Young Republicans seek key changes with party

MOBILE, Ala. — Republicans hoping to reach beyond the party’s white, aging core must do more than retool campaign strategy and tactics, say young GOP leaders pressing elected officials to offer concrete policies to counter Democratic initiatives.

‘‘It’s very easy to just say no, and there are times where it’s appropriate to say no,’’ said Jason Weingartner of New York, newly elected chairman of Young Republican National Federation. ‘‘But there are times where you need to lead and present ideas on the issues of the day.’’

Weingartner and other under-40 activists at a national young Republican gathering earlier this month in Mobile said their party must follow an all-of-the-above approach.


Their assessment goes beyond the more general prescriptions that many party leaders, have offered since November, when Republicans lost the popular vote for the fifth time in the past six presidential elections.

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The latest loss was due in large measure to President Obama’s advantage over Republican nominee Mitt Romney among younger and nonwhite voters.

The young Republicans’ ideas are more explicit than the party leaders’ and stand in contrast to a hyperpartisan Congress, where many Republicans tailor actions to please primary voters who loathe cooperation with Democrats.

Chris Reid, a Birmingham, Ala., lawyer, said the GOP has to become more inclusive: ‘‘I get really sick listening to people say it’s all or nothing in order to be a good Republican.’’

Associated Press