Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some Conservatives Balk At Daniels' Invititation To Speak At CPAC

It is one of the largest annual gatherings of conservatives in the country and the organizer's leadership had already been under fire for the inclusion of GOProud, a pro-gay rights Republican group. Now some are complaining that CPAC organizers have invited Gov. Mitch Daniels to speak at the group's annual gathering. CNN reports:

A growing number of outfits are planning to boycott this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual gathering of right-leaning activists in Washington known as CPAC, in part because organizers are welcoming a pro-gay Republican group into the fold.

And one of the groups pushing the CPAC boycott, the American Principles Project, took fresh aim at the conference Tuesday for inviting Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who angered many social conservatives last year by calling for a "truce" on social issues while the country works through its economic problems.

"Governor Daniels' selection is an affront to the millions of conservatives who believe that social issues such as abortion and traditional marriage are non-negotiable," APP's executive director Andy Blom said in a statement.

Blom told CNN he sees Daniels having a difficult time winning the GOP nomination, or the general election, without the help of social conservatives.

"He has flown his white flag and he has surrendered," Blom said. "The foot soldiers in the conservative movement have for so long been pro-lifers. You can't win a national election by throwing these people away. We aren't going to stand for it."

Other potential presidential contenders committed to speak at CPAC are Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Sen. John Thune, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Daniels has sent strong signals that he intends to run but has pledged not to make a decision until after Indiana's legislative session concludes in April.
But while his fiscally conservative record has made him attractive to the economic wing in the party, other conservatives were baffled last June when he told the National Review that the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues."

Daniels has not backed away from that assertion, however, ominously comparing that the country's debt problem to the threat of an invading army massing at the border.

Aides to Daniels did not respond to a request for comment about APP's statement, nor did a CPAC representative.

CPAC, meanwhile, has continued to take heat from conservative groups upset over the inclusion of GOProud, the pro-gay Republican group, and the management style of American Conservative Union president David Keene, who runs the event.

Among the influential conservative groups planning to skip this year's event: The Heritage Foundation, Tony Perkins' Family Research Council, Brent Bozell's Media Research Center, and Concerned Women for America.
The protests are probably beneficial in attracting more attention to the annual event than it would otherwise get. Those protesting are also giving ammunition to those on the Left who view conservatives as too narrow-minded in their thinking.


Sean Shepard said...

The APP guy's quote about Daniels' invitation being an affront to millions of conservatives just makes me want to respond with, "APP is an affront to millions of Americans who aren't nosy, hypocritical busy-bodies hung up on what happens in people's bedrooms and who mostly probably had 'biblically immoral' premarital sex at some point their life but now want to use the same principle to blast or reject people who make alternative lifestyle choices."

Conservatives need to decide. Do you want government to mind its own business or not? You want small government or do you want government regulating your religious rituals and practices and who you are allowed to live your life with?

M Theory said...

I agree with Sean on this one.

Bradley said...

If Mitch Daniels were actually a fiscal conservative, who did not create a ton of jobs for his cronies in his administration or bungle around with money in his agencies, I would be more supportive of him. He is right, I think, regarding a need to not focus on social issues so much -- and that the federal government needs to tighten spending.

But, he needs to practice what he preaches: his administration has severely ruined Indiana's unemployment program to the point where it will take at least 5 years to fix under good circumstances (and much more if continued as it is going now). If taxpayers and businesses knew what his administration has done with their money and its effect on both the unemployed and businesses themselves, everyone would be rightfully disgusted.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The funny thing is that the original founder of CPAC was gay.

Unknown said...

As a Bluedog, I've always felt that the social issues were antithetical to the Republican msg of smaller government.

What I've come to understand is that the Republican's aren't really interested in smaller government... it's a myth that they keep perpetuating while giving contracts to their buddies and removing common sense regulation.

The truth is that the social issues bring (Republican)voters to the polls in a way that "less government" never will.

In fact, most people want "less government" until it affects them.
Tell seniors that you are going to cut Medicare spending (the largest underfunded entitlement) and kiss your political future goodbye.

Tell people you want to cut waste from the military and you will have astroturf organizations defending the failed weapons programs because of the jobs they bring.

I don't think that Daniels is any different than other Republicans - he spent half a billion dollars on a failed system that screwed the unemployed. He has hired his friends into lucrative positions. He has sacked environmental oversight.

dcrutch said...

Amen, Sean.

Paul K. Ogden said...

A Republican presidential candidate will never win a national election being solely a fiscal conservative. The social issues, like them or not, is the key to putting together a coalitiion that can win.

I don't like some of the social issues. I couldn't care less if gay people want to get married for example. (And I think this issue will eventually fall off the radar.) But if Daniels thinks he's going to win the presidency while declaring a truce on social issues, well that's not going to happen.

There is no evidence that Republicans have lost elections because of the social issues. There's plenty of evidence that voters don't believe Republicans are fiscal conservatives. That's what is killing us now, not the social issues.

Don Sherfick said...

Paul says: "I don't like some of the social issues. I couldn't care less if gay people want to get married for example. (And I think this issue will eventually fall off the radar.)"

Yes, it ultimately will, but the sponsors of the so-called "Indiana Marriage Protection Amendment" have reintroduced it this General Assembly session. With the GOP now controlling the House, its chances for passage are substantially increased.

And the sad part is that most legislators, the media, and the public haven't a clue as to what they would be passing, including the fact that the sponsors have without fanfare changed their original language (SJR-7) into something even more draconian. Despite what they say, it's not just about "unelected activist judges" anymore.

People ought to ask what's behind the big change, and why the sponsors are running away from even acknowledging it.