WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee spent $8,400 on radio ads targeted toward people of color in three Ohio markets, according to an expenditure spreadsheet obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The radio ads are part of the RNC's "Committed to Community" campaign, and will run on two stations in Cincinnati and Columbus and across three stations in Cleveland, from July 30 to Aug. 4.
"#CommittedToCommunity: Engage, Empower, Uplift is a first of its kind joint venture and voter mobilization campaign between the Republican National Committee and a black media outlet – Radio One networks," the RNC posted on its website this month, describing the effort that is launching in Ohio. "The campaign includes a series of engagement activities, issue forums and events in communities of color where the RNC is actively engaged and Radio One has a platform to help share our message. The campaign includes digital integration with mobile technology and a significant radio ad campaign on Radio One stations in target cities and states."
The ads feature characters who are at first incredulous that the Republican Party cares about issues important to the black community.
"Hey, check out this text I just got," a voice says. "Engage, empower, uplift? That's what's up. What's that all about?"
Reince Priebus has led the charge saying at public events the GOP needs to be a more inclusive party. The RNC announced earlier this month it raised $10 million in June, the highest June total ever. It said it had raised $55.4 million for the 2016 election.
"For too long, some have peddled the idea that only one party cares about communities of color. Not true," Priebus said in a statement promoting the Committed to Community initiative. "We have stepped up our ground game in communities of color."
An RNC official said the committee doesn't discuss the size of ad buys, "but this one was significant."
Darren Sands is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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