by Michael Patrick Leahy
At a meeting of the Ripon Society held in Washington, D.C.'s exclusive Capitol Hill Club on Tuesday, new Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Mike Shields effectively declared war on the conservative grassroots. In a strong attack, Shields coined a new derogatory term, "the professional right," to refer to groups that have publicly criticized the recent RNC "Autopsy" report.
"It's a term I'll be using often in the coming months," he told the crowd of about 40 Ripon Society members, RNC insiders, and Capitol Hill staffers. But Reagan biographer Craig Shirley, who was not one of those in attendance at the meeting, was quick to note that Shields's new term had already backfired. “As opposed to what, unprofessional Republicans?" he shot back.
"These attacks on conservatism by the Establishment GOP are reminiscent of those made against Reagan all through the 1960’s and 70’s and even into his presidency,” Shirley added.
Shields, five weeks into his new job as RNC Chief of Staff, applauded the RNC on its "courage" in publicizing its own "Autopsy" report. According to the source, Shields "gloated that not even the Democratic National Committee was critical of the report, while only the 'professional right' pounced on it."
When questioned about his eagerness to offend the “professional right” even as he was reaching out to other groups, Mr. Shields fairly bristled. According to our source, Shields stated that he is totally eager and willing to remove "the professional right" from the GOP. “They won’t come to us and ask. They just send out lies and ask for money. I have to tear up mailings at my own parents’ house and tell them which emails to delete,” he said, according to the source.
According to the source, Shields lumped “grassroots supporters” into the same lot as the “professional right," and displayed an equal distaste for both groups.
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