(WASHINGTON) -- If the goal of No Labels, a bipartisan group launched Monday to increase civility and cooperation in American politics, was to find common ground for partisans from both sides of the aisle, it was successful.
Conservative and liberal activists could agree on one thing -- they hate No Labels.
"I think it's naive to remove partisanship form politics," conservative radio host Dana Loesch told ABC News. "Politics are a competition and the winning side sets the agenda. There's such a wide gap in what both sides believe, it's hard to compromise on anything actually important."
From the opposite end of the political spectrum, liberal blogger Matt Yglesias wrote a post titled "In Praise of Labels," arguing that "the idea that partisanship itself is somehow a bad thing" was misguided.
But beyond an adherence to their own ideologies, some of the skepticism over No Labels derives from what some see as the group's real mission -- not just singing Kumbaya on the Capitol steps, but generating enough interest, support and treasure for a viable third presidential candidate come 2012.
Enter the headliner at the No Labels kickoff, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who spoke before 1,000 No Labels supporters Monday -- a day after flatly denying he had any presidential aspirations on NBC's Meet the Press.
The organizers of No Labels include Democratic fundraiser Nancy Jacobson and Republican strategist Mark McKinnon, who advised George W. Bush and John McCain in their presidential bids. They have said the event held Monday on Bloomberg's home turf was not intended as a launch platform for Bloomberg, but that hasn't quelled the speculation.
McKinnon has said the movement is not intended to be a third party. It plans to form a political action committee to support moderate candidates from both parties, and has already raised $1 million in seed donations.
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