GOP base exerts influence on platform

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- While Democrats convene in Denver, Republicans are meeting in Minneapolis, where they're hashing out their party's platform ahead of next week's convention in St. Paul.

The GOP platform committee is debating election principles influenced by their conservative base as well as by presidential candidate John McCain.

It's taking a tough line on abortion and immigration while weighing an energy policy that would acknowledge -- if grudgingly -- the human imprint on climate change.

Nothing written into the platform will tie McCain's hands in the campaign, and it's questionable whether he'd pay much attention to it. Presidential candidates often don't.

But the two days of platform hearings are focusing the party on a review of what it stands for and exposing familiar divisions between conservative and moderate elements.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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