Dede Scozzafava says she’d do pretty well on a proposed “purity test” for future Republican candidates.
Scozzafava, the Republican Assemblywoman who dropped out of the race for Congress days before the election and endorsed Democrat Bill Owens, appeared on CBS’s Face The Nation (video below) Sunday to debate the idea. On the other side was Dick Armey, the former Republican Congressman who heads a lobbying group that backed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. Armey, famously, dismissed Hoffman’s lack of knowledge of issues in the 23rd Congressional District as “parochial issues”.
Scozzafava said she’d have scored 7 out of 10 on the purity test. The idea’s backers say no Republican should be supported by the national party unless they score 8 out of 10 or higher. But Scozzafava told Face The Nation’s Harry Smith that there are regional differences within the party.
“If people looked at my record and understood how I felt about a lot of the federal issues, I think they could see that I was for lower taxes, lower government spending,” she said on CBS. “I was not in favor of repeal of the 2003 tax cuts. I am not in favor of an estate tax. There were many things in that platform that I would be OK with.”
But her support for abortion, same-sex marriage and a pro-union measure enraged national conservatives, who threw millions towards Hoffman and made his candidacy the most serious third-party candidacy in recent history.
Her support of Owens cost her a leadership position within the Assembly Republicans. Some observers have said it may have ended her political career, at least as a Republican.
Armey said the 10 principles were not a litmus test, but also said that candidates who don’t agree to the principles should not get party support.
Watch Scozzafava’s appearance on Meet The Press here: