Whitman, who published a book last year, "It's My Party, Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America," which is critical of the Bush administration, said she was concerned by the "narrow litmus test" parties provide for many politicians.
The parties "need to be more inclusive," she said. "The Republican Party is big enough to include many different ideas."
Diane Farrell released a statement before the fundraiser, blaming Whitman for the rollback of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts and the Endangered Species Act.
Political attacks by both parties have alienated moderate voters, who make up the majority of the population, Shays and Whitman said.
"A majority of voters were not red, they were not blue, they were purple," Shays said.
"We need to start competing for that big center, where the majority of Americans are," Whitman added.
Shays and Whitman are right, in Connecticut the majority of voters turn out to be quite purple. Farrell's attack on Whitman's environmental record skips over the work Whitman accomplished in New Jersey as governor, and that Whitman sharply criticized the Bush administration after her EPA departure. Shays will do well keeping the purple in mind. The challenge for Farrell will be defining a different shade of purple. Releasing negative statements about a speaker at an opponent's fundraiser is not the way to do it.
The Norwalk Advocate Former New Jersey governor backs Shays, By Mark Ginocchio, Published July 6 2006