The most conservative members of Congress are…
February 21st, 2013
11:56 AM ET
2 years ago

The most conservative members of Congress are…

(CNN) – A leading right wing group unveiled their rankings of the most conservative members of Congress Thursday, and some prominent Republicans - including Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul - both came out at the top of the list.

The American Conservative Union's list for 2012 also singled out the least conservative members of Congress, including some moderate Republicans who scored among Democrats.

In the ACU's rankings, which are derived from how members voted on key measures, seven GOP senators emerged with perfect scores: Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, John Kyl of Arizona, Mike Lee of Utah, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Another 34 House members had scores of 100%, including Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Marsha Blackburn on Tennessee, Tom Price of Georgia, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Tim Scott of South Carolina (Flake and Scott are now both senators).

"Their unwavering commitment to our shared conservative principles stands in stark contrast to the liberals in Washington who continue to want an expanded role for government at taxpayers' expense," ACU chairman Al Cardenas wrote in a statement.

Among those liberals were 20 Democratic senators achieving a "perfect liberal rating" from the ACU. They included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Majority Whip Dick Durbin.

The least conservative Republican senator on the ACU's list was Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a moderate on many issues who's been re-elected three times. Her former colleague Olympia Snowe, who retired at the end of last year, was also among the lowest-rated Republicans on the ACU's list.

Sen. Scott Brown, who was defeated last year in Massachusetts by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, was tied with Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as the third lowest ranked Republican on the list.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Thanks. Now I know who NOT to vote for.

    February 21, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "The most conservative members of Congress are…"

    This should be fun...is this the "complete the sentence game"?

    "....obstructionist dillholes."

    "...self-serving ideologues purchased by Amurika's plutocrat class."

    "...McCarthyist demagogues using fear to manipulate their undereducated base."

    "...less concerned with making the world a better place than they are with owning and controlling it."

    "...racist pigs and bigots who will stop at nothing to destroy the VRA so they can spread their racist election process destruction beyond the states where it traditionally occured." (see, PA, OH, etc.)

    "...hellbent on destroying Medicare, Medicaid, SS and the rest of the social safety net in order to make the working class more easily controlled by their employers."

    "...would rather turn Amurika into a third-world banana republic that allow democracy to thrive if it means loss of their ability to exert control over the country."

    I can do this all day...

    February 21, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Being on the top of the most conservative list means Paul and Rubio may have trouble attracting moderate, independent, minority, and women voters in a national presidential election. Moving towards the middle of the political spectrum may draw the ire of Tea Partiers and social conservatives. It may be some time before the Republcian/Tea Party can win a presidential election unless it can jettison or modity its hardline ideological positions. Pushing new Republican/Tea Party ideas is just cosmetics, like putting lip stick on a pig.

    February 21, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Name lynn

    talk about the budgets cuts an putting people back to work, an also the obamacare, please people we are sick of this none scense, this media dont have nothing to talk about now its conservites who cares.

    February 21, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    The most conservative members of Congress are… ... "Big Bird" Republicans, just like Mitt Romney.

    February 21, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. rs

    Maybe I am old-school (or just old), but none of these guys listed here are Conservative. Not like Eisenhower, Rockefeller, Ford, or even Nixon (for all of his flaws). I tend to think of these politicians or writers like Bill Buckley. These were intelligent, pragmatic individuals who were fiscally prudent, and neutral on social issues.
    Today's "conservatives" do neither. They purposely crashed the debt and ran up the deficit. On social issues they are extremists (think Akin, Palin, Cruz, et al).
    Calling this current crowd "conservative" is an insult to real Conservatives. This lot has shifted so far so fast even their heroes-like Reagan (another non-Conservative) couldn't pass their looney purity tests.

    February 21, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "Their unwavering commitment to our shared conservative principles stands in stark contrast to the liberals in Washington who continue to want an expanded role for government at taxpayers' expense," ACU chairman Al Cardenas wrote in a statement.
    ----------------
    To put into the chairman's simplistic terms, I would prefer the above to extending the life of luxury for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, seniors and the poor. That's not liberal ideology. It's the Christian in me speaking.

    February 21, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Pam from Iowa

    thanks for the list of fanatical extremists and just plain 'coo-coo for cocoa puffs' members of Congress!!!

    February 21, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    thanks. You just did half the democrats work for them in the 2014 and 2016 elections

    February 21, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. yanni

    How can one be proud to be a conservative in the constantly developing, progressing world and society? Conservatism is an impediment for progress. Conservatism cannot even in survive in Somalia and the Middle East. Sorry ladies and gentlemen time has left you behind.

