Republican leaders gathered Wednesday in Boston, as the party continues its post-election soul-searching and works to develop a strategy to increase its House majority, retake the Senate, and, finally, win back the White House.
The Republican National Committee is holding its summer meeting here, after relocating it from Chicago as a show of support for Boston in the wake of April’s Marathon bombings.
The three-day agenda is heavy on data and technology training, as the GOP looks to close a deficit in that area that has opened up during the Obama years.
Party heavyweights urged committee members to explore innovative ideas, and emphasize forward-looking solutions.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who tested former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination last year, told a luncheon at the Westin Waterfront, “I think part of what we have to do, in the era of Obama’s disaster, we have to get beyond being anti-Obama and we have to re-convince people that you can have hope in America.”
During a one-on-one talk with RNC chairman Reince Priebus, Gingrich decried the pace and cost of the Food and Drug Administration medication approval process as symptomatic of a sprawling bureaucracy that he said stifles American enterpreneurism.
Gingrich described a focus on a positive future as a prudent electoral strategy for taking on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, regarded as the most potent prospective Democratic presidential candidate.
“I don’t think we beat Hillary Clinton in a personality fight, because the news media will prop her up,” Gingrich said.
On Thursday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, considered one of the party’s leading contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination, headlines a closed-press luncheon. Former Senator Scott Brown and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett will host a reception at Fenway Park.
Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño is the marquee speaker at Friday’s luncheon.
For many national Republicans, the Westin Waterfront is familiar terrain. Romney held his election-night party at the hotel last November.Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Jim.OSullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.