With the popularity of Governor Sarah Palin providing lift to the GOP ticket, Republicans are starting to feel better about races for Congress and at the state level. But most of them are missing the point of her popularity and may be personally disappointed on Election Day, Richard A. Viguerie said.
"Too many Republican candidates think Governor Palin is popular because of her gender or because she's a fresh face with a 'cool' life story. They think they can hold onto her skirt and that her popularity will help carry them to victory," said Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.
"The truth is, 'It's Palin's principles, stupid!' It's what she represents, as a reformer fighting corruption, even in her own party. It's because you can believe her when she says she will wage war on the corrupt Washington establishment. That's not something you can say about most candidates, who stood by throughout their careers doing precisely nothing about the culture of corruption that infests Washington and politics in general.
"And she's popular because she holds to the core beliefs of the coalition that elected Ronald Reagan in two landslides--on taxes, spending, the role of government, and traditional ideas of right and wrong.
"The popularity of Palin--and the heightened popularity of John McCain, who selected her as his political soul mate--won't help other Republicans unless they also hold to those principles and campaign credibly on those principles.
At a minimum, Republican candidates must demand the top-to-bottom removal of the Republican leadership that nearly sank the party over the past few years. That includes the leadership in Congress, the Bush administration, and GOP officials at the national level and in most states.
Republican candidates must tell us how they'll shut down the lobbyist-and-Big-Government political machines that dominate the nation's capital and most state capitals. And candidates for Congress must tell us how they'll tear K Street down to street level and sow salt in the earth so that nothing ever grows there again."
Said Viguerie: "It's a cliche, but it's true: The American people are fed up, and want change. By picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has gone a long way in convincing voters that he will be a warrior for the right kind of change. But lower-level Republicans will do poorly unless they demonstrate clearly and credibly that they will be on the front lines of the epic battles to come."