November 24th, 2009
06:16 PM ET
5 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. Laura in KS

    So I guess it's pretty obvious what the RNC is saying–conform or be banished from the party. Wow. Seems a bit senseless to berate Liberals for being "Socialists" when you're pushing totalitarian tactics...

    November 24, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. kaydeedee

    Purity oaths? Sounds like these guys are heading down the slippery slope toward fascism. "Are you now or have you ever been a member of ..." Sound familiar? It does if you remember or know about Joe McCarthy and the witch-hunts of the 1950's to find, brand and destroy anyone deemed a communist. The GOP has now officially become Orwell's Thought Police. Toe the party line and don't think for yourself! God help us all if these zealots regain power.

    November 24, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. Andy W

    This may be a politically popular move within the party, but with only 20% of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans, this will only alienate the bases that the Repubs need to reach out to. The White House has publicly commented that a Tim Pawlenty type, a more moderate Repub, would be much more of a threat in reelection than a Palin. We are a center- center right country, not an extreme right or extreme left. Political leaders ignore this fact at their own peril.

    November 24, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. Barbara

    Conservative "Values"?? What a bounch of losers; turning their mighty backs on people who don't have healthcare; pretending to think they know who should marry who and half of them run around cheating on their wives; playing the Almighty with abortion when it is none of their business what any women does with their own body; against gun control because the NRA idiots control them, ETC.
    Why don't they work with Democrats and debate HealthCare instead of coming up with even more resolutions made to sound like they are unified and stand for something-anything. I live in NY 23 and they all were a Joke!

    November 24, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. Bobby

    They forgot to include the 10 Commandments, but no republican would qualify.

    November 24, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. RN

    This is just more Us versus Them politics.
    What have the republicans done yet to solve a problem.
    They are interested in being in power – but they have yet to show any talent for doing anything – well, except for getting us into two wars and tanking the economy. They need to show they can work with others. I am tired of the "our way or no way" attitude. Are they the party of dictators?

    November 24, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. AC

    It's amusing too watch the actions of the TEA PARTY and re-action of the Repbulican party. You go 'conservates'. We love to watch you implode! An independent.

    November 24, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. X

    Is it any wonder these right wingers tanked the economy so badly?

    November 24, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. ephraim

    purity contracts? whoa, creepy. this look more and more like mccarthism, meets mao, with a dash of margaret atwood play "a handmaids tale" thrown in for insanity's sake. i can't believe the repugs so frequently claim obama is a mao fractal when it is really them. i wonder if the purity seal will need to be tattooed on their forearms, or embroidered in red letters
    on their clothes.

    November 24, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. No More Years!

    I'm sure we can fit more people if we make the tent smaller... Welcome to irrelevance.

    November 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. tonyt

    "We felt like we needed to send a message that we are the party of hate and hypocrisy!

    November 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Greg

    And the Republican party becomes smaller and smaller. It's funny, because this resolution uses Reagan's name yet Reagan wouldn't have passed it. Wow, these guys are amazing.

    November 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. VAInd2010

    It would be nice if a professional news organization like CNN would limit the number of grammatical errors in a story to no more than three.

    November 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. HR Mickelson

    One more nail in the coffen for the GOP . I would guess we will see a new party being developed by the more centrist and moderate republicans. If not, the DEM’s have no excusse in continuing to hold the majority in both houses. Too bad as our system needs realistic and moderate oppossing points of view. This appears to be way too much to ask from this crowd.

    November 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Fnord-a-saurus Rex

    Like I said, this is great. Let the GOP push aside millions of voters. Maybe some of these ousted members will finally just do what is right for the people and leave these rats to the sinking ship.

    Big up's to Scott for perfectly describing the Christain connection with Socialism and Communism. WWJD indeed?

    November 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Republicans are the American Taliban

    The Taliban wants party AND ethnic "purity"...so Mr steele is already unqualified...

    November 24, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. tonyt

    Lets not forget the party of FEAR, that there corner stone!

    November 24, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Andrew

    If this resolution goes through, I will never vote Republican again. Despite being a liberal Democrat, I have always maintained an open mind to conservative ideas, particularly with regards to economics, because I truly believe in hearing the other side out. However, if this resolution is passed and enforced, it means that the party of Lincoln has become completely taken over by the Tea Partyites, birthers, and far-right nut cases that have divided us and want to destroy democracy in this great nation. They are no better than the Reid-Pelosi branch of the Democratic Party.

    November 24, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. Jane/Seattle

    This is clearly NOT democratic. Will they have to kneel at the feet of their next emerging "leader"? America is turning into a nightmare of epic proportions! Who will save the children? Not any of these extreme capitalist nuts!

    November 24, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. tonyt

    Lets not forget the party of FEAR, that's there corner stone!

    November 24, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. Russ in Benton

    The word is not purity, it is purely wingnut bull.

    November 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Sheryl

    Who cares!!!! I mean really?

    November 24, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Eddie

    And the GOP has the nerve to accuse Obama of fascism. That's right, GOP. Toss out what few remaining moderates you have so that they can become Democrats and Independents and watch your party shrink into oblivion.

    November 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Thomas, Baton Rouge, LA

    The GOP implosion continues....

    November 24, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. Bob in VA

    What a great way to totally eliminate elected Republicans from everywhere except the South and the lily-white flyover states: make GOP candidates adhere to the rightwingnut standards of small-town rubes.

    November 24, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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