The Republican Party (often GOP for Grand Old Party) is one of the two major political parties in the United States. Recent President of the United States, George W Bush, is a member of the party – and was, by rules common to both major U.S. parties, its head. In recent years it has majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as in governorships and state legislative seats, but lost these majorities in the 2006 elections. Eighteen of the twenty-seven US Presidents since 1861 have been Republicans. Of the two major U.S. parties, the GOP is considered the conservative party.
Since the Goldwater campaign, the GOP has appealed to limited government and federalism, yet this has not resulted in consistent application once the GOP dominated the Federal government. The GOP has a Libertarian caucus within the party at the grassroots level, organized in the Republican Liberty Caucus. Of the Republicans currently holding elected federal office, Ron Paul of Texas is the most libertarian, with a small group of others who lean our way sometimes, depending on the issue: Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dana Rohrabacher of California, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, John Duncan of Tennessee. However a large number of "Ron Paul Republicans" has filed to run in the 2010 Republican primaries, including some high-profile candidates such as Rand Paul (Ron's son) running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, and bestselling financial writer Peter Schiff running for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut. Former congressman Tom Campbell of California, running in 2010 for Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat, is also considered libertarian-leaning.
- Party Chairman: Ken Mehlman
- Senate Leader: Bill Frist
- House Leader: Roy Blunt
- Founded: February 28, 1854
- Headquarters: 310 First Street SE Washington, D.C. 20003
- Website: GOP.com
Libertarian Policies Favored by Republicans
- School choice
- Tax relief
- The right to keep and bear arms
- Free trade
- Limited government (inconsistent in actual practice on this)
- Eliminate state funding of abortion.
Quasi-libertarian Policies Favored by Republicans
- Social Security reform.
Statist Policies Favored by Republicans
- Strengthening of drug laws
- Military intervention (Pre-emptive war)
- Establishment of official state positions on theological issues, such as "In God We Trust".
- Corporate welfare
- Legislation banning gay marriage, and regulating alternative lifestyles