GOP struggle widens as Boehner rebukes hard right

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican establishment's much-anticipated pushback against the tea-party wing is underway.

House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) on Thursday renewed his denunciation of groups that try to defeat GOP incumbents they consider too willing to compromise with Democrats.

Some Republican loyalists wonder what took so long.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently moved to help mainstream Republicans in party primaries.

But Boehner's high-profile outburst will push the effort to the GOP's front burners.

Cheering him on are mainstream Republicans who angrily watched for three years as hard-right groups exercised remarkable clout in the party, the Congress and elections.

Conservative leaders say these Republicans are making a big mistake that will damage GOP efforts to enact legislation and win future elections.

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