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Bozell slams Republican establishment

Conservative firebrand Brent Bozell said Saturday that while he's open to "breaking bread" with moderates, any work with establishment groups in coming elections must be on "our terms, with our vision and our agenda."

"Take it or leave it.  Our days of playing second fiddle to moderates are over," the ForAmerica chairman said.

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Bozell delivered a fierce address to the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), tearing down a slate of the party's most prominent establishment figures.

Bozell called the Conservative Victory Project, a super PAC launched by Karl Rove and his allies to support what they find to be the most electable conservative candidates in primaries, "the ultimate in cynical arrogance." Many Republicans believe weak candidates elected with grassroots support in primaries cost the GOP winnable races in 2012.

And proposing to define "what a conservative isn't," Bozell railed against a veritable who's-who of Republican leaders, slamming potential presidential contenders Rep. Paul Ryan, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Each, he said, should reconsider their current policy prescriptions if they have aspirations to run for national office.

To Ryan, Bozell said that while "you're a good man and you mean well," his proposed budget "is, literally, Democrat Lite."

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Bozell says Ryan, if he is looking toward a presidential run, should "rip that budget up" and come back with a revised one.

"Watch what happens to both your national aspirations, and your legacy," he said.

He charged that Bush is undermining his potential political future by expressing support for tax increases to cut the deficit, and that McDonnell should "forget" his national aspirations because he leaves office "punishing Virginia with the largest tax increase in history." McDonnell is supporting a transportation tax hike.

Bozell went on to attack party elders, as well, saying that Haley Barbour is "out of tune [and]…out of line" for criticizing the Club for Growth. The former Mississippi governor told a gathering of Republicans that party leaders should discourage donors from contributing to the Club.

And he called out Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for failing to repeal President Obama's healthcare law.

"You’ve done nothing for over two years but give us excuses and more commitments that tomorrow, yes tomorrow, you’ll honor your promises.  Gentlemen, where promises are concerned, you are not what you promised to be," he said.


--This report was updated at 3:53 p.m.


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