Last night, CNN reported that leaders of the GOP are launching an initiative called the National Council for a New America as a “new effort to revive the image of the Republican Party.” The party heavyweights spearheading the group include the House and Senate Republican leadership, including Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA); former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney; former Florida governor Jeb Bush; and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Though the letter announcing the National Council promised an “open policy debate” with “not a Republican-only forum,” Cantor disputed the notion that the initiative is actually a move to shift the party away from far-right ideas. Speaking on CNN last night, Cantor admitted it is “not so much a rebranding effort,” but an avenue to “begin to lay out the solutions that Republicans have.” Watch it:
Conspicuously absent from the list of Republican heavyweights participating in the effort is current RNC Chairman Michael Steele. Steele was elected on a platform to rebrand the GOP, promising an “off the hook” public relations campaign. But after a string of missteps, conservatives are now pushing a resolution to revoke the Chairman’s power to dole out money.
Despite Steele’s historic election as the first African American to lead the GOP, the party appears to be marginalizing his power while building its image based on the recycled ideas of Newt Gingrich.
The Politico reports that although Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) had been invited to the join the National Council for a New America, she has not responded to the request.
On CSPAN’s Washington Journal, Newt Gingrich claimed that he is not a part of the rebranding effort because he is not currently “in office.” But Council members Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are not in elected office as well.