February 22nd, 2010
06:39 PM ET
12 years ago

New GOP groups look to center

[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.

Filed under: 2010 • GOP • Norm Coleman
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Deb n Texas

    It's about time they learn some sense. The Republicans in the Congress are shameful. All they want is for the Obama Admininstration to look foolish – and you know what, there is nothing foolish about the administration. So, I suggest to the Republicans is they better get on board with something soon because there are many smart cats in the White House now and the Republicans are going to end up looking like fools.

    February 22, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  2. RTB

    Conservative Group focused on centrist electorate?

    Something is wrong with this picture.

    New Republican groups copied after the progressive Democrats?

    Get ready folks for yet another scim scam Republican pathetic ploy. Try anything joke. Say whatever they have to.

    Go after the vote, then stick it to the American public with

    February 22, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  3. They call me "tater salad"

    This is proof positive that the Republican Party is fractured and has no idea where its going, what its doing, what it stands for, and who it represents.........They have no chance of picking up ANY seats at this rate......Hey!..........You folks hear that?...........It sounds a lot like a bugle..............Playing Tapps!

    February 22, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  4. Aspen Professor

    Oh my goodness Normy, what will the right-wing extremists do when they hear you talk of "center right"?

    No more off-shore nation building, no more lying, no more roaring hypocrisy, no more FOX Channel idiocisy?


    February 22, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. They call me "tater salad"

    Looks like the Republican party is resorting to redistricting and creating its own version of ACORN to win elections........ Whats the matter boy's? Not feeling so confident anymore about the "big win" you somehow, think is gonna happen for you in November?..........SURE LOOKS THAT WAY FROM HERE!!!

    February 22, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. Dan

    The leftist press will be against these guys, just as much as they liked the progressive ones. Bias, bias, bias.. the right to organize is not for the right and is only left to the left 🙂

    February 22, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Bob of Lompoc

    What' with the 350 Watt teeth?

    February 22, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  8. alpha_nu_916

    i am not a republican; rather, i am a registered democrat. that being said, i must i applaud the creation of a center-right think tank, especially since the right is currently being run by cavemen & religious fanatics.

    February 22, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. Sean

    Unless they truly embrace a center-right position, then it's a waste of time. Until then, the Republican party is being hijacked by conservative extremists who view anyone that doesn't share their narrow vision of what this country should be as a threat that needs to be destroyed. It's time for Republicans to accept that they are not the only people in this country, or the only "real Americans".

    February 22, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. tmart

    Interesting. I wonder if this will start internal "war" within the Republican Party. You have the Tea Party element on the far right, and you have this new "American Action Network" on the, um, "other right". Let 'em duke it out, and hopefully the Republican Party won't have anybody left in it. 🙂

    February 22, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. mary from minnesota

    Ah, Slick. You have bounced back on your feet. I was never worried, though I ferverently hoped you would disappear completely, perhaps to Alaska.

    February 22, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Conservatism equals illiterate ignorance

    They may be going centrist to get funds but trust me those funds will go to extremely right wing nut jobs for elections so how centrist is that really? Show the centrist candidates, bet you do not have JUST ONE!

    February 22, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. jimmm

    GOP, the center? Sounds like an oxymoron.

    February 22, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. IVOTE

    Seems like the Republican party could use a bit of glue to keep them together these days.

    February 22, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. bennie new york

    Why is Coleman not in jail yet?

    February 22, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  16. Joshua College Station Texas

    Just what we need: more extremist think-tank plotters.

    How about some moderates willing to compromise for the good of the American people?! Hooray to Scott brown for crossing over and voting with Democrats on the (albeit small) jobs bill.

    February 22, 2010 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  17. Joshua College Station Texas

    I have a creative conservative idea! Let's demand all the same government services AND lower taxes!

    Yes, I am so creative! Everyone is going to love me!

    February 22, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  18. Michael from Ventura

    I believe we can compete with them on the playing field and beat them with our ideas."
    Ok- I give- WHAT IDEAS other than NO does the grand obstructionist party have?

    February 22, 2010 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. jack

    Maybe you can get a job on Saturday Night Live as a comedian. Then run for office....nah, no one would vote for you.

    February 22, 2010 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  20. Richard in Oakland

    No, you can't beat them with your ideas. Your messaging is not the problem, it's your ideas themselves. That's why, for example, the only way you defeated health care reform was to create confusion and fear based on misinformation and lies.

    February 22, 2010 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  21. Diane Portland Oregon

    Ideas! Ha Ha Ha, Crooks and Thieves everyone

    February 22, 2010 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  22. John

    What's the matter, he dosen't know how to get a job. He's been on the taxpayers payroll for so long dosen't know what work is. And he' probably still pissed off losing to a comedian.

    February 22, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    This is laughable – the GOP wouldn't know the center if it bit them in the bee-hind!

    No matter what they do, their influence will be severely inhibited by the simple fact that if a person can think and has a working memory, the GOP and all of its tried-and-failed policies are toast!

    February 22, 2010 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  24. Ken, AZ

    Why do they need two new groups to say "tax cuts"? That's the only idea conservatives have and it is far from new. Just another way for unemployed conservatives to get rich.

    February 22, 2010 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  25. Mike Bertelsen

    Good to see. More ideas to move us forward.

    February 22, 2010 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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