November 24th, 2009
06:16 PM ET
4 years ago

RNC resolution won't 'handcuff' Steele, co-sponsor says

 RNC members have drafted what's being described as a 'purity' resolution.
RNC members have drafted what's being described as a 'purity' resolution.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - One of Republican National Committee members who helped draft resolution that would prevent moderate candidates from receiving party money said Tuesday that the measure is not intended to challenge to the leadership of Michael Steele, the RNC chairman.

"I think it's sufficiently broad so as not to handcuff him," Nebraska committeeman Pete Ricketts said of the so-called "purity" resolution, which first leaked to reporters Monday.

The resolution, sponsored by Indiana committee member Jim Bopp Jr., proposes a ten-point ideological platform for the Republican party and would require GOP candidates to adhere to at least eight of those points. If not, a candidate be prohibited from receiving financial assistance from the RNC.

Bopp told CNN Monday that the resolution will help Steele avoid criticism from the right-wing of the party. "This resolution will establish standards so that he won't feel obligated to support every Republican and not feel criticized," he said.

Ricketts said the resolution was sparked in large part by the contentious special election in New York's 23rd congressional district, in which a third party candidate, Doug Hoffman, entered the race as an conservative alternative to the moderate Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava. Conservative activists nationwide rallied to Hoffman's side, eventually driving Scozzafava from the race, which was ultimately won by Democrat Bill Owens.

"NY-23 crystallized for us some of the issues the Tea Party people had with Republican party," said Ricketts, one of the resolution's ten co-sponsors. "We felt like we needed to send a message that we are the party of conservative values. This resolution is one way to demonstrate that we mean what we say."

Ricketts disagreed with the suggestion that the measure is an attempt to purge moderate voices from the GOP.

"It's just the opposite," he told CNN. "What it says is that we are a broad party, that we understand people are not going to agree with us on every issue."

He said the resolution, which could be introduced at the RNC Winter Meeting in Hawaii come January, is still "a work in progress."


Filed under: Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (296 Responses)
  1. Dan D

    OH ! Just the words "Purity Resolution" is a major insult to any American. Purity Resolution Test better make all republicans angry.

    November 24, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  2. M J

    Republican "values" suck.

    November 24, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. keith 52yrs in NJ

    1 more nail in the republican party coffin form the right wing nuts.

    November 24, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. REG in AZ

    Recently totally biased and irrational people found fault with the Democratic Senator who withheld her vote while she bargained with Sen Reid for millions in Medicare Aid funds. The trouble with that is that it faults the Democratic Rep for fighting for her constituents and ignores that the Republicans mostly fail to do that and instead are pushed, intimidated and coerced to fall in line behind their Party's positions, whether of value to their constituents or not, and depend on deceptive rhetoric to manipulate public opinion. Rationalizations like that are done to avoid facing the truth and then simply to allow for believing and supporting predetermined positions. Regardless of which party, that is disgusting and is why the politicians can get away with being irresponsible. Of course, we can't ever expect more from Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and so on.

    November 24, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. trying to be reasonable in WV

    OK, Mr. Ricketts. I read your resolution. You must be smoking some serious wacky-baccy if you think that your resolution offers much in the way of ideological wiggle room for Republicans. The resolution is pretty much a "my-way-or-the-highway" arch-conservative screed. Seven out of ten to pass the test? Good luck with the shrinking size of your tent with THOSE kind of guidelines. Sure, signers-on will avoid criticisim from the right wing of the party just as you wish, but the right-wingers will be the only ones left. Be careful what you wish for.

    For the record, I'm a centrist NOT disposed to summarily dismissing conservative arguments. In fact, I WANT to consider them, just like I want to consider progressive arguments. But Ricketts et al obviously are writing me and other centrists right off. If that's what they want . . .

    November 24, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. Geoff

    PALIN for President in 2012!!!

    November 24, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. K

    Can we be honest here for a second, I mean brutally honest and forthright......

    Would Micheal Steele be in his current role within the Republican Party if Barrack Obama lost the election......?

    Better yet, I would love to put this question to Micheal Steele, I mean this is a political party that tried to Legitamize "Joe the Plumber", and are now doing it with Sarah Palin...

    This is also the political party that gave us slogans like "Country First", even went more looney is naming a bus "The Straight Talk Express", I mean who in there right mind would want to support this kind of game playing........?

