Illinois Review

Writing in National JournalBeth Reinhard reports that the Republican Party is gearing up to exorcise itself of conservative and Tea Party elements it believes will lead the GOP to defeat in 2014.

“Hopefully we’ll go into eight to 10 races and beat the snot out of them,” said former Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, whose new political group, Defending Main Street, aims to raise $8 million to fend off Tea Party challenges against more mainstream Republican incumbents. “We’re going to be very aggressive and we’re going to get in their faces.”

Tactics being discussed among Republican consultants, donors, and party leaders include “running attack ads against Tea Party candidates; overthrowing Ron Paul’s libertarians who have significant influence in the Iowa and Minnesota state parties; promoting open primaries over nominating conventions; and countering conservative organizations like Heritage Action, the Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks.

LaTourette’s Defending Main Street group has identified several Republican politicians it may work to defend, including Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho, Shelley Moore Capito who is running for the Senate in West Virginia, and Representatives Aaron Schock and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who have recently drawn criticism from conservative organizations such as Club for Growth.

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