November 7th, 2007
12:33 PM ET
15 years ago

GOP struggling to rebuild 'damaged' brand

The battle for the GOP presidential nomination is, in part, a fight to define the post-Bush party.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - One year to Election Day, and the struggling Republican Party is looking for much more than a new leader.

"It takes time to damage a brand," says South Carolina's Republican governor, Mark Sanford. "It takes even longer to rebuild it."

Sanford is a low-taxes, low-spending type who believes the GOP has lost its credibility as the party of fiscal conservatism.

"The Republican Party, I think, has really been hurt with regard to its brand on the degree to which it will walk the walk on government spending and government taxes," Sanford told CNN in a recent interview at his State Capital office in Columbia.

Others, though, see a threat to the party's brand as the home of social conservatives at risk as well, in part because of what they view as "lip service" by the Bush White House and other leaders in Washington, and, in part, because of the continued strength of Rudy Giuliani in the GOP nomination race.

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- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King

Filed under: Extra • South Carolina
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