Thursday, April 21, 2011

New RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Invokes Kirk, Dold as Proof That Moderate Republicans Are Alive and Well In Illinois

I have never met her, but I continue to be impressed by Kerry Lester's reporting on the political beat at the Daily Herald. In her latest piece, she sits down with the new Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, and talks about the impact of the Tea Party on the GOP, and other issues. Priebus mentioned new Senator Mark Kirk and new Congressman Bob Dold as proof that moderate Republicans can thrive and survive in Illinois:

Q. We're seeing tremendous tea party growth in the Northwest suburbs. How do you see the tea party affecting the Republican Party both in the state and across the country?

A. I think the tea party movement's great for the Republican Party. I would call it the conservative movement in this country. I've often said the Republican Party is not in competition with the conservative movement in this country. We're part of the conservative movement. I think the tea party's done a good job of focusing in on issues, like for example our out of control debt. ... I think the tea party has brought to the forefront those issues in a very effective way.

Q. But is that tea party growth isolating moderate Republicanss?

A. I don't think so. How could it be? (Senator Mark) Kirk, a moderate, just won in Illinois. And (10th District Rep. Robert) Dold won. I think this issue of where we are fiscally in this country transcends party lines. It doesn't matter if you're Republican or Democrat. I think Republicans and Democrats agree that this president has not followed through on his promises. ... I think Republicans conservatives, they agree with this message. I think that's where they're going to throw Barack Obama out.

Go read the whole thing.


Anonymous said...

This question stands out-either bad preperation or not knowing what he's talking about. I don't think he realizes that the democrats are targeting republican incumbents not helping democrat incumbents or open seats. I don't think he meant to say he's looking to primary republicans but if he knew who dold with a d was, he clearly wasn't totally clueless, she should have called him on it.

Q. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted several suburban districts in Illinois as races they'd like to win back in 2012. What's your strategy there?
A. To keep those seats, we need to recruit the best possible candidates we can, recruit fiscal conservatives that can speak to the truth of where we're going in this country financially.

For what it's worth, the steele era ended with the gop winning 5 us house seats here, an open us senate seat and nearly the governors mansion so it wasn't a total loss. Most people would have taken that november 2008.


Anonymous said...

FOKLAES is correct. While Dold may be primary safe in 2012, Republicans are going to have to primary Walsh and Hultgren is they want to keep those seats. The 8th and 14th sit on the fence and are moderate. They can support a strong traditional values based Republican which seem to be scarce these days or they can or they can vacillate and be attracted to a "blue dog" style Democrat.
Walsh is certainly getting a lot of media coverage in the 8th, but it is not the kind of coverage that is going to be conducive to a victory in 2012. The electorate both R & D slept in the 8th in 2010. They are stirring and will be out in force in 2012. Walsh is beatable.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, I think the guy misspoke, unless they do something goofy, walsh and hultgren won't be primaried unless they are thrown into a district with another incumbent. Lester should have asked for clarification because if the RNC is targeting walsh and hultgren for defeat that's a BIG story, but she's a cub reporter based in chicago learning the ways of the profession and probably not as up on the inside baseball as this stuff.

Anon for future reference in the last 20 years it's virtually unheard of for moderates to primary conservative incumbents unless there is something seriously wrong. The only case of moderate targeting conservative I can think of here is lahood trying to remove peter fitzgerald 8 years ago. There just isn't the political energy on the center of the party that there is in the conservative wing to do what o'donnell did to castle or what lee did to bennett.