HENNEN: Some people are wringing their hands saying, “This is an example of why the party needs to change, to hear the message of Specter,” that, as Colin Powell said, the Republican Party needs to moderate. Do you think the Republican Party needs to moderate? Is that the message of the Specter defection, or the state of the party these days?
CHENEY: No I don’t. I think it would be a mistake for us to moderate. This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas…what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and Constitutional principles. You know, when you add all those things up the idea that we ought to moderate basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy. I for one am not prepared to do that, and I think most us aren’t.
but some of "us," apparently, are
Even as Gov. Charlie Crist comes under fire from Florida conservatives, he will be getting some important political backing today as he announces that he’s running for the Senate in Florida.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee will be endorsing Crist, according to a senior Hill operative, marking the first time it has taken sides (for a non-incumbent) in a competitive GOP primary this election cycle.
The committee’s decision will make it tougher for former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio to raise money against Crist, given that the party has given the governor its stamp of approval. Rubio has won support from Florida conservatives and has a base in the Cuban-American community, but will need to raise a significant amount of money to credibly compete against Crist in the primary.
so what? Well, Crist is kind of an outlier
among GOP governors who are looking at '12
The Stimulus Set-To: Crist was, by far, the most prominent Republican elected official to speak out in favor of President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package -- even appearing with the president at an event in the Sunshine State touting the plan
. Republican base voters expressed outrage at such spending by the federal government -- taking out their frustration at a series of town halls nationwide on April 15. Crist's primary against Rubio will serve as a litmus test for how politically potent the stimulus package will be in 2010 and beyond. Every poll points to a relatively pedestrian primary victory for Crist over Rubio but the latter candidate is on the right side of the stimulus issue in terms of the base.
and his putative opponent, a conservative from the politically powerful cuban community, is running in support of
the congressional Republicans who put up a solid front against the package
Meanwhile, State Representative Marco Rubio, 37, a Miami Republican and former House speaker, announced last week that he would run for the Senate with a tough appeal to conservatives. “Some believe the path to security and prosperity is a larger government involvement in our economy,” Mr. Rubio said in a videotaped statement. He added, “The majority of us don’t agree with that view.”
...He has overseen billions in budget cuts that are still being felt, while strongly backing the Obama administration’s stimulus. Mr. Crist even appeared with the president in Fort Myers to rally support for it. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Miami Beach, recently told a local reporter that “diehard Republicans are still mad at Charlie” for his fiscal policy.
and the NRSC was supposed to be staying out of it
“All the signals I’ve been getting is that he probably will [get into the race], but I don’t want to make any announcements for him, because he’s the one who will ultimately decide whether to pull the trigger or not,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
But Cornyn added that he will not intervene in a contested primary, in which Crist would be facing former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio. Rubio, a conservative Republican, announced his candidacy Tuesday and has been critical of Crist for supporting President Barack Obama’s stimulus proposal.
but that was last week.
Before Rush and Dick said the Republican party had to chase out the moderates (Michael Steele said they could stay, as long as they shut up and do what they're told
). Guess that's not polling very well.
I guess the NRSC is more frightened of paying for a Florida Senate race than they are of Rush and Dick. Maybe if they offered to pick up the bills?
edit: awesome. Florida conservatives are promising a fight, and they say that Jeb Bush is secretly on their side
- maybe because Cornyn bases his endorsement
in part on Crist cleaning up the mess Bush left behind him?