POLITICS

RNC chief retreats after report endorses immigration reform

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Byron York,Politics Digest

Does the Republican National Committee endorse comprehensive immigration reform, or not?  The answer to that question is unclear after the party’s rollout of its much-anticipated post-election review.

The review itself, from a committee appointed by RNC chairman Reince Priebus, could not have been clearer in its verdict. “Among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform,” the review says.  “If we do not, our party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only.”

But Priebus, talking with reporters after unveiling the review Monday morning, quickly cast doubt on his own committee’s report. “To me all that means is that we have Republicans who are talking about it right now,” Priebus told Politico.  “The details of what immigration reform is are not up for me to make.”

The question is a difficult one for Republicans; it has split the party in the past and threatens to do so again, even though many in the GOP would like to get the issue behind them and work to broaden the party’s appeal to Hispanic voters.  An RNC spokesman did not respond to a request for clarification Monday night.

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