December 2nd, 2009
09:02 AM ET
10 months ago

RNC purity test designed to 'stick it' to Steele, ally claims

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has not weighed in on the so-called 'purity test.'
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has not weighed in on the so-called 'purity test.'

Washington (CNN) – An ally of Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele claimed Tuesday that the so-called "purity test" being circulated by some RNC members is a publicity stunt designed to "stick it" to Steele after he defeated other candidates for the chairmanship in last January's election.

"You've got a few backbenchers who are unhappy," said Shawn Steel, an RNC member from California and one of the chairman's top supporters on the committee. "They don't have the power they once had under the previous chairman, and that's what motivating this. This is an attempt to stick it to Chairman Steele by the losers."

The resolution, still in draft form when it was leaked to reporters late last month, would prohibit party funds from going to GOP candidates who disagree with elements of a proposed 10-point ideological platform. The proposal has sparked a pointed debate between conservatives who want candidates to adhere to strict principles and moderate Republicans who want to broaden the party's appeal.

Citing e-mail exchanges with his fellow committee members, Steel estimated that almost 80 percent of the RNC opposes the purity test. "This resolution will fail," Steel told CNN. "It will absolutely fall on its face. The resolution was just to stir the pot. It's for reporters."

Steel made similar assertions in a Politico op-ed Tuesday about the resolution and alleged that the resolution's chief sponsor, Indiana committeeman Jim Bopp, Jr., is frustrated because he lost a legal contract with the RNC once Steele became chairman.

Contacted by CNN, Bopp called that claim a "flat out lie" and said he is still representing the RNC. Bopp said he isn't sure why Steel is targeting him with "personal attacks," but suggested that his fellow committee member "feels he is losing the argument and the only recourse he has is personal attacks."

Bopp stressed that the resolution "has nothing to do with Michael Steele."

"It has to do with the desire of RNC members to take every reasonable step to re-establish our conservative bona fides, and put out money where our mouth is," Bopp said.


Filed under: Michael Steele
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Ben in Texas

    If the truth be known, I suspect that Bopp would like to introduce a purity test that would disallow people of color from holding any office in the Repugnant Party. He would probably be okay with blacks voting for him, though. And cleaning his house, and cooking his food, and any other menial task he might have available. But certainly, he wouldn't want them leading his white man's party.

    I've known guys like Bopp my whole life, and I'm sick of them.

    December 2, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. Steve

    So what, whether the RNC passes this resolution next month or not. The fact remains that if you don't think exactly the way Conservatives want you to then you will be demonized and labled as some sort of evil liberal. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'll never vote for another Republican again.

    December 2, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Jillie28

    Love it!!. . . . the GOP is now eating their own. Karma is alive and well!!

    December 2, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Meagan

    Owwwwwww. Now this is karma!

    December 2, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Allison30

    Now the Republicans are "sticking it" to each other. Can't get any better than this!! Twits.

    December 2, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Clint

    Purity test? Didn't that go out with the Third Reich?

    December 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Blue

    Steele and the GOP are so silly.

    December 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    The REAL Republican purity test: Are you white?

    December 2, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  9. Andi

    This is so wrong! This is a perfect example of the socialism the GOP fears so much. Additionally, to name a specific person (President Obama) by name is short-sighted. They will have to change their 10 requirements when they decide on their next 'foe'. They are retarding the political process they claim to support.

    December 2, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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