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Another Day, Another GOP Attempt to Rebrand the Party Another Day, Another GOP Attempt to Rebrand the Party

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Politics

Another Day, Another GOP Attempt to Rebrand the Party

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has taken calculated, concrete steps to emerge as a next-generation leader of a rudderless party and put a 21st-century stamp on the conservative movement. ((AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite))

photo of Beth Reinhard
February 13, 2013

Just what the world needs: another super PAC?

NewRepublican.org is the brainchild of GOP consultant and CNN pundit Alex Castellanos, whose clients have included Mitt Romney and former President George W. Bush. Castellanos is joining a growing cottage industry of Republicans who are trying to rebrand and rebuild the party as President Obama begins his second term. He points to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as role models, 

“If you are tired of the old, slow, dumb, top-down Washington way of doing things, you are thinking like a new Republican,” Castellanos said, describing his new initiative as a “super PAC marries a think tank.”

 

The group is not advocating that the GOP abandon its conservative principles; rather that the party figure out how to present them in a more modern and effective way. Exit polls from the 2012 presidential election found that many voters perceived Romney, a wealthy retired executive, as out of touch with their concerns. Castellanos praised Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for trying to bridge that gap when he delivered the party’s official response to the State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

"Mr. President, I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in,” said Rubio, positioning himself as the anti-Romney presidential candidate in 2016.  “I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors."

It should be noted before the tea party works itself into a lather that the new group does not intend to take down Republican primary candidates it views as out of the mainstream or unelectable. Karl Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads, recently launched an offshoot that intends to pick winners and losers in GOP primaries. Conservative activists are bristling at the idea of the political establishment telling voters what to do.

“There’s probably enough division in the Republican Party right now,” Castellanos said. “We want to provide provide alternatives for governing so people have a reason to vote Republican. Otherwise we are just the party of ‘no.’ " 

Castellanos declined to say how much money he was investing in the new group or receiving from other donors, saying the group would be filing the required reports with the Federal Election Commission.

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