Faith and Freedom Coalition

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Michele Bachmann spoke at the Florida Family Policy Council awards banquet last night where she received the organization's "William Wilberforce Award."
  • Rick Joyner says "the Obama’s extravagant lifestyle at the expense of taxpayers is far out of bounds, especially with the hard times so many are going through now."
  • NOM continues to lose in its effort to flout disclosure laws.
  • Religious Right activists are threatening to sue if they are prevented from praying at Ground Zero on 9/10, even though they have no reason to think that they will be.
  • You know your movie is bad if you are reduced to sending out press releases announcing that someone drove three hours in bad weather to see it.
  • Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann will all be attending the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Kick-Off Rally on Sept. 22.

Robertson: The Tea Party Is God's Answer

Pat Robertson and the Christian Broadcasting Network have been heavily promoting the so-called “Teavangelicals,” or the ties between the Religious Right and the Tea Party. Following a report by David Brody, who hosted a panel on “Teavangelicals” at the Faith and Freedom Coalition summit, on the religious views of Tea Party activists Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots and Amy Kremer of the Tea Party Express, Pat Robertson claimed that God sent the Tea Party to stop America from sliding into “chaos.”

Watch:

I believe God loves America. I believe He remembers the sacrifice of past generations and how they’ve stood up and how this country has been a beacon of freedom around the world, and He doesn’t want this country to go into chaos. It’s heading that way, but is the Tea Party His answer? It would be. It’s almost like the humor of God that He’s going to bring a bunch of housewives in to change the government, isn’t that great?

At Ralph Reed Confab, Obama Portrayed as Enemy of Faith and Freedom

Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering in Washington, D.C. this past weekend was essentially a relentless repetition of the GOP’s 2012 attack themes on the Obama administration, mixed with Religious Right leaders’ demands that the Tea Party not abandon social conservatives’ priorities and conservative politicos’ appeals for unity behind whichever candidate emerges from the presidential crowd.  Just about everyone running, or thinking about running, for the presidency on the Republican side was in attendance with the exception of Newt Gingrich.

One of the easiest, and most frequently used, ways to get applause at F&F was to pledge that Obama will be a one-term president.  Among the other major themes:
 
American Exceptionalism
 
Former Senator Rick Santorum, who officially announced his presidential bid this morning, said his campaign theme will be American exceptionalism.  Unfortunately, for Santorum, