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Saul Anuzis On His Bid For GOP Chair

Friday, November 12, 2010
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HH: Look, if I decide not to go forward with my bid to become chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Bennett declines as well, I think my guy is going to be Saul Anuzis, because he gets the new media, he gets the communication aspect. Saul, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show. How are you?

SA: Well, great to be with you again. Appreciate it. I hope you’re running, by the way.

HH: Yeah, I may have to run against you, though, because I’m tired of having people not communicate well. I mean, I like Michael, he’s a good friend of mine, he’s my guest host, but we’ve got to get this doing the right way, Saul. What are you thoughts? Why do you want to be chairman of the RNC?

SA: Look, I agree with you on the communications front. And I do think it’s very important. But my perspective is this. I think that we just went through an historic election. Clearly, we have elected a majority in the House. We’re going to have a Speaker of the House. We’ve got more Senators. We’ve elected a broad grouping of governors across the country. And we really have kind of come back in the sense that we have a responsibility and an obligation to put forward a Republican message. And I think that our elected officials, through the policies they implement, will be doing that, similar to what, for instance, Governor Christie has now been doing, traveling around the country, or Governor Barbour, or others. And often times, the governorships are the incubators for ideas and new programs. And again, with Speaker Boehner being there and others, I think that kind of the need for a spokesperson, a front person for the party is now secondary to what it was in the last cycle, where I think that was a very important aspect of why Michael Steele was originally elected. You know, he was a well known figure, a popular talking head on the news shows. He understood the media and could do it well. And that was clearly part of why I think the membership thought he would be the right guy for the job. Now, we have a different environment. We’re going to have a presidential election with three to five candidates actually running for president, setting the stage, being out there. And we have a much smaller need, if any, to have a spokesperson, where we have a much more greater need to have kind of a tactician, tactical person who will basically make the trains run on time, raise the money, and make sure that we do have the grass roots effort we need to support our Republican candidates. And I think that’s my strength.

HH: Yeah, in additional fundraising and communication, I have two major issues, Saul, I want to cover with you, and we only have four or five minutes. The first one is I am concerned that the Republican primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond are open to manipulation by Democrat activists who are going to be bored because Obama’s going to get the re-nomination. They’re going to flood in, they’re going to try and nominate, it’s sort of like a reverse Operation Chaos that Rush ran jokingly, but effectively, four years ago. What are you going to do if you’re chairman to prevent that from happening?

SA: Well, there’s absolutely nothing I can do as chairman. That is dependent on the state rules by every state. Several states have closed primaries. Most states have open primaries. Republicans, traditionally, have supported open primaries, and have been much more open to the general public voting. Now I personally favor closed primaries. I think it’s a mistake. I think the Republicans should nominate their nominee, and the Democrats ought to pick theirs. But this is a state issue. State parties decide this. And the state party rules can be changed at any time to accurately reflect that and change the system in those states if they wanted to.

HH: Will you advocate in Iowa and New Hampshire especially for closing their primaries?

SA: I would. I think it would be a much better way of doing things. And in Iowa, in some extent, it’s whoever shows up that day and whatever they do, but I think it makes sense for us to have a closed primary, because it’s in our best interest.

HH: All right, second major issue. It was announced yesterday. Politico and NBC, along with Mrs. Reagan, great American that she is, said they want to hold the first presidential debate. And Saul, I’m tired of our nominees getting sandbagged by Beltway journalists asking Beltway questions which always come from the left. If you’re the chairman, will you organize, when they begin, forums for conservative talk show hosts, forums for conservative bloggers, and forums for conservative newspaper people before any other mainstream media get in there and twist this stuff, to talk to our would-be presidential nominees?

SA: Yeah, look, I think that’s a great idea. I mean, to be honest with you, I haven’t thought of it that much, but you know, from my perspective, as somebody who’s been a longtime C-PAC participant and attendee, I think it makes a lot more sense for them to be talking to the Republicans, because again, we ought to be picking our nominee, not the Democrats, not somebody else who wants to influence or sometimes sandbag our process.

HH: Okay, and last question, how do people support you in your quest to become the RNC chairman?

SA: Well, we will be putting up a website here saying www.anuzisforchair.com, but the reality is there’s only 168 votes – three members from every state, your chairman, national committee man and committee woman. If you think it’s a good idea, I would encourage you to call your state chairman, and your national committee man and committee woman, and share your ideas and thoughts with them, because ultimately, they’re the ones who are going to decide who the next chairman is.

HH: And Saul, are you still on Twitter? And if so, give your handle so people can follow your tweets as this race unfolds.

SA: I’m on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and everywhere else, and my Twitter, everywhere is the same. It’s @sanuzis, and you can follow me and catch me on just about every media effort. And I’m on there daily and often.

HH: Saul, we look forward to talking to you throughout this process, even if I have to beat you like a drum. We still love you and we wish you good luck in this campaign. But I’m not stepping aside for anybody except Bennett. I’ll get out of the way if Bennett wants to be the chairman. But other than that, I’m sorely tempted. Sorely tempted.

End of interview.

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