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Steele: GOP to 'embrace' Tea Party

Jan. 6, 2010 at 3:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The Republican Party will "embrace" the grassroots conservative activists of the tea party movement, the Republican National Committee chairman says.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele, appearing Wednesday on "Fox and Friends," said the right-wing populist movement "puts in stark relief where the American people are" and asserted it's important for the GOP to "understand this so that we can move towards it, embrace it, and then move into the future."

Steele credited the wins of Republican gubernatorial candidates in Virginia and New Jersey last year on the movement of the GOP toward the positions of the tea party backers, saying, "I think it's what you saw in special elections that have been held since early 2009, where Republicans have won a significant number of special elections."

The GOP leader predicted that as the mid-term November 2010 elections approach, it will be "one of those moments where we can crystallize that new foundational support for our principles and tie it" to Republican positions on such issues as healthcare and organized labor.

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