January 29th, 2013
01:48 PM ET

The GOP identity crisis

By Lisa Desjardins, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Capitol Hill (CNN) – Rep. Justin Amash, the conservative from Michigan said it bluntly.

[1:55] “The public is not behind us and that’s a real problem for our party."

In the past week, Republicans from Capitol Hill to Charlotte, NC (site of a national GOP strategy session) have publicly said what politicians of all stripes usually reserve for closed-door discussions, questioning and debating the direction of their party.

[2:13]  “There are some republicans, tea party republicans who want to (the deficit) the issue… there are other Republicans in the House caucus who are nervous about that and you’ve seen that in recent weeks,” says Prof. Julian Zelizer, Princeton University professor and author of “Governing America: The Revival of Political History."

Listen to our story for details on exactly where the divide is falling and how the debt ceiling debate is intertwined with the GOP internal identity struggle.

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