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Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Breaking: Michael Castle has internal polling showing Spivack gaining ground
How else can you explain his quote in this AP story? House GOP centrists alarmed by 'Values Agenda'WASHINGTON — Moderate Republicans say a planned summer push by the House leadership on conservative causes like gun rights and new abortion restrictions threatens the re-election prospects of embattled centrists, who are key to the party's drive to hold Congress.
Frustrated and angry, they say the leadership's new American Values Agenda, a list of initiatives heavy on ideological themes, seems short-sighted and ill-timed considering that few conservatives are at serious risk in November.
"It was stupid and gross," said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn. "They have this obsession to satisfy conservative Republicans who will probably be re-elected no matter what happens. They get job satisfaction, but they are making it more difficult for me to win my race."
Shays and others said the announcement of the agenda took them by surprise, particularly after House Republicans seemed to be back on track after a few strong weeks of emphasizing new fiscal controls and a push on national security issues. House moderates have also been supportive of the leadership's hard line against the idea of potential citizenship for illegal immigrants, saying that reflects public sentiment.
But they fear that this new agenda could backfire by stirring independent voters to reject centrist candidates even if they do not totally embrace the party leadership's conservative tilt.
"I don't think it is a good agenda to go into the election cycle with," said Rep. Michael N. Castle of Delaware, another moderate (sic) Republican.
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