support and resources way, whether through education, information, or regional political director, or hopefully your regional finance directors to sit down and cut her fundraising, budgeting, messaging, communication, education in terms of political and gop schools out there to train our candidates. those of a kind of things that i think have been ongoing and we will definitely continue in the chairmanship of my republican national committee. i think those kinds of things herbarium. . unless you get the resources -- are very important. unless you have the resources. >> as you look at building the party over the next two decades, what should the rnc be doing to reach out to the fasting growing constituencies,
latinos, in the united states? >> that is very important. we need to get into the community and lit up some of the members of these communities, candidates for office, part of our coalition, whether they want to be part of our messaging. it is important to talk to them about what their needs are, and i always say that if people voted like they lived, they would vote republican. i think we need to sit down and dialogue. more communication, the better. whether it is the latino vote, women in the suburbs, it is a listening process, it is an inclusion process, and it is very important out there. it is something that we have got to remember as the demographics change in the nation and as the demographics of the electorate change and grow. it is also -- we have to engage
young people in this process in a large way. we cannot forget that in the last campaign at the boy said senate campaign, we had so many young people involved, going door-to-door or the new social media networking -- there are many ways to reach constituencies where they lived, where they go, daily, whether it is on the internet, in their places of work, in their homes, or their communities. we need to go to them in reaching out and become a part of their efforts, i think. >> phil elliott. >> you are a veteran operator. you need to get 168 members. what is your path to 85 members of the rnc to become chair? >> my path is what i have been doing for the last five weeks, talking and engaging members one on one.
you're quite right, phil. while enforcements and press and all of these things can be a part of the process, at the end of the day, what really matters are the 168 members of the republican national committee that are voting. i find they're taking it very seriously. you have three members from each states, one chairman, won national committee man, won national committeewoman from all states and from the territories out there. that is one of its 68 votes. i have been calling in meeting with them when i can. my only regret is that there is not enough days before the election to get to everybody, to sit down one on one. i've got a relationship with a good number of people on the committee, from my four-year tenure, but there are a number people that i need to reach an bring a message to. we tried to do this on a website with video out there. i have tried to do a one anticipated in the freedom works
forums some weeks ago. i am looking forward to the forum that he grover norquist is putting together on january 3, and there several co-sponsors of that debate were forum. we're trying to reach the peso -- the people, whether one on one or through the camera lens, however i can touch these people and talk about my background and experience and vision going forward, that is important. it is important to listen. this is a two-way dialogue with the members out there. whether they log on to the web site to be some of their ideas and thoughts, all we talk about them one-on-one on the phone or in person, that is a very important part of the process. i have been so gratified by the way the majority of these members are taking this task very seriously knowing that we have the inclusion of the holidays here and the christmas season and the years and a
truncated process. usually an hour but for chairman is at the end of january and there have been two weeks sliced off at the end, and it makes it difficult to affect -- to reach everyone. i will try very hard to speak with every member of the rnc. >> there will be a series of votes. no one will get the majority in the first round. walk us through the dynamic in your strategy to get to what phil elliott said is the majority? >> it depends on how many -- what you have had are a majority of members nominating you from three states. you have to have at least two members of any given state times three nominating you. we will see that on election day, january 14, how many candidates in the being able to complete that process and become nominated. and then the votes will be taken. you're right. sometimes there are three or four ballots, sometimes there
are eight or nine ballots. i am committed to new leadership for the republican-the committee, whatever coalitions are necessary to invest my chairmanship, knowing that what is important is new leadership. i have made a commitment to that and will stand by that. and we will see. the palatine should be interesting. it is a very interesting process and i would ask your viewers to watch that. i am sure that c-span will be covering the rnc election. it is an interesting political snapshot, all little different. the majority does not win, people can stay in for as long as they like. the person that it's the fewest votes does not necessarily drop off. but there is a natural progression. there people in the rest of will realize when they hit their high water mark in terms of support, and generally that support can be shifted to other candidates. it can go to multiple candidates
out there. it is a fascinating process of one that i have fallen over the last two decades. very gratefully from election cycle to the election cycle. >> we will be covering in mid january. ann wagner and joining us from st. louis with phil elliott and kasie hunt. thank you very much for being with us. >> my pleasure. thank you for having me. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> c-span is a private nonprofit company created in 1979 by the cable television industries a public service. coming up, watch suspense feature documentary, "the supreme court -- home to america's high as or." then bought samuel -- bob samuelson. and then
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