    November 24, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. John

    Just when I thought the Democrats were shooting themselves in the foot, the Republicans came in and stuck their foot in the way so they could get it first. This is the next step toward the Republicans becoming a regional party.

    November 24, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Brad G.

    Only one thing pure with the RNC. Pure Crap

    November 24, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Mr. Moderate

    It is such a joke that a large portion of this blood oath invokes the name of Ronald Reagan when he would not pass the test. He would be considered a RINO.

    November 24, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Rob DePour

    Finally! A government that's for corporate America and not good-for-nothing freeloaders who can't even afford insurance.

    November 24, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Scott

    The definition of a true Christian is a soul in a body who follows the example of Jesus Christ and his bodily life here on Earth. With a fair reading of the New Testament, I have a very hard time understanding how so many American Christians actually do not see that socialism or even communism is actually much much more Christian than capitalism. Beware the false prophets that can mislead so many. What profits a man if his body gains the whole world, but loses his soul? Wake up America, before it's too late. Jesus is watching and his judgment will shine a bright light on the "Christian" hypocriscy that he hates so much. Repent, overcome your fear of bodily death, love everybody equally, work to lift everybody up and not just yourself or your family, and you shall be set free. God be with you all!

    November 24, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Richard L

    What a great name "purity" is for the Republican Party.

    Who are the 3 highest elected officials still in office who have admitted to being unfaithful?

    Republican Senator David Vitter.
    Republican Senator John Ensign.
    Republican Governor Mark Sanford.

    November 24, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Bob C

    So anyone with an above room temperature IQ will be denied RNC funds? Pure stupidity.

    November 24, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. MIKE CANADAY

    this just shows what a hate group the GOP are and a uncle TOM michael steele really are.when a group of men and women has to kiss the rear of these men to get money then there not much to them either

    November 24, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Sparky

    "What it says is that we are a broad party, that we understand people are not going to agree with us on every issue."

    Our party is so broad that if someone disagrees with our ten point manifesto, we refuse financial support. Definitely the way to build a broad based party. Where do they find these morons? Oh right, Indiana and Nebraska, the bastions of independent thought!

    November 24, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. amazed

    Wow. What a great move by the GOP. Using the purity doctrine they can now advance with Germany 1930's swiftness and promote their doctrine of enriching the rich, corrupting true Christianity, using the ignorant and furtheringtrue goals of the Party of the Selfish.

    Palinistas and Rovians Unite!

    No suprise here.

    November 24, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. CNN afraid of a liberal post

    While he is at it, could he explain how the republican party went from a dignified (altho one a lot of Americans disagreed with) intelligent bunch of people to the absolutely, bunch of far out, stupid and ignorant and greedy bunch they are today.

    People used to hold the republican party with respect, I hate to say what they hold them with today. They really are a bunch of used tea bags.

    November 24, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. SocialismBad

    Vote for Steele – He is made of Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel

    November 24, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    That simply amounts to the political party requiring the candidate hold allegiance to the party, and not the people.

    That is a good way to lose an election.

    November 24, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Glen in L.A.

    Keith Olbermann pointed out that the purity resolution criteria would exclude Ronald Reagan from the Republican Party.

    November 24, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. CB

    The Party of 'NO' must feel they are not saying no strong enough. They need to single out those who even consider agreeing with the dems

    November 24, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. mjm

    Dede Scozzafava was not a moderate republican. She was not even a republicam. She was a democrat...and a liberal one at that.

    Had Hoffman been in the race since the beginning he would have won.

    RNC has to make sure that people are running as Republicans and not RINO's. Good for them.

    November 24, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. marcus (seattle)

    i love the idea of the republican party being willing to only sponsor hard-core, right wing fanatics.. the further to the right they go with their candidates, the less palatable they'll be to the average voter in swing districts.. yeah, the freaks in kansas, and oklahoma and alabama will keep voting republican, but, the republican party will lose even more representation in districts with reasonably discerning voters, who wouldn't dream of putting into office wackos like palin and bachman and steve king and boehner.

    November 24, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Tram

    So a Republican can't get one cent of help from the RNC unless he/she proves that he/she is a right wing nutjob, a fear monger, a hate monger and no working brain cells?

    How does that work, exactly?

    November 24, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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