The Republican Main Street Partnership, the group focused on supporting and electing moderate Republicans, is still in the process of dropping the “Republican” from its name. But the group says it won’t support Democrats even if it drops the partisanship from its name.
RMSP President Steve LaTourette, the former congressman from Ohio, clarified the shift at a roundtable with reporters Tuesday.“We have filed the paperwork. It’s Republican Main Street Partnership but it’s d/b/a — it’s going to be doing business as Main Street Partnership. And so future iterations of our publications are going to be reflected as ‘Main Street Partnership,'” LaTourette explained. “Where I veered from my talking points in the last phase of news was that we would finance the campaigns of Democrats. And that is not the message. We will work collaboratively with anybody who wants to find common sense solutions.”
LaTourette made headlines last month when he announced the RMSP name change and the intention to work with Democrats. Progressives took it as a sign that there was no room in the modern GOP for moderate Republicans, while conservatives took it as a sign the group wasn’t interested in helping grow the Republican Party.
Members of the RMSP in Congress said Tuesday that they’re trying to set up regular meetings with Blue Dog Democrats to work on bipartisan legislation. But on the campaign trail, the group says it will only fund Republicans with the goal of protecting moderate incumbents and challengers from attacks on the right from conservative primary opponents.
A spokesperson for the group told TPM after the roundtable that the RMSP will be a Republican group even after it drops the “R.”
“Our mission hasn’t changed but at some point we will be doing business as Main Street Partnership. Unsure on timing,” RMSP spokesperson Chris Barron said in an email. “We still are a Republican group that only supports Republican candidates.”