Jarrett: GOP leadership becoming extreme

Nov. 1, 2009 at 9:58 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The leadership of the U.S. Republican Party is "becoming more extreme" and marginalized, a top White House adviser said Sunday.

Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said on ABC's "This Week" the late withdrawal of a moderate Republican contender from an upstate New York congressional seat last week was evidence that GOP party leaders "are becoming more and more extreme and more and more marginalized. Look at the number of people who actually say that they are registered, consider themselves a Republican."

Republican candidate Dawn Scozzafava withdrew from Tuesday's special election to replace former Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., who was appointed Secretary of the Army by President Barack Obama. Scozzafava, widely regarded as a social moderate, said she lacked the resources to respond to charges against her by Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman, who has been endorsed by prominent Republicans -- including Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New York Gov. George Pataki -- and has been endorsed by the New York Post newspaper.

Jarrett said Scozzafava's situation presents Democrats with an opportunity to "do ... what we've always done, and that is, we're going reach out, we're going to try to include as many people to be a part of our governing process, being open, being transparent, and we're going to let the American people decide."

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