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GOP Group Launches Listening Tour

Saturday, May 2, 2009 8:40 PM

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With its party struggling to define itself, a group of prominent Republicans launched a listening tour Saturday in a bid to boost the GOP's sagging image and regroup for future elections.


Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., held a town-hall style meeting at a pizza restaurant in the Democratic suburb of Arlington, Va., to hear about people's concerns on issues from the economy and health care to the rising costs of college tuition.


"You can't beat something with nothing, and the other side has something," Bush told a group of about 100 people at the Pie-Tanza pizza parlor. "I don't like it, but they have it and we have to be respectful and mindful of that.


"I hope across the country people will be excited about the prospect of sharing their ideas to bring about a better America," he said.


It was the first meeting of the GOP group National Council for a New America, which was created to rebrand the party's image. The meeting comes after a bad week in which Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter announced he was switching to the Democratic party and Democrat Scott Murphy won a close U.S. House race in a GOP district in upstate New York.


An Associated Press-GfK poll released in April shows that Democrats outnumber Republicans by 46 percent to 28 percent, including those leaning toward either party.


The national council, which plans listening sessions in other cities, also includes Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Sen. John McCain. Republican aides on Capitol Hill disclosed the group this past Wednesday just before Obama started a news conference to mark his first 100 days in office. The group is partly highlighting their differences with the Republican National Committee's political strategy.


That group and a similar one -- Resurgent Republic, a collection of the party's senior strategists == are meant to be Republican roadshows outside Washington's circus tent.


Still, notably absent from either group's rosters are the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has his own policy group. Others mentioned as potential 2012 candidates and missing are South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, although the latter is a close McCain ally.


Cantor said he wanted to focus the meeting on "bread and butter" issues such as the rising costs of education and health care, which resonate the most with Americans right now.


"These are discussions that need to occur with the American people of any political stripe," he said. "We need to make sure, the discussions, I believe, should be focused on the principles that have made America great -- the principles of freedom and opportunity."

__________________________

I know this article was written by an AP writer, and it's not like they know how to tell the truth, but, I am particularly bothered by this sentence-

"The group is partly highlighting their differences with the Republican National Committee's political strategy."

To me, when I see the names of the people involved in this group, I must believe the AP is not making things up. I have noted that some names of those Republicans/Conservatives that I have much respect for Gov. Sarah Palin and Senator Jim DeMint are not a part of this group. I was very dissapointed to see Gov. Jindals name included. This is surely a group of "moderates" who are taking their "disunite the Republican Party" tour on the road. And we wonder why we can't win!!!

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Something else I would like to add to my above comments. When the election for the RNC Chairmanship came up, I read an article that stated that there were some back-room deals and phone calls being made to the 168 who would be voting on the Chairmanship. The article said something like, if there was no clear winner in the first 2 or so rounds, then the push was to get behind Steele. I believe that many considered the fact that Steele is an African American, and, that he would be the Republican counterpart to President Obama. For weeks before the election, much information was coming out about Steele's "moderate" record, and it turned alot of Conservatives off. My personal choice was Ken Blackwell, not because he was an African American, but, because he is a Conservative, and, he had done his homework, had detailed plans on how he would Chair the GOP, which I believed would have addressed many of the downfalls during Duncan's years as the head. He included plans on bringing young members to the party, techonological ideas, and has been successful and proven to be electable in his past.

Now that we have Steele as the Chair, he began by sounding like the gaffe machine Joe Biden, or were they gaffes?. He knocked Rush Limbaugh, right at the time that the Liberals were intensely talking about the "Fairness Doctrine", he stated on national TV that concerning abortion he believes that "it is a womans right to choose", after claiming to be pro-life before his election. In his record he has stated that he believes that we "need alternative energies, including moving to "hybrid" vehicles, and, he made no statement that he would include oil, gas and coal, until we can get to alternatives more cost efficiently and in usable forms. There is no question at all that Michael Steele is a "moderate."

So, why then has this new group formed with the likes of McCain, Cantor, Romney and others of the same stripe promoting "their differences" with the RNC? Is Michael Steele not "modeate" enough for them? because you know darn well they are not out promoting a return to Conservatism.

