(CNN) – In this midterm election year, Republicans might do well to embrace the “party of no” label placed on them by Democrats, conservative blogger Erick Erickson said Friday in an appearance on CNN.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took different approaches to the Democratic label during speeches at this week’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Gingrich told the GOP gathering that he thought “[t]here are many things that we can say yes to” while Palin opined “[t]here is no shame in being the party of no if [Democrats are] proposing an idea that violates our values, violates our conscience, violates our Constitution.”
Asked about the split between Gingrich and Palin, Erickson sided with Palin.
“I would say that saying no and being the ‘party of no’ is working pretty well for them,” he told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
Erickson also noted that Gingrich’s view represented that of more establishment Republicans, including some GOP congressional leaders. “All the people who have been in Washington for a long time say we’ve got to be the party of yes, we’ve got to stand for something,” Erickson told King.
But the CNN political contributor and editor-in-chief of RedState.com argued that the positions of Gingrich and Palin were not fundamentally at odds.
“At the end of the day,” he said, both were expressing roughly the same sentiment: “say no to the direction of the country we’re headed in and yes to freedom and liberty and where the Republicans want to go.”
Erickson, an attorney, also did a bit a handicapping of President Obama’s next Supreme Court pick in the wake of Friday’s news that Justice John Paul Stevens will be stepping down from the high court.
Watch: Erickson on the next justice
Erickson said Republicans would have “a real hard time” opposing Solicitor General Elena Kagan if Obama tapped her. He called Kagan “highly qualified.”
Asked about the GOP’s presidential prospects in 2012, Erickson told King he thought conservatives didn’t have a favorite and “want a fresh face.” Erickson also said Palin “whips up a frenzy among people” and that some conservatives are interested in former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.