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Couric: GOP 'Hijacked' by 'Far-Right Conservatives...Like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin'

"There's growing concern among some GOP leaders that controversial commentators and far-right conservatives have hijacked the message," CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric declared in her Tuesday "Katie Couric's Notebook" for CBSNews.com. Specifically, "people like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin appeal to the base - and you certainly need that base to win elections. But in an age when 42 percent of Americans call themselves Independents," Couric warned as if she's really concerned Republicans won't succeed, "you can't win with just the base, either."

So, Couric recommended: "Before the 2010 midterm elections roll around, Republicans need to get the focus back onto the Big Tent where all are welcome and off the sideshows that are popping up along the party's fringe."

Couric's October 27 commentary:

Calling all pachyderms! The Republican Party is looking for a few good men and women.

As Politico reported, there's growing concern among some GOP leaders that controversial commentators and far-right conservatives have hijacked the message.

People like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin appeal to the base - and you certainly need that base to win elections. But in an age when 42 percent of Americans call themselves Independents, you can't win with just the base, either.

Minority Whip Eric Cantor is calling for more voices in the Republican Party. And Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty says the party needs to be all about addition right now, as the number of declared Republicans hits a 26 year low, according to a poll in the Washington Post.

Before the 2010 midterm elections roll around, Republicans need to get the focus back onto the Big Tent where all are welcome and off the sideshows that are popping up along the party's fringe.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center