Former African-American congressman J.C. Watts has reportedly been “encouraged” to run for RNC chairman, according to a report from Politico.
“My concern right now, and I don’t say this necessarily as a candidate [for RNC chairman], my concern is that as a Republican, every single Republican in America ought to be concerned about what has happened in 2008 and 2012,” Watts said. “In this business, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
The current chairman, Reince Priebus, has indicated he does not intend to run for re-election. Watts, who served as a representative for Oklahoma from 1994 to 2002, would be the second African-American RNC chairman in history, following the controversial tenure of current MSNBC contributor Michael Steele.
While Watts has not formally announced his candidacy, he could potentially be viewed as an attempt on the GOP’s part to make new inroads with minorities following their crushing defeat among African-American and Latino voters this November.
“These old, tired, pathetic models of saying, ‘Okay, in the black [community], when there’s a presidential election, we will form an African-American Coalition for [Mitt] Romney or [Sen. John] McCain,’ I’ll never do that again. That is a joke, that is so tired,” Watts said. “It’s window dressing to say, ‘African Americans for Romney’ or ‘African-American Coalition’ or ‘African-American Advisory Council.’ That’s insulting to the people that they ask to do it when you don’t put an permanent infrastructure in place to give it credibility.”