Republican heavyweights form new leadership group

A group of high-profile former Republican officials this week announced a new direction for the Republican Leadership Council (RLC), which will take a big-tent, moderate tack in promoting the GOP.

Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former Sen. John Danforth (Mo.) and former Homeland Security secretary and Gov. Tom Ridge (Pa.) said in a release that the RLC will promote “fiscally conservative, socially inclusive candidates.”

Whitman said in a statement that the party’s landslide losses in last year’s midterms led the group to seek a new direction for the RLC, which will be combined with Whitman’s It’s My Party Too political action committee (IMP-PAC).

“After the losses in 2006, the reaction was overwhelming that we need to get the Republican Party back to its fiscally conservative roots,” Whitman said in a statement. “The combination of the RLC’s proven fundraising prowess and the IMP-PAC’s grassroots strengths will result in a stronger, more effective effort to bring the Republican Party back to its traditional principles.”

The RLC has withered in recent years, and for the most part has not been involved in any campaigns since 2003, according to the release.

The newly revamped group will get involved on local, state and federal levels and will include the Republican Liberty Caucus PAC, an issue-advocacy organization, the group said.