County GOP wants hope­fuls to sign pledge of pu­rity

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

COLUMBIA | The Re­pub­li­can Party in a small, con­ser­va­tive South Carolina county ex­pects its can­di­dates to lower taxes. It also ex­pects them to not watch porn, be faith­ful to their spouses and not have sex out­side of mar­riage.

The Lau­rens County Re­pub­li­can Party orig­i­nally de­cided that any­one who wanted to run for of­fice with the GOP’S bless­ing would have to sign a pledge and be ap­proved by party lead­ers. They backed off that idea af­ter the state party said it was il­le­gal and the pledge re­ceived in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion, be­com­ing an­other cul­tural-ssues nightmare for Repub­li­cans.

The 28-point pledge passed last week ap­peared to be at least in part a re­sponse to an ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fair had by the county sher­iff, who also was ac­cused in a law­suit of driv­ing his mis­tress to get an abor­tion in a county-owned ve­hi­cle, lead­ing to an in­ter­party squab­ble when the lo­cal group’s leader called for the sher­iff to re­sign.

The pledge is full of tra­di­tional Re­pub­li­can talk­ing points in a con­ser­va­tive state — bal­anc­ing bud­gets, op­pos­ing gun con­trol laws and abor­tion, sup­port­ing school choice and a state­ment that mar­riage is “fun­da­men­tal to the sta­bil­ity, bet­ter­ment and per­pet­u­a­tion of our so­ci­ety.” Hulk Ho­gan com­par­isons.

When the for­mer House speaker came out to the podium to thank sup­port­ers Tues­day night, the cam­paign head­quar­ters in At­lanta was rock­ing to “Real Amer­i­can,” a song made iconic by the pro­fes­sional wrestling su­per­star.

Sup­port­ers in the room also waved signs pro­claim­ing “Newt-ama­nia,” an­other bow to Mr. Ho­gan, who pro­claimed “Hulk-a-ma­nia” as run­ning wild across the coun­try in the 1980s.

Mr. Gin­grich has used both the song and the slo­gan in cam­paign ral­lies in re­cent days.

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