Montana State Republican Party Chairman Will Deschamps said Wednesday that the real enemy of the party is not inside, but outside. Deschamps was referring to reports about the schism in the GOP that became more apparent during the recent legislative session.

"What I've told everybody, and I believe this, is that the fact that we're even talking about it is healthy," Deschamps said. "I think in the long run its going to help the party, its going to broaden our base, and its going to make us realize in these conversations that our true enemy is not within. Our true enemy is without. We just have to pull everybody together and continue to win elections, because we can't do it if we're divided."

Deschamps said there are just a few items that separate the factions within the party.

"Well, I think that there's one side that thinks the other side spent too much, while the other side thought the other side wouldn't do anything to help the state," Deschamps said. "I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I think this is all going to work itself out, and that both sides need to moderate a little bit and understand that we're all conservatives, and I think they're doing that."

Deschamps said he doesn't believe compromise is a dirty word, but that compromise is necessary to get anything done in government.

"We can't continue to stand on opposite sides of the room shaking our fists at one another," Deschamps said. "When you do that, nothing gets done. Those that felt they needed to do something for the state workers, and for what they called the crumbling buildings around the state, they thought they could never get it through without reaching across the aisle. I've never in my life thought that reaching across the aisle was a bad thing, if you can get the other side to agree to the tenets you're trying to promote."

Deschamps said he thinks Republicans have more important things to concentrate on.

"We should be talking about other things, like getting more conservative Republicans elected, rather than all this supposedly minor infighting on the inside," Deschamps concluded.

State Republicans will be meeting Friday and Saturday in Bozeman to elect new state officers.

Montana State Republican Party Chairman Will Deschamps