WASHINGTON — Republican operatives representing different minority communities will be sending a "letter of concern" to the Republican National Committee, expressing their frustration with the lack of organization and outreach in more diverse parts of the country.
The letter, which is addressed to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and is expected to be released later Tuesday, will be signed by Asian-American, African-American, Native-American, and Latino operatives who previously worked for Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush and for former GOP presidential nominee John McCain, BuzzFeed News has learned.
It will explain that Republicans need to capitalize on Donald Trump's high name ID and celebrity appeal to engage minority communities, said Niger Innis, one of organizers of the effort, in an interview with BuzzFeed News. Innis and other operatives believe that despite Trump's comments, his economic message can do well with minority communities if the RNC invests more resources.
Innis is the national spokesman for the civil rights organization Congress of Racial Equality.
"While we see this great opportunity with Donald Trump with his celebrity persona and his ability to resonate with minorities that Romney and John McCain did not have, we do not see any of this unrealized potential manifested," Innis said, adding that the letter is supposed to be a follow up of sorts to the party's autopsy report after the 2012 presidential election.
If the RNC does not change course, "it would lead to a defeat or an all-white victory," Innis said the letter will explain.
"We do not see a plan for recruitment and mobilization in the minority community and that deeply, deeply concerns us," he said. "The absolute worst outcome of this election is for Hillary Clinton to win and number two would be for Trump to pull out a slim victory without any significant minority representation in the victory."
"That kind of victory would undermine his authority and not give him the mandate he needs," he said. "One of the themes of the letter is that it's bigger than politics. We believe that it is a country that is diverse and dynamic and that we need to be represented in the Republican Party."
Update: Here's the full letter to the RNC.
Tarini Parti is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Tarini Parti at email@example.com.
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