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Priebus sees conservative activist groups as GOP ‘asset’

Praises outside groups that have feuded with Boehner

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday he considers outside conservative groups to be an "asset" to the party, even though House Speaker John A. Boehner recently rebuked the groups as motivated by their own fundraising.

"You've got 60 million people walking through the Republican door," he told MSNBC's The Daily Rundown, noting those people will have an array of opinions.

"Any group or any person that wants to help the cause … I welcome in the door," he said.

Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, recently lashed out at groups for trying to scuttle a compromise struck by Democratic and GOP budget negotiators, saying they tend to manipulate his members for their own ends.

Many of the groups, including Heritage for Action, the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund have responded in kind, raising the prospect of a split int he party.

Political observers say the Republican Party is vulnerable to disunion when conservatives on the far-right decide to challenge more established incumbents in primary elections. They cater to an energetic base in the primary, only to lose in general elections, the thinking goes.

Mr. Priebus rejected that notion when challenged by MSNBC host Chuck Todd, saying politicians from his home state of Wisconsin faced primaries before uniting the party.

"It all works out," he said.

 

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