GOP Holds Listening Session With Black Republicans in Georgia

Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus says the GOP must "ask for the sale."

Posted: 02/08/2013 10:50 AM EST

Black Republicans in Georgia are fired up and ready to help bring other African-Americans to the Party. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus met with about two dozen members Thursday for a closed-door "listening session" to discuss ways to diversify, WXIA-TV reports.

"No longer is going to be the day that Democrats can count votes by color," Ashley Bell, a former county commissioner said after the meeting. "The Republican party is going to be out there fighting for every vote in every neighborhood."

Priebus has dubbed the effort the "Growth & Opportunity Project." He believes the GOP's policies and principles are just fine, but the party needs to be more disciplined, understand what issues resonate and spend money year-round delivering its message.

"We have to ask for the sale," he said.

Bruce Levell, a Georgia state party chairman, acknowledges that the party's message delivery needs some work.

"It's hard to attract someone to a party when there are people involved in that party who say mean things," said Levell, who is African-American.

But Democratic state Sen. Vincent Fort isn't buying what Priebus is selling and doesn't think African-Americans will either.

"It isn't just that the African-American community doesn't like how the message is communicated. They understand the policies that Republicans have and they reject them out of hand," Fort said.

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(Photo: NBC News 11 ALive)

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