A Third Party is Not the Goal, Repopulating the GOP Is

This morning, FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe appeared on CSPAN to discuss the latest budget battle, as well as the perceived fracturing inside of the GOP.  Kibbe was asked several questions about tactics, and about alternatives to ObamaCare, (which can be found here) but much of the interview was focused on the power struggle happening now inside the Republican party. 


It’s an eight minute interview, which I encourage you to watch in its entirety. But for the purpose of this post, I want to focus on a narrative that is quickly making its way around the internet. Actually, let me correct myself: the false narrative that is quickly making its way around the internet.

During the interview, Kibbe was asked a question, directly quoting the lines below from this piece from the Washington Times 

A surprisingly number of prominent Republicans are saying that if the GOP loses the 2016 presidential elections, the party will go the way of the Whigs — or formally split into a moderate party and a conservative party.

Kibbe’s response has been fodder for some who wish to see the GOP disintegrate, mainly bloggers and activists on the left.  Let’s look at what he actually said first.

I think that’s a real possibility because you’re seeing this, this clash between the new generation.  And to me, it’s not, it’s not just the old wing of the Republican party versus the new wing, you’re really seeing a disintermediation in politics. It’s already happened with the Democratic party, it’s happening with the Republican party now.  And grassroots activists have an ability to self organize, to fund candidates that they’re more interested in, going right around the Republican National Committee and the Senatorial Committee, that’s, that’s the new reality, more democratized, and Republicans should come to terms with that. They still want to control things from the top down, and if they do that, there will absolutely be a split.  But my prediction would be that, that we take over the Republican party, and they go the way of the Whigs.

Read the last sentence there again.  Kibbe is not advocating for a third party or a split, as some would like you to believe.  He’s continuing to talk about what we as a movement began talking about as early as 2008 – repopulating the Republican party.

When asked, “we being?”, Kibbe further clarified:

We being activists that believe in freedom. You know, I don’t call it the Tea Party anymore. I think it’s broader than that. It’s constitutional conservatives, it’s libertarians, it’s Tea Partiers, it’s a lot of independents that had rationally opted out of politics because they didn’t see a choice between the two parties. That’s the future.  And I think that’s what happened in 2010, that a lot of independents showed up because they were worried about the government take over of health care.  They were worried, that, too much Washington DC, too much spending and too much debt was the boot on the throat of the American economy. I think we’re going to have that conversation again in 2014. 

There is nothing in Kibbe’s statements today that should lead anyone to believe that we want or encourage a third party.  Those saying otherwise are not being honest, and are most likely working to weaken the GOP, or FreedomWorks, for their own gain. He is simply stating a fact that there is a growing dissatisfaction with politics as usual, and the Republican party should take notice. 

We will continue to be a service center to millions of freedom minded Americans, and work together to elect leaders in Congress who will fight these principled battles to restore fiscal sanity and individual liberties. Leaders like Cruz, Paul, and Lee, which if not for groups like FreedomWorks, and our dedicated activists, would not be in Congress today.

We are fighting for the heart and soul of the Republican party. It will not be easy.  We understand that in this two party system we must work within the Republican party to make a lasting impact, and that’s exactly what we will do. We know it’s an uphill battle, and a long one, but we’re in it for the long haul. We are optimistic. Liberty is trending. 

Follow Kristina Ribali on twitter.

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