In the heated electoral season and at a time when important fiscal legislation is on Congress’s agenda, there are signs of possible discord within the Republican Party. This has alarmed some observers who worry that this may jeopardize the GOP’s chances in the elections that are its to lose.
In Delaware, Republican Senate candidate Mike Castle lost the Tuesday primaries to Sarah Palin and Tea Party-backed Christine O’Donnell. Media reports suggest the GOP had worked actively to support the nine-term congressman, as it is worried that O’Donnell’s hardline anti-establishment and socially conservative message may cost her support among independents.
"She’s not a viable candidate for any office in the state of Delaware," said the state party chairman, Tom Ross, adding that "she could not be elected dog catcher."
Tensions within the party have also been evident as Congress returned from vacation for the final legislative session before the elections.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), in an attempt to position his party as sensitive to middle-class concerns, said over the weekend that he might back President Barack Obama’s proposal to let the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the richest Americans expire and extend them only for those who make less than $250,000 a year.
However, subsequent reports quoted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as saying he wanted to work to ensure all Americans received tax breaks, regardless of their income.