[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/22/art.coleman.file.gi.jpg caption="Norm Coleman announced the creation of two new conservative groups Monday."]Washington (CNN) - Two new conservative groups launched Monday are designed to compete with the Democratic political machine that helped sweep President Obama into office in 2008, organizers say.
Norm Coleman, former Republican senator from Minnesota, announced the start of the American Action Network and its sister organization, the American Action Forum, at the National Press Club in Washington.
Modeled after the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank and messaging organization, the groups will focus on promoting a center-right agenda.
"While we may disagree with the Center for American Progress's policies, we respect how they advocate for those policies. They are relentless, they are creative, and they are influential," said Rob Collins, former chief of staff to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va. "I decided to join the American Action Network because I believe we can compete with them on the playing field and beat them with our ideas."
Coleman and Collins were joined onstage by businessman and top GOP donor Fred Malek and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who served as John McCain's economic adviser during the 2008 presidential race.
Holtz-Eakin, who will be president of the American Action Forum, said the presidential campaign opened his eyes to new challenges. "I came to understand that liberals had done a much better job at communicating in that political environment, and through modern technologies, to communicate broadly with all the demography in the United States."
Collins will serve as the president of the American Action Network. Coleman has been named CEO of both groups and wasted no time associating the group's political positions with recent GOP electoral success.
"I think recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts showed independent voters, who were the decisive voting block, voting overwhelmingly for candidates that offered center-right solutions," Coleman said.