Thursday, July 7, 2011 | 11:43 a.m.
Nevada’s new Republican chairwoman Amy Tarkanian unveiled the national party’s new message campaign today, accusing President Obama of failing to revive the economy.
“And he will lose because of it,” Tarkanian said in a conference call with reporters this morning.
But Tarkanian was relatively silent on the role Nevada will play in selecting the Republican to go up against Obama next year.
Although Nevada’s Feb. 18 presidential caucuses are set to be the third primary contest in the nation, and the first in the West, the state has drawn somewhat scant attention from candidates and national media compared to the other early states.
Tarkanian deflected a question today about what the party is doing to prepare for the caucuses, a key to ensuring candidates have confidence to compete in Nevada.
“The first change we’ve made is the chairman’s position,” she said.
Tarkanian was elected earlier this month to lead the party. She replaces former state Sen. Mark Amodei, who is running in the 2nd Congressional District special election.
But Tarkanian said she is focused on fundraising, candidate recruitment and voter registration, not necessarily the presidential caucuses.
“That will be very helpful with the presidential election,” she said of her top focuses.
Several presidential candidates have campaigned in Nevada, including Mitt Romney, Jon Hunstman and Newt Gingrich. A nationally televised debate is scheduled for Oct. 11.
But the party has yet to put significant attention to organizing the caucuses. No presidential candidates have begun television ads and Nevada generally isn’t mentioned in national reports as an early state along with Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Tarkanian acknowledged the party is playing catch up with Democrats, who have invested heavily in voter registration and identification. But she said she is confident the party will raise enough money to be competitive in next year’s election.