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. Johnny

    These guys are just begging to lose elections to the Obamacrats!
    Unbelievable.

    November 24, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Aspen Professor

    "We felt like we needed to send a message that we are the party of conservative values."

    And, thus, the Republicans move even further to the extreme right. Goose stepping classes will begin ASAP, just as soon as the Nation Building results are in. Drive out dem moderate Repubs by all means. Dos folks have way too much intelligence us Repubs.

    Oh yeah ... go for it. Watch the Repubs being flushed down the toilet of history.

    November 24, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Frank, Las Vegas

    I wonder if this new GOP realizes that Ronald Reagan couldn't pass their new test or requirements or what ever the hell this thing is. One word, IDIOTS.

    November 24, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Dan D

    Purity Resolution, how Taliban like is that ?

    If democrats told me I had to pass a Purity Test to be a democrat I would be gone in a heart beat.

    GOP makes me hate religion !

    November 24, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Fred the Moderate

    You have to admit, At least they have finally told the world they don't fit in their narrow view. We as a nation should move on while these nuts live out their lives in the 19th century.

    The world is changing, growing up. This natural evolution will favor tolerance and social concern. Big tents will continue to replace small ones.

    I for one am glad to be rid of them

    November 24, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Ken

    And the Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell, with his remarkable talent for making untruth sound proufoundly wise, is the perfect person to lead this brave new party into oblivion.

    November 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. Dan D

    Based on the Purity Resolution Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were both democrats.

    November 24, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Bob (Illinois)

    Here's hoping the resolution is adopted by the RNC. That will guarantee a GOP loss in the next election. But that evidently doesn't matter. The main thing is to 'purify' the GOP.

    Bravo, all you GOP "big thinkers"!

    November 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Formerepublican

    This process started in Kansas about ten years ago, now it has spread to the rest of the country and you are all starting to wake up. Moderate Republicans used to be strong here, then they made the mistake of getting into bed with the social conservatives and anti-taxers who called themselves Republicans for the sake of winning a few elections. Now, the moderates are all gone, "RINOS" who have been purged from the party by those who put ideological purity above all (including compromise, which is a necessary part of democratic governance).

    The one bright spot is that they will eventually eat their own–when ideological purity is your touchstone, no one will ever be pure enough, and even these limited coalitions will break down. In the meantime, however, heaven help us if any of these wingnuts gets elected!

    November 24, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    just wonder if Rush has stamped his approval on this one yet. This might be the BEST thing to happen for Dems and Indies in quiet a while..I'm sure the next RNC will be smaller, older, and whiter than the one last year.

    November 24, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    Oh please, oh please, let the republicans purge themselves of the unclean conservatives who would pollute the party. The GOP is on a path of self destruction. Thank you nut jobs!

    November 24, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    If I were a Republican, I might well want to handcuff Steele. While he is nowhere near as silly as Palin, he produces plenty of embarissing quotes.

    Since I am not a Republican, I am delighted to see the GOP creating rules that will ensure a Dem majority for a long time to come. Lord help us, we will need one to dig out of the Bush years.

    November 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. democrackpipe

    This is of no consequence. Palin is going to oust the Marxist Obama.

    November 24, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. democrackpipe

    No headlines about the invironmental fraud ? Rahm got your tongue ?

    November 24, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. MN Guy

    What is all this "Tea Party" stuff? Does the Republican party even know what the Tea Party was?

    History lesson 1:

    The Tea Party was an event organized by wealthy business owners paying regular people to dress up in Native American garb and destroy other peoples product so they could corner the market. The taxes never went away. They went into the pockets of the business owners none of which were actually there dumping tea into the harbor.

    I really wish the Republican party would quit using "Tea Party" as a title for their events but really it's the same thing. It's just that the average person doesn't know what really happened. "Taxation without representation" is far from the true story.

    Just as it was then the people who will benefit from such gatherings are hidden away while those who will suffer are throwing the tea into the harbor. Their lives will be no better from their organizing to benefit these big business.

    November 24, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. MikeH

    Woe be unto America should the Republicans ever seize power again.

    Tortured for your sins, hanged for blasphemy, burned alive for being a Scientist. Those were the results of purity tests in days of yore that some "Conservatives" want to being back.

    November 24, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Sandra,Atlanta

    Let's see if I can repeat what this guy just said.
    1. This is a 'purity' decree.
    2. For a Republican to receive any support from the RNC, they have to meet at least 7 of their criteria.
    3. Otherwise, they must be 'liberals' and the Republicans have no place for them.

    Talk about socialism, this is communism. Back to the Bush/Cheney days and even worse where if you didn't agree with them you were not a patriot. May the good Lord spare me from idiots like this man and those in the party who support this non-sense. Are they crazy or just plain stupid?

    November 24, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Hot Patata

    This coming just when the GOP was starting to gain steam for the mid-term Congressional elections. This does far more damage to their hopes of retaking the House than Nancy Pelosi could ever have accomplished. They have met the enemy, and they is them.

    November 24, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. Mark(boston)

    Just like the republicans, there are even trying to stop anything that
    resembles freedom of speech. Communist fool is correct. No room
    for any freedom with these idiots

    November 24, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  20. SuperHiro

    I'd say this is the dumbest thing the RNC has ever done, but then again, Michael Steele is still their chairman

    November 24, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. democrackpipe

    This is an artificial story created by CNN to diver attention from Obama, Gore, the steaming pile of Marxists surrounding Obama, the health care rape of America bill, ad nauseum.

    November 24, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  22. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    It's not about "purity." It's about "PRINCIPLES." Political parties have to stand for something. That's what seperates republicans from democrats. Republicans actually stand for something other than getting elected and re-elected.....or at least they used to.

    Unfortunately the republican party has turned into a money machine for democrats who can't get nominated by their own party or elected as a democrat (Graham, Schwarzenegger, Scozzafava, McCain, ect.). It's about time they started cleaning house and getting back to the principles that made them a great party to begin with. And why is it the media is never so harsh with the democrats when they punish and rein in the blue dogs?

    November 24, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Joanna

    "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."

    LOL, oh oh, I'm holding my sides....OMG....I'm laughing so hard I think I just wet myself!!!

    November 24, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Dewayne

    From what I read, not once did they mention the Constitution of the United States of America. They did talk about Reagan a lot though, as if he accomplished a lot.

    November 24, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. Vicente

    Reagans' "Big Tent" concept is another of the things NeoCons would like you to forget about. I hope this movement gathers speed and that they purge all the HERETICS immediately. The sooner the RNC is stripped down to nursing-home-bound grumpy oldsters and Becksters/Limbots the better.

    November 24, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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