November 24th, 2009
06:16 PM ET
11 years ago

RNC resolution won't 'handcuff' Steele, co-sponsor says

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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. Love Thy Neighbor

    Try and try again... I hope you find your way. It must include most Americans though. If not, you will still be the "NO" people. Not the "KNOW" people. Think about what that truly means...Ponderous huh?

    November 24, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. vette gal

    Well, as a moderate republican, if this passes, I am a republican no more. Too bad there aren't more moderate republicans and moderate democrats. If there was, maybe we could actually get our country back on the right track.

    November 24, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  3. PhilB

    I always knew that when a Conservative spouts the word "justice" he really means "just us". Go ahead and continue to splinter the party, you idiots. The opposition is loving it!

    November 24, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Zebulon Pi

    I LOVE the Republican party. As a lifelong Democrat, I can't think of any better way to shrink this party down than by enacting "purity" guidelines... soon they'll be goosestepping around and checking your Republican papers.

    I think that's the main difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals will let you think whatever you want, as long as you don't limit anyone else. Conservatives don't WANT you to think, just follow the Rules, or Commandments, or Purity Guidelines, or whatever else they're calling the thought police over there now.

    November 24, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. Perusing-through


    When Steele became RNC Chairman, his first endeavor was to expand the GOP to include moderates, independents, and varying ethnicities.

    Today, "Stupid Steele" has done an about-face and allowed RNC members to dictate membership rules for the Republican Party. Every new idea Stupid Steele comes up with, RNC members challenge it and deny him leadership. Steele is so stupid he has failed to recognize that others see the strings of his puppet masters.

    November 24, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Steve

    I guess I would have to take this purity doctrine as a statement meaning for the voters as well.
    If you say you are a republican, please take this purity doctrine test and see if you are really a Republican. Keep in mind you have to agree with their points as it is now the doctrine of the Republican party.
    If you do not pass you should not vote republican next time...maybe you should look elsewhere for your paragon of hope.

    November 24, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. genepoolx

    Wow... having the government or any party creating a standard that you have to pass to be in a party is the most un-conservative thing you could ever do. Do any of these people even know what a conservative is or believes.

    November 24, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Cindy

    Sounds like rationing to me.

    Honestly, I can't see how a party that kills off sections of their own party can double speak that it's the other party that is killing off Grandma.

    November 24, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Santa Fean

    I love it! A "purity" test for Republicans...that should be great for late night comedy. We really do miss "awol" and " five deferments" as those two were tragically funny. What happens if a Republican is not "pure" enough? Can that Republican still commit adultery? Fraud? Do "pure" Republicans have to denounce science and fact? Remember, Palin thinks man coexisted with she "pure" enough or just right?

    November 24, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Perusing-through

    'Stupid Steele' is so dumb, he has failed to recognize that we all see the strings of his behind-the-scene Republican puppet masters.

    November 24, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. dubya

    how is coming in and steam rolling another candidate out of a "free election" considered conservative?

    November 24, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  12. FactCheck

    I'm trying to recall where I last heard this rhetoric. Oh yes, now I remember, this is essentially the same dictate that guides al Quida. RNC, great company you keep.

    November 24, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. R from C

    A resolution is not a way to illustrate that you "mean what you say". It's a way to illustrate that you say what you say.

    November 24, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    Obey! Obey! Obey! There is only one politically correct right-wing view, so obey! Obey the extremists and radicals and fundamentalists! No other opinions allowed!

    Ironically, the Republicans now sound like Stalinists, demanding only one mindset. The "conservatives" are now the guardians of politically correct.

    November 24, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Tony

    Why do we need Saturday night live, when we have Republicans live?

    I"ll contribute $1000 to the RNC for Sarah Palin's chasity belt. Nothing personal dude.

    November 24, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. I am the not-so-great and powerless wizard of Rush

    Yes the Rebirther Tea party member need to be more pure, more white, more dogmatic, more strident, more unyielding, more recalcitrant, more reactionairy, more unhinged, more paranoid, more deceitful . . .

    November 24, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Joshua College Station Texas

    So, the Tea Party and the Republican party are now one and the same?

    November 24, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. John

    Is one of the 10 points "I will never allow the wealthy to throw another party at the expense of the country's children?" Is one of them "I will stop telling the lie that reducing taxes on the wealthy will bring in more tax revenues?" Is one of them "I will learn basic math?" Is one of them "I will not campaign for smaller government so I can win election and then expand government more than any other time in history?" Is one of them "I will stop treating the country's children as indentured slaves who can pay for my cruise at a later date?" I bet not.

    November 24, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Purity? Wow, kinda sounds like 1930's Germany and a political party that they had there.

    November 24, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. david price

    Communist? Taliban? The majority in the republican party are conservative. They are simply tired of THEIR MONEY going to support candidates who don't represent their interests. It is hypocritical for liberals who demand that DNC monies be distributed to candidates who share their views to then criticize and demean conservatives for doing the same. That being said, "moderates" lose elections. "Moderates" have no back-bone. "Moderates" are afraid to do what is right. Worry about your own party and let republicans worry about theirs.

    November 24, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Zago

    Go repubs! There is no such thing as moderate. You either a secrete democrate or a right wing extremist a la Pinochet, Franco etc.. They should bar everyone who's saying he's moderate. Thumb up for Palin/Dobb 2012!

    November 24, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. Tony

    Aren't these the same geniuses that gave us 8 years of Dubya? You remember two recessions, two lost wars, no worries about al Qaeda, "science editors, and all the lies any true believer would accept. Now, they give us John, the minority leader, who assures us that there is no evidence that CO2 emissions are carcinogens. Their heroes are strong value senator Mark Sanford facing 36 ethics violations and MooseJaw Mollie who believes dinosaurs wore saddles. Put us out of out misery guys. Everyone vote Republican and let it all be over.

    November 24, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  23. Dave

    I've always considered myself a moderate independant. Of the ten-point GOP ideological platform, I agree with five of their points and disagree with five. But if the GOP is determined to move away from the middle and to the far-right extreme, I'm sure I'll be voting Democrat far more often. And I find it hard to believe I'm the only moderate thinking that way. The extremes always go their respective parties; elections are won in the middle. This can't bode well for the future of the GOP.

    November 24, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Tony

    Official deymise of the Republican Party. Non of those morons can pass their own test. CYA!!

    November 24, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. tangorrr

    I hate liberals...and the GOP is weak, they really don't appreciate TRUE American values!!! As a ultra-conservative nationalist, I want to take America back when it was ruled by true Americans!!!! The cherokee, seminoles, apache, our true fathers of America. Now the Republicans want illegal immigrants out, when their ancestor came without an invitation???? (SARCASM)

    Moderate or republicans with common sense you have two options: leave the GOP and join democrats or make a true centre-right party.

    November 24, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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