Entries in Republican Leadership Conference (2)


Senate Republicans Reshuffle Leadership

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican senators held a closed-door secret ballot vote Wednesday on the new makeup of their leadership, after Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced in September that he will step down as the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

Joining Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., will be Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Freshman Sen. Blunt ran in a tight race for the Republicans’ number five spot, beating Tea Party freshman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., for the vice-chair of the Republican Conference. While the vote was close -- 25 to 22 -- the match-up was worthy of note: a more establishment Republican against a Tea Party Republican.

Barrasso, currently in the number five position, moves up to the number four position, as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.

Barrasso replaces Thune, who was moved up from the fourth spot to the number three spot as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, which was the position made free with Alexander’s departure from the leadership. The position spearheads the messaging efforts for the conference.

These changes officially go into effect in January, when Alexander finishes his duties as the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bachmann Hones Same Themes Friday that Made Her a Star Monday

ABC News(NEW ORLEANS) -- With tongue planted firmly in a well-rouged cheek, Michele Bachmann told a meeting of Republican activists Friday that she would rise to the difficult challenge of cutting federal spending for liberal sacred cows.

“Cutting spending for Planned Parenthood will be very hard. Cutting spending for NPR, very hard. Cutting spending for bullet trains to nowhere will be very hard… and this is going to be the hardest -- cutting spending for the Cowboy Poetry Festival,” Rep. Bachmann, R- Minn., told the Republican Leadership Conference Friday in New Orleans.

Capping what has been a very good week for the three-term Minnesota congresswoman, Bachmann hit on many of the same conservative themes and applause lines that made her the breakout star of the GOP pack during a televised debate on Monday.  

On Friday she worked to hone those same themes, seemingly practicing material for upcoming stump speeches, and made a point to appeal to each wing of the Republican party.

Bachmann said she alone can unite the sometimes disparate factions of the GOP, embracing the ideologies of fiscal conservatives, the religious right, libertarians, neocons and the Tea Party movement.

“We need to engage the strategy of the three-legged stool.  We need peace-through-strength Republicans and I’m one of those; We need fiscal conservatives and I’m one of those; And we most certainly need to add social conservatives, and I am one of those,” she said.

Since Monday’s debate in New Hampshire, at which she formally announced she would seek the presidency,  Bachmann has seen a jump in the polls, announced she is writing a memoir and appeared on several television news programs.

On Friday she again appeared on the same stage as many of those same contenders and in a bright white dress distinguished herself immediately from the drab dark suits worn by her all male competition.

Speaking before a sympathetic audience that applauded frequently, responded to her questions and rose in an ovation following her remarks, Bachmann used the stage to assail President Obama, attack his health care plan and call for dramatic cuts in federal spending.

She assailed the EPA, as an agency that has concocted concerns over global warming to push for cap-and-trade and tell you what “car you’re supposed to drive and what light bulb you’re supposed to use.”

To address each leg of that “three-legged stool” she attacked President Obama’s decision to attack Libya and reaffirmed her staunch anti-abortion position.

In a comment on Libya, Bachmann telegraphed a message to the religious right, subtly quoting a Bible passage while condemning Obama’s leadership.

“As president, we will lead from the front. We will be the head not the tail,” she said, quoting the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio