GOP needs to rein in taxes and spending to get Tea Party votes
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey has warned Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele that his plans to align the Republican Party with the "tea party" movement will fail unless Mr. Steele proves his bona fides on taxing-and-spending issues.I think the best way to get candidates who conform to these requirements is to work to get them nominated in the primaries. After a candidate clears that hurdle then the party can decide how much support they will get based on their chances of winning in the general election. If candidates know what it is going to take to get the Tea Party voters support the party does not need any particular test. Right now, a candidate would be pretty foolish to blow off these voters the way the Democrats have until now.
Mr. Armey told The Washington Times that he had told the chairman that if the Republican Party wants to earn the trust of skeptical tea partiers, it must show it is serious about "not lying to its voters" on those issues as it did in the George W. Bush administration.
Mr. Steele, regarded with suspicion by some RNC members, including some conservatives, has sought to address tea-party events and has called himself a "tea partier."
But Mr. Armey says he told Mr. Steele that he has not gained the trust of the movement, though he said one way to change that would be for Mr. Steele to drop his objections to two resolutions being proposed by the tea-party-friendly, 24-member National Republican Conservative Caucus during the four-day meeting of the Republican National Committee at a Waikiki Beach resort hotel.
"I could support both of the resolutions," said Mr. Armey, who also is chairman of FreedomWorks, which has helped organize many of the biggest tea-party protests.
The RNC's Resolutions Committee was scheduled to meet on the two resolutions Thursday and the full committee will act Friday.
One is tagged as the "accountability resolution." It would call on the RNC chairman to confirm that a House, Senate or gubernatorial candidate seeking money from the RNC has a predominantly free-market, small-government voting record.
The other is the so-called "Reagan resolution" that would require that a candidate agree with at least 80 percent of the Republican Party's core beliefs in order to get financial and campaign-management help from the RNC.