In his first major personnel decision following his surprise election victory last week, President-elect Donald Trump named pro-life Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff.
The decision is the first in what pro-life voters hope will be a long line of pro-life personnel decisions concerning leaders in Donald Trump’s administration who they hope will have a pro-life view on abortion. The decision is already drawing strong praise from leading pro-life organizations.
Priebus will serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Trump’s transition organization announced on Sunday afternoon. Trump praised Priebus in his victory speech last week, saying that “Reince is really a star. And he is the hardest-working guy.”
Priebus, 44, is a lawyer who served as general counsel of the RNC under the troubled tenure of previous chairman Michael Steele. After taking over in 2011, he steered it out of both gaffe prone controversies and debt and worked to build up a better network to help Republicans accross the country get elected. Much of Trump’s “ground game” which produced an upset victory Tuesday came courtesy not of the Trump campaign but the RNC’s own organizing muscle.
The RNC head was born in New Jersey and moved to Green Bay with the family when he was a boy. Priebus came up through the Wisconsin Republican Party. He is known to be close to fellow Cheesehead State politician House Speaker Paul Ryan and has clashed at time with Donald Trump. Nevertheless, Priebus made good on his promise to back the eventual GOP nominee “100 percent” and Trump has awarded that effort with one of the most important posts in DC.
Priebus is pro-life — so much so that he put off a major GOP meeting so members could attend the March for Life. In an unprecedented show of opposition to abortion in 2014, Priebus is delayed the start of the party’s annual winter meeting so he and other committee members can join the March for Life on the National Mall.
“I saw that there was a real interest among a significant portion of our members to attend and support the Rally for Life,” Priebus said in an email at the time. “This is a core principle of our party. It was natural for me to support our members and our principles.”
“I will attend the March for Life and am making a few simple modifications of the schedule and ensuring that the members have safe and adequate transportation to and from the rally,” he explained in his email.
In an email circulated among other members, Alaska RNC memberDebbie Joslin said, “I have served under a number of chairmen and not one of them ever made any opportunity for us to attend the March for Life, and they always scheduled critical meetings for the same time as the March for Life. Big thanks to Reince for standing up for the unborn!”
Responding to Trump nam ing Priebus chief of staff, top pro-life groups were very supportive.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
“President-elect Trump made yet another wise selection by choosing Reince Priebus as his chief of staff. I have worked closely with Reince over the last 5 years as he revitalized the GOP by returning the party to its true conservative principles as is evidenced by the GOP’s solidly conservative platform.
“He has made the GOP more effective through the implementation of a solid infrastructure that facilitated an outstanding ground game for Republicans. His leadership in rebuilding the party and promoting conservative principles helped set the stage for driving evangelical turnout to its highest level in recent memory.
“President-elect Trump could not have tapped a better leader as his chief of staff. I also commend the selection of Stephen Bannon, a talented strategist, who did a remarkable job running the campaign.
“Under the Trump administration, the nation has an opportunity to make freedom mean something again,”” concluded Perkins.
Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser Trump’s selection.
“Personnel is policy, and President-elect Donald Trump has once again solidified his commitment to the pro-life cause by naming Reince Priebus as his White House Chief of Staff. I first got to know Reince when I interviewed all the candidates for RNC chairman on the issue of Life. He articulated that the pro-life cause ‘is woven in my heart, it’s something I believe in.’ In 2014, Priebus led the RNC as it officially participated in the March for Life for the first time ever in the Party’s history. I was proud to march side by side with him in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans, and because of his leadership SBA List presented him with its Distinguished Leader Award in 2015. Under his RNC tenure, the GOP has passed several groundbreaking pro-life resolutions, and ratified the strongest pro-life platform in the Party’s history at the 2016 convention. I look forward to working together with Reince Priebus to implement President-elect Trump’s pro-life agenda.”