Tuesday, May 06, 2008
GOP Candidates "On their own"?
In what might be really bad news for Congressman Tim, The Hill.com posted the following today...
Gingrich warns GOP of ‘real disaster' this fall
By Jackie Kucinich
Posted: 05/06/08 01:57 PM [ET]
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is calling on Republicans to seek "real change to avoid a real disaster" in the wake of another Democratic victory in a special election on Saturday.
In a letter to House Republicans posted on www.newt.org, Gingrich urges House leaders to call an “emergency meeting” of House Republicans to address what he describes as a “catastrophic collapse of trust in Republicans".
“If a majority of the House Republicans vote for real change, they should instruct Republican Leader John Boehner [Ohio] and his team to come back with a new plan by the Wednesday before the Memorial Day recess,” Gingrich wrote. “This plan should involve real change in legislative, communications, and campaign strategy and involve immediate, real action, including a complete overhaul of the Congressional Campaign Committee.”
Gingrich then outlined nine acts of “real change” including the gas tax holiday and an earmark moratorium.
Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman, said, “Leader Boehner certainly agrees - and has said repeatedly -- that Republicans can only succeed this year by being agents of change and reform. The American people know that Washington is broken, and we have to convince them that we can fix it. We have been clear over the past year that we have two jobs: defining the Democrats and defining ourselves. In the coming weeks, we will be laying out Republican policies that embody the sort of changes we need.”
Democrats triumphed in a special election on Saturday in Louisiana for retired Rep. Richard Baker’s (R-La.) seat. In March, Democrats also won retired Rep. Dennis Hastert's (R-Ill.) seat in a special election.
The Gingrich letter came as no surprise to National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.), who exchanged e-mails with the former Speaker Monday night.
Excerpts of the e-mails obtained by The Hill show that Cole outlined his concerns in three points, stressing that in order to be a strong party, each individual GOP candidate would have to be able to pull their own weight. Cole’s points were discussed during the House GOP Conference meeting Tuesday morning and were echoed in Gingrich's letter.
"Whether they be incumbents or candidates running as challengers or in open seats, Republican candidates must be financially capable of running competitive races, structured to execute strategic plans that put them in a position to win, surround themselves with sound advisors and build grassroots networks that offer them the opportunity and ability to communicate, energize and turnout voters this election. When Republican candidates do not prepare and work towards victory, the NRCC will not be in a position to do it for them." Cole wrote. "To be competitive, the members of our Republican Conference must continue to support this institution with their energy and resources for the remainder of the cycle."
He also stressed the importance of having a platform and message unique from the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
"Simply relying on the message of our Presidential nominee and the failures of the Democrat Majority is not enough to convince voters that in a time of war and economic unease that Republicans should be handed victory," Cole stated.
What does this mean for Congressman Tim?
He better get his Club for Growth ducks in order, as the NRCC won't be there in the stretch. Does this mean a centrist Republican would consider a primary challenge, knowing that they could make the case that they would be more electable in November?
Also, will Tim run away from his unconditional support of Bush, Cheney and McCain?
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