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Republicans' new litmus test for 2010 candidates: only conservatives need apply

November 24, 2009 |  8:40 am

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In an attempt to reclaim the Grand Old Party for conservatives, a group of Republican National Committee members is circulating a 10-point platform for the 2010 elections. The platform opposes gun control, abortion, gay marriage and President Obama's healthcare reform, among other issues. The catch: Only candidates who agree with at least eight of the principles would get funding from the Republican Party.

"The goal of the resolution is to take a position ... towards reclaiming the Republican Party’s conservative bona fides,” said Committeeman James Bopp, who authored the resolution. “We are open to diverse views. But you have to agree with us most of the time.

Conservatives like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin clashed with party officials last month by backing a conservative over the party's nominee in 23rd Congressional District in New York. The effort to further purify the party ideologically could pose new problems for Chairman Michael Steele as he tries to recruit centrist Republicans to run in congressional districts that lean Democratic.

But conservatives within the party are adamant. They want candidates to abide by a litmus test they are calling Reagan’s Unity Principle. Here's the full list.

(1) Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;
(2) Market-based healthcare reform and oppose Obama-style government-run healthcare;
(3) Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap-and-trade legislation;
(4) Workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing "card check";
(5) Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
(6) Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
(7) Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;
(8) Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
(9) Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing healthcare rationing and denial of healthcare and government funding of abortion; and
(10) The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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