Since their first townhall meeting occured in northern Virginia, did anyone from this site attend that townhall meeting?
It disturbs me that a group of "Republicans" wants to traverse the country discussing the important issues of the day in liberal leaning areas. It also disturbs me that right off the bat they want to talk about "the rising cost of education" and Healthcare. Whenever national politicians talk of anything they can't help but look for government solutions. We CONSERVATIVES know that GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE SOLUTION,

This is so easy to understand. The government CANNOT make anything more affordable. They can only change who pays for them and how they are paid for. 100% of the time these things become less affordable. Ever since the federal government has gotten involved in student loans and grants the cost of tuition has skyrocketed. When the federal government got involved in home mortgage insurance the cost of homes skyrocketed. As the federal government puts more and more people on medicare and medicaid the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing.

What they should be doing is going into liberal areas and asking the questions:

What do you believe the federal government does better than private companies?
Would you rather make decisions on how you live your life or have the government do it?
Do you believe that large corporations manipulate government policy?
Do you believe GE is a large corporation?
Do you believe GE has manipulated the world on global warming to sell their windfarms and lights?
Would you rather have your laws created by your state legislature and governor, or by the congress and the President?
Would you like to be wealthy someday?
Do you believe wealthy people should pay for those people who DON"T wish to be wealthy.

Stuff like that!
You bring up some really great points Mark. I really like your references to GE, the Obama company. One thing I would change though would be in your last sentence. Those that have no desire for wealth have a need to bring the wealthy down to their level, and then everyone is "equal." They have no clue that the wealthy are who create jobs, which enables them to buy their ipods, blackberry's, bling and fancy duds. How about the Obama's beliefe in redistribution of wealth, when Queen Michelle shows up at a "food bank" wearing $540.00 sneakers. They are the gift that keeps on giving, and giving and giving. I hope they keep up the giving!

Mark Collins said:
It disturbs me that a group of "Republicans" wants to traverse the country discussing the important issues of the day in liberal leaning areas. It also disturbs me that right off the bat they want to talk about "the rising cost of education" and Healthcare. Whenever national politicians talk of anything they can't help but look for government solutions. We CONSERVATIVES know that GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE SOLUTION,

This is so easy to understand. The government CANNOT make anything more affordable. They can only change who pays for them and how they are paid for. 100% of the time these things become less affordable. Ever since the federal government has gotten involved in student loans and grants the cost of tuition has skyrocketed. When the federal government got involved in home mortgage insurance the cost of homes skyrocketed. As the federal government puts more and more people on medicare and medicaid the cost of healthcare is skyrocketing.

What they should be doing is going into liberal areas and asking the questions:

What do you believe the federal government does better than private companies?
Would you rather make decisions on how you live your life or have the government do it?
Do you believe that large corporations manipulate government policy?
Do you believe GE is a large corporation?
Do you believe GE has manipulated the world on global warming to sell their windfarms and lights?
Would you rather have your laws created by your state legislature and governor, or by the congress and the President?
Would you like to be wealthy someday?
Do you believe wealthy people should pay for those people who DON"T wish to be wealthy.

Stuff like that!
Sandy,

I sent you and dozens of other people a copy of the May 6th GOPUSA Eagle and my analysis last week. For some reason your E-mail couldn't be delivered. Unfortunately I am not skillful enough to cut and paste that into this discussion. I will keep working on it. I did go to the event, and it definitely was eye-opening. Apparently Rob Wittman is part of the NCNA. I hope to talk to him about it later today.
Perhaps, the Republicans, like the Democrats, have been looking for unity in all the wrong places -
Perhaps, both parties, have been looking for moral ascendancy in all the wrong places as well.
The pattern the voters have of alternately rejecting both Democrat and Republican argues that both parties aim at what proves to be the wrong target.
Perhaps all we really need is what we already have – but have not yet recognized with gratitude.
Please continue at
http://www.rpvnetwork.org/forum/topics/40-are-selfproclaimed?commen...

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