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. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    No, the resolution won't handcuff Steele, it'll just enshrine paranoiac, narrow-minded, self-righteous, bigotry as the official Party platform.

    I used to be a Republican, but those days are long gone, as is the true conservatism the Republican Party once professed. It's too bad the neo-cons had to come along and ruin it for the rest of us.

    November 24, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. todd

    Yeah, if you disagree with us 3 or more points, we don't want you.

    No gays, no immigrants, no poor people.

    Good luck with that.

    November 24, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Ron

    Mr. Steele, I hope your vision for a re-energized Republican party goes well. As a republican, I would have no problem crossing party lines or voting for a third-party if I felt that party would restore our security, our financial stability and our global standing.

    Unfortunately, it has become apparent that both parties are more responsive to unseen power brokers, not the american people.

    I will not stand for the same old political abuses that, in the past, has deminished our faith in our political system.

    As for the GOP, pick your candidates wisely, with forethought and and consideration, because if I go to a third party..... I will not be back!!

    November 24, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Crazy Harry

    I find this quite comedic. My guess is that I'm not the only one. The current slate of extreme conservative republicans, give purity a whole new meaning.

    November 24, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Mike

    I give the Republican Party credit for finally having announced the bitter truth that we all knew but seldom spoke of. This is the party of old white men and anyone with moderate views need not apply for admission. Thank you for finally acknowledging the hypocrisy of appointing a "fluff figurehead" Chairman for the sole purpose of deflecting criticism of your "pasty white" agenda.

    The Republicans are a "broad party" only in the broad swath of voices which are no longer welcome under the GOP umbrella. How pathetic.

    November 24, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. Gary in PA

    Who do they expect to be left in their party after this?

    November 24, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Florida Joe

    Heard that Ronald Reagan would not qualify............I'll bet he is spinning in his grave over what these Tea Party nuts have done to the GOP.....................Keep it up ......exclude everyone

    November 24, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. sue

    My God I am thankful I am a independent. The GOP is Just wrong.

    They are out of line on this one.

    November 24, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. Pam

    They don't want moderates in their party? This is why they can't win elections. No party can win with just extremists supporting them.

    November 24, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Bob

    You have just lost me to the Democratic Party. "Purity Resolution", indeed! What a pile of BS! Ronald Reagan would not have received funds from you GOP CLOWNS! Good Luck- you will need luck because your logic and reasoning is EXTREMELY deficient!

    November 24, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. L for Legend

    Everybody knows that the RNC really doesn't respect Steele. He's a puppet and pawn, named to the post so that theh party of "NO" could attract more minority members to a party on the verge of going down.

    November 24, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. JR

    are you kidding me?

    November 24, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. harry

    Good idea! That way the RNC can be assured to only have white gun totin', bible totin' rich folks just like the forefathers envisioned we should be! Bringing back slavery like our forefathers upheld would be optional of course – sort of like keeping abortion optional. Go GOP! You rule (no pun intended).

    November 24, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Peter Z.

    This isn't the party of "conservative values" as Pete Ricketts of Nebraska says. It's become the party of intolerance, obstructionism and rght wing extremism.

    November 24, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Aaron

    Forget about such quaint notions as Representing Your Constituents and bow to the new way: Choose any 7 of these 10 balls to chain to your ankle, Republislave!

    November 24, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    Are you sure his name isn't Jimmy Boop? Sounds as intelligent as Betty Boop! So now, the RNC wants members to toe the line and adhere to a "pure" ideology? Want to know the last time I read something like that? Germany, 1936, the Nazi Party. They started with ideological purity, then moved to ethinic purity, then religious purity. Toe that line, GOP!

    This isn't the party of conservative values, because true conservatives support the Constitution and Bill of Rights, which guarantee our right to freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and the freedom AND OBLIGATION to question our government. What this party wants is a group of cookie-cutter politicians that won't rock the boat, and who will stand united no matter how idiotic the party line is. How sad that the party of Lincoln, that split with their parent party because they opposed slavery, are willing to give up the "Big Tent" philosophy that encompassed people of differing views.

    November 24, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Shame on the GOP. The explanation that this resolution won't handcuff the RNC chairman and demonstrates the broadness of the party is a joke. The language is an obvious attempt to pander to the extreme right wing of the party. The purge is on and there is no tolerance for moderate Republicans.

    November 24, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Peter s

    There goes Mr. token again! sir, did you ask for permission from your bosses, Limbaugh, Becks, Hannity and the lady from Alaska "Serah" I hope I got her name right!! she rocks the republican party !

    November 24, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. Impeach_O

    I have preached this all along. Oh, I forgot, I accidentally am on CNN

    November 24, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Russ

    I hope this gets enacted... it would be the best thing to happen to the democratic party since Sarah Palin's Katie Couric interview. No moderates? Push the party to the far right, allowing the democrats to basically waltz in and pick up the pieces of the electorate forced out of the GOP? Awesome.

    November 24, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Ken, AZ

    Come on fellow Dems; Let's help them get that message out there.

    November 24, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Pope Jon

    Wow! I thought the Democrats were good at shooting themselves in the foot. Republicans have not only shot themselves in the right foot but they have managed to completely amputate their left foot… Say good buy to a good chunk of your voter base that can’t be made up by all the “tea baggers” in this land or any other….

    November 24, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Frozone

    Leave it to the boneheads that remain in the GOP to create a Republican litmus test even Reagan couldn't pass. Is it any wonder more and more Americans are rejecting the so-called conservative movement?

    November 24, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. bill

    I Understand Reagan was only good on 4 of them..what a polarizing bunch of idiots

    November 24, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Glenn Beck has a 100 year plan, that if he worked very hard, he could finish in 97 years.

    November 24, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
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