Jon Stewart guest stars with Minnesota Republicans
October 26, 2013 — 4:20pm
Minnesota Republicans on Saturday met to do the party's business and plot their way forward.
They picked a new Republican National Committeeman -- Chris Tiedeman, a longtime activist -- and were slated to cast straw poll votes on their early 2014 preferences for U.S. Senate and governor.
The party is still $1.3 million in debt but that's down nearly $640,000 from a December 2011 high and chairman Keith Downey said Republicans are at a crossroads but promised better times are ahead.
"We lost our focus on the people. We have spent more time arguing among ourselves than boldly proposing our ideals and our solutions. And we let the demonizing rhetoric of the left define us," Downey said. "I'm here today to tell you: No more."
The Republicans, who had a more diverse cast of speakers than some recent party functions, also laughed along with a Jon Stewart video from the "Daily Show" -- perhaps a sign of the change in the party.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."