The man charged with guiding his party through a presidential primary fight said Monday that the fluctuating horserace will produce a strong nominee.
“I just wouldn’t equate volatility in some of the field to any sort of indication that there isn’t going to be a lot of horsepower in defeating this president," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.”
Priebus pointed to the 2008 Republican race as a guide to how a race can change quickly in the final weeks before official primary voting begins.
“Four years ago today," Priebus said, "you had Fred Thompson in second place and Rudy Giuliani in first place, [Mike] Huckabee and [John] McCain way back in the field and, lo and behold, McCain became the nominee. I don’t think this is all that uncommon."
A re-contact of Republicans surveyed in November’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that Texas Gov. Rick Perry and ex-businessman Herman Cain have lost support in the wake of Perry’s debate difficulties and sexual harassment allegations facing Cain.
Despite those developments, Priebus said he believed either man could defeat President Obama as the Republican nominee.
“Both of those candidates," he said, "and our entire field provides a better alternative to the four years of misery that this president has put us on."
Priebus said media coverage of the primary fight is helping Republicans. He also cited past Democratic primaries as inspiration for Republicans.
“I don’t think this primary field is a whole lot different than primary fields and stories that occurred four years ago or in 1992 during the Democratic primary contest or 1988,” Priebus said. “Quite frankly, Hillary [Clinton] and Barack Obama’s epic battle four years ago, I think, just gave the president a tremendous amount of horse power moving through the summer.”