Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus fears the worst for his party in the event of a loss in 2016.
During an exclusive interview with the Washington Examiner Thursday, Priebus said that the GOP will be "cooked" as a national party if they fail to take back the White House next November.
The RNC chair made the remarks when asked how he squares the party's role in down-ballot races considering the importance of winning back the White House after eight years of Democratic control.
"Our job as a national party is to elect Republicans, and it generally means House, Senate, presidential," Priebus said. "We're viewed at in a presidential year as the presidential committee that is responsible for helping elect the president, but at the same time, we have a responsibility to help pay for the ground operation in every targeted U.S. Senate races and the targeted Congressional races as well, so it is our job to do all three."
"However, I think that we have become, unfortunately, a midterm party that doesn't lose and a presidential party that's had a really hard time winning," Priebus said. "We're seeing more and more that if you don't hold the White House, it's very difficult to govern in this country — especially in Washington D.C."
"So I think that — I do think that we're cooked as a party for quite a while as a party if we don't win in 2016. So I do think that it's going to be hard to dig out of something like that," Priebus told the Examiner. "I don't anticipate that. I think ... history is on our side."
The chairman went on to discuss issues surrounding Hillary Clinton and the "vastly improved" efforts undertaken at the RNC, adding that the "whole big picture" looks good for the GOP in 2016.
This is not the first time Priebus has hinted at the troubles facing the GOP on the national stage. In June, Priebus told radio host Laura Ingraham that a third straight presidential loss for the party would result in them relinquishing their spot as a national party.
The complete interview with the RNC chairman will appear in the Oct. 26th edition of the Washington Examiner magazine.