Moderate Republicans Gear Up to Fight Hardliners in 2014

The government shutdown and fight over the debt ceiling is prompting moderate Republicans to fight back against their more hardline brethren in the 2014 elections.

National Journal looks at a number of business-oriented groups that are stockpiling cash in hopes of defeating Tea Party candidates in next year’s midterm elections.

Tactics being discussed among Republican strategists, donors, and party leaders include running attack ads against tea party candidates for Congress; overthrowing Ron Paul’s libertarian acolytes dominating the Iowa and Minnesota state parties; promoting open primaries over nominating conventions, like the ones that produced Republican hardliners like Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and shutdown-instigator Mike Lee of Utah; and countering political juggernauts Heritage Action, the Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks that target Republican incumbents who have consorted with Democrats.

The business community is potentially a major ally in the Republican establishment’s comeback plan. After long fueling Republican campaigns, corporate leaders were stunned that a wing of the party would refuse to fund the government and again risk national default in the hope of moving an immovable object, namely President Obama’s health care law.