LOS ANGELES (AP) — Republican leaders gave mixed reviews to their party's new plan aimed at turning around the GOP's losing slide nationally, as the party's state leaders gathered for the GOP's first big meeting since the report was released last month.
The report focuses on attracting more young and minority voters, groups that heavily backed President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.
At issue among some members of the Republican National Committee meeting in Los Angeles this week is what some have interpreted as the report's suggestion that the party soften positions on hot-button topics such as gay marriage and immigration.
"We've got a long way to go, but we've got to start somewhere — as long as we don't abandon the platform," said Alabama Republican Joan Reynolds.
Some Republican leaders have said the report would alienate the party's most devout members, and cost the party more votes than it gains.
Committee officials said Wednesday the RNC remains committed to its long-held positions in opposition to allowing immigrants in the country illegally to stay and opposing gay marriage. But Priebus' report, based on three months of work by a team of national party strategists, states starkly that the GOP has lost the ability to attract voters who disagree.
The meeting of almost all of the RNC's 168 members at a Hollywood hotel provides a chance to convince them of that hard truth, party officials said.
"This is the first time anyone is in one place able to talk through what's been said in the last month about the plan to move forward," said Kirsten Kukowski, RNC press secretary.
Before they can get to that, however, committee members must first sort out a simmering disagreement about presidential primary delegates. That fight highlights the tension between state-level party activists who preferred a more conservative nominee than Romney, and moderates who saw the former Massachusetts governor as a better match for Obama.