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RNC's Reince Priebus: GOP field to solidify by summer

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, at a Monitor breakfast on April 26, discussed budget cuts, the 'birther' issue, and his reasons for running for the RNC's top post.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., April 26.

Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor

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Republican Party chief Reince Priebus was elected Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman in January, succeeding the controversial Michael Steele. Mr. Priebus, a lawyer, was the guest speaker at the April 26 Monitor breakfast in Washington.

His priorities as party chair:

"My job ... for the next few months is to rebuild credibility and trust at the RNC.... I have and I had a lot of work to do.... We have had some significant hurdles. We had a very low cash on hand [balance].... We had over $24 million in debt, and I had to get to work immediately."

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His motivation for running for RNC chairman:

"I would not have run for chairman of this party if the only thing I was concerned about is the future of the Republican Party. That is not enough for me to worry about.... In my heart I am worried about the future direction of this country.... We are in a fiscal mess ... and I believe that Barack Obama is largely to blame for the mess that we are in because he is not addressing the problems."

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