    February 21, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Brian from CO

    Stories like this will cause the 2016 election to play out just like 2012 did. It's only a matter of time before Rubio and freinds are on the primary stage appeasing the extreme right, which will lose them the general.

    February 21, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. rs

    "Their unwavering commitment to our shared conservative principles stands in stark contrast to the liberals in Washington who continue to want an expanded role for government at taxpayers' expense,"

    Think of the things supported by or accomplished by real Conservatives of the 1950s and 60s: Civil Rights, Voters Rights, the nascent environmental movement (including the establishment of the EPA), minimum wage (that would now be $20 per hour if tied to CPI).
    None of the characters listed in this story would come within a dog's back of these issues today- in fact in true Luddite fashion, they'd rather burn them all down.
    No, these are not "conservatives" they are just little radical men looking to use the system to their benefit.

    February 21, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    It must be pretty tough to be a conservative. Your actions and words are constantly being graded, evaluated, and ranked against various standards. Of those who score the highest they are the ones who get to advance further up the professional ladder. It is alos exactly what the old Soviet Union's education [indoctrination] system was like.

    February 21, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. REGinAZ

    Politics stinks with no entity really "all pure and holy" but the Republicans have done themselves in, that is providing the public has really come to see through and reject their abundant propaganda aided and paid for with the power, influence and mega-millions of their strong supporters and masters, "the money".  They have done themselves in by "painting themselves into a corner" with becoming owned and controlled by "the money', with the likes of the Koch brothers, Adelson, SuperPacs, more and the "puppets" like Norquist, Rove, Cheney and others all pushing "the money's" interests.  They can't just depend on offering Republican philosophies versus Democratic thinking, as their positions have become vividly apparent in being just favoritism to "the money" and completely neglecting their responsibilities to the people and then totally dependent on being sold with the propaganda.  Their cries of "conservative" versus "liberal" ring hollow and simply are just positions "for the money" versus "for the people".  To be loyal to their strong supporters and masters they have to support policies and positions that the people now recognize as irresponsible and unfavorable to the majority.  It is their own fault, and fortunately the people have come to see it, when they sold out to "the money" in thinking that made them unbeatable.

    February 21, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. WIMPY38

    What?! No John McCain and his lap-dog Lindsey Graham not listed?! What a shocker.

    February 21, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    And who said that conservatives do not have thought police? Ha!

    February 21, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. MaryM

    Well, I guess the majority of Americans will NOT be voting for those people

    February 21, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Pete

    No,those two are perfect examples of Teaparty extremism and quess who put there right!!Rubio can't make up his mind what religion he's in or what pathedic immigrent story of family struggles he comes up with,whatever suits his situation much the same as his partys,has he paid the fines yet for stealing from his political funds for his family,I wonder..Paul a pathedic example of the libertarian party hack or lack of never knowing what side to stand with or what subjects he wants to denounce,critize and that's on a good day..He's like most of his sanctumonious republicans who can't go back to his past life as a doctor,whatever past.God knows he thought he was as serious as his father thinking he's a genuine politician running for president to which he still thinks he's running and has anyone told him the elections were over months ago...

    February 21, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. JK-MN

    Good info! This is a list I will be sure NOT to ever vote for if they appear in a National or Statewide election.

    February 21, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Mark - Atlanta

    Thanks to the ACU for identifying these people for those who don't keep up on politics. Use it as a "don't vote for" guide. For the rest of us that do pay attention – no surprises here! Dems! Use this as a helpful voting guide as we go door-to-door in 2014!

    February 21, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Ed1

    The House was re-elected to stop all the out of control spending Obama and his party has forced down our throats.

    February 21, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Pander Bear

    Excellent. Now the DNC can tout their 'perfect conservative' record against them in the upcoming midterms and get them the heck out of DC.

    February 21, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Conservative is a Common Sense View, not a political view. Conservatives think you can take care of yourself for the most part. Being Liberal thinks you aren't capable of taking care of yourself. The Liberals want to do great things, they just want to do it with other peoples money. Now that the Taxpayer is offically extinct they are starting to eat their own. Where will your next dollar come from?

    February 21, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. RINO Bill

    The higher up a person is on this list, the more they place party above country and the less American they are.

    February 21, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    To me, the concept of a congressman or senator having a "perfect" conservative or liberal score is abhorrent. It tells me that they do not think about any legislation and merely vote the way the party leaders tell them to. These individuals show no initiative to learn about the possible effects that their votes will have, only that they have voted with The Party. This includes both Senators Reid and McConnell! So much for leadership.

    February 21, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |