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GOP watch: I pledge allegiance…

"House Republicans vowed to dramatically cut federal spending, end 'job-killing tax hikes' and repeal the health care law in a campaign manifesto they hope will lead them to victory in November's elections," the New York Daily News writes. "The 'Pledge to America,' according to a draft obtained Wednesday, also proposes banning federal funding of abortion and trying suspected terrorists in military courts."

But Roll Call notes the pledge "includes little that hasn’t already appeared in numerous Republican leadership talking points over the past two years." And: "[T]he document shies away from bolder items advocated by conservatives, such as a specific pledge to eliminate the budget deficit or prohibit earmarks."

The New York Times: "The blueprint was also clearly intended to provide fresh ideas to answer allegations by Mr. Obama and Democrats that Republicans simply want to return to the policies of the Bush administration. Still, many of the proposals represent classic Republican ideals of small government and low taxes pursued for generations by George W. Bush and other party leaders."


The Chicago Tribune: "The GOP plan ignited a debate within conservative circles. Establishment Republicans embraced the agenda, but activists complained that it did not go far enough and omitted some of their key demands, such as a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. The plan treads lightly on hot-button social issues such as marriage and abortion that have been mainstays of past GOP agendas but are less likely than economic questions to motivate independent voters this fall. The pledge contains no mention of proposals by leading conservatives and several GOP candidates to restructure Social Security and Medicare by using personal savings accounts, nor of other measures that voters have resisted."

Conservative Matt Lewis, writing on Politics Daily, notes: "When it comes to the GOP's new "Pledge to America," which will be unveiled officially Thursday morning, the venerable National Review and the popular conservative blog RedState don't quite see eye to eye. ... It will be interesting to see how this impacts the coverage Thursday. The pledge hasn't even officially been unveiled, but already conservatives are divided over it. ... So what else is new?"

The DNC has a Web video saying the Pledge is the “same old agenda.”

The Hill: "The word 'spending' is stated 47 times in the document, but 'earmarks' -- an issue that divides Republicans -- is not mentioned. ... Bush, who signed TARP into law, is referenced in passing only twice."

A moratorium on earmarks, in fact, is what Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), a conservative/Tea Party kingmaker, said in an interview with NBC News that should be Republicans' top legislative priority next Congress.