AP reports that a group of former GOP officeholders launched a new advertising campaign today urging the Republican Party to "come back to the mainstream." The problem lies with the "extremist element that controls the Republican Party," said former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, who added that these extremists have "polarized this country."
In its ads, the group called on Bush and the GOP to "stop weakening environmental law; start using ‘pay-as-you-go’ budget discipline to end deficits; clear the way for embryonic stem cell research; and appoint mainstream federal judges." The group’s president, Jim Scaratino, said the convention is a "moderate face that is going to be draped over the GOP of Tom DeLay." Former Sen. Edward Brooke (R-MA) wrote in the New York Times that many Bush officials "show signs of arrogance, self-righteousness and intolerance, and of losing touch with the basic values of the vast majority of Americans."