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Chambliss lays out his vision for the GOP: We’ll pressure moderates to turn to the right.

By Ali Frick  

"Chambliss lays out his vision for the GOP: We’ll pressure moderates to turn to the right."

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Fresh off his victory in yesterday’s run-off Senate race, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) told Glenn Beck today that he had won a “big victory on basic conservative principles.” He lauded Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) efforts on his behalf, and told Beck that he would push moderate Republicans to move rightward:

BECK: Yeah. Do you think the Republicans are going to get it? … I mean, do you think you are going to be able to hold 40 together on some of the big issues of the day?

CHAMBLISS: [...] Having that tighter margin I think is going to give us an opportunity to go to some of our moderates who have not always voted with conservatives and say, look, you know, this is the opportunity we have to define our party, this is the opportunity we have to ultimately move back in the majority. If we don’t stick together, then it’s over. Our movement’s going to be delayed and delayed. But if we do stick together and then what you’re going to find in your state where you’re elected as a moderate, you are going to find folks rallying around you.

Listen here:

A recent Gallup poll found that only 35 percent of independents want the Republican party to become more conservative. In total, 61 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the party.

Transcript:

CHAMBLISS: We had a great turnout and a big victory on basic conservative principles, and I hope we take something away as a party from this particular runoff.

BECK: I don’t — you know, that leads me to my question because I don’t think that the party gets it yet. I really don’t. I mean, they are a party that tries to distance themselves from Sarah Palin. You saw how popular she is down in your state.

CHAMBLISS: She is electric. She brought just all kinds of people to us, you know, whether it was Joe the plumber types or folks sitting in their coats and ties. She just packed every house we were in. On Monday we had four different stops around the state and when she walks in the room, there’s an electricity you just can’t believe.

BECK: Yeah. Do you think the Republicans are going to get it? I mean, I heard you say yesterday, you said, “I’m going to be the 41st senator to stand up against, you know, gun rights being taken away,” et cetera, et cetera. Do you really think we’ve got 40 other Republicans, Senator? I’m just so afraid. I mean, if you are a student of history, I’m sure you are, you know that during the Great Depression when going tough and they were promising free bread and free everything to people, I mean, the Republican party was called the “Me too” party because there were a lot of people that just defected and said, “Yeah, yeah, me, too, I’ll do that, too.” I mean, do you think you are going to be able to hold 40 together on some of the big issues of the day?

CHAMBLISS: You know, Glenn, I think that having 41 and hopefully we’re going to have 42 if my buddy Norm comes through but having that tighter margin I think is going to give us an opportunity to go to some of our moderates who have not always voted with conservatives and say, look, you know, this is the opportunity we have to define our party, this is the opportunity we have to ultimately move back in the majority. If we don’t stick together, then it’s over. Our movement’s going to be delayed and delayed. But if we do stick together and then what you’re going to find in your state where you’re elected as a moderate, you are going to find folks rallying around you. Whether we can do that and sell that to them, I don’t know. But I think it does give us the opportunity to do that.

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