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RNC names trio of conservatives to lead platform committee

By Eric DuVall
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RNC names trio of conservatives to lead platform committee
Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus opens the session at the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa on August 29, 2012. Priesbus named a trio of three staunch conservatives to lead the party's platform committee, but said presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump would have some input. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- The Republican National Committee has tapped three party leaders with strong conservative reputations to run its platform committee at this summer's party convention in a bid to allay concerns on the right that presumptive nominee Donald Trump might try to replace conservative orthodoxy on social and economic issues.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the No. 4 Republican in the Senate, will chair the platform committee. Two co-chairs have also been named: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx.

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CNN reported all three have deep ties to the conservative wing of the party and their designation by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is seen as a signal to restive conservatives who were wary Trump might try to shift the party platform toward his positions on trade and social issues like gay marriage, which many have viewed as more liberal.

The Hill reported RNC staff members told business leaders in a closed-door meeting Trump would have input on the party platform, but his preferences would not dictate the party's official positions.

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Trump has made his opposition to free trade deals a centerpiece of his campaign, despite the fact the Wall Street wing of the party has long been in favor of them. And while Trump is on record saying he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman, he has attended gay weddings in the past and has not made opposition to gay marriage a significant part of the campaign thus far -- despite it being a tentpole issue for evangelicals.

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In discussions about how best to unify the GOP behind Trump, many in the party saw his willingness to concede to party orthodoxy on the platform -- the document that sets positions on virtually every issue facing the country domestically and internationally -- as a key, CNN reported.

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