msnbc | March 10, 2013
>>> president obama is not the only one on a charm offensive. rnc chairman reince priebus is on a listening tour that's bringing him to the big apple . he'll be meeting in new york with african-american voters tomorrow to talk about issues important to the black community. how symbolic is this gesture? how full will this gesture be? joining me now ed cox , chairman of the new york republican party who will be with priebus tomorrow. good to have you.
>> good to be here, craig .
>> thanks for coming in.
>> a pleasure.
>> mr. priebus was in iowa a few days ago, a crucial swing state that's already gearing up for 2014 mid-terms, we should note. why come to new york ? a solidly blue state , to talk to black voters, 93% of whom back president obama during the last election.
>> well, this is connecting with at the communities of all sorts all across the country. he's been in atlanta and california which isn't exactly a red state , as you know, craig . seattle and washington, another blue state , denver, in iowa, and now he's coming here to new york , and basically he is talking with people of all, whether, asian or african-american or subcontinent indian and here in new york , of course, we have a lot of ethnic groups , and we've been working with them for some time, not just african-american but also asian groups. we had 500 chinese down in chinatown, largest republican rally ever in the history of chinatown just a week ago, but mr. bernard , pastor bernard of the christian cultural center is a republican. that's a -- a church of 30,000-plus members. he's a real force in new york . he's on the mayor's economic development corporation . he's part of the chancellor of schools advisory committee , and he has put together a group that the chairman of the republican party nationally is going to come here and talk with them about the issues that concern them.
>> priebus, he's come out against the new effort by karl rove to essentially try to curb who runs for office. karl rove 's attempting to get electable candidates on the ballot. where do you stand on that issue?
>> well, with respect to the ballot, i mean, what karl rove is talking about. there were efforts by democrats to get the republican that they wanted to run again on the ballot, and harry reid did that.
>> both parties have done that.
>> well, actually the democrats -- we haven't -- they have done that in the last two elections and that's todd akin got on the ballot so what karl rove is saying, i don't think there's any disagreement, if they are going to do that, we've got to counter some way and make sure we get the candidate that should be on the ballot that really represents the republican party .
>> you don't see it as an attempt to get moderate centrist candidates on the ballot.
>> no, look, this is just to get a good republican on the ballot who can win, and that's part of what the listening tour is about. we're talking about economic development . we're talking about equal opportunity . you're getting into school issues and on school issues we're on the cutting edge particularly here in new york . the republicans are the leaders in independent schools and charter schools and pastor bernard is starting his own charter school .
>> it sounds as if thg this is going to become a hallmark of the new gop, no?
>> education, equal opportunity . education is a great equalizer. it's important that our schools be effective, especially in the inner cities. our schools are not, and the democrats want the status quo. we're the progressive party with respect to school reform in new york city and new york state.
>> let me talk to you really quickly about your future. of course, you ran against hillary clinton back in the senate.
>> i was in the primary. didn't run against her, primary process.
>> but you were -- there's been some talk that you might be interested in the governor's mansion.
>> craig , i'm chairman of the party here, and the chairman -- my job is to get good candidates to run, not for myself to run.
>> you're not runing?
>> i'm not running.
>> all right. well, we'll leave it there. ed cox thanks so much.
>> pleasure to be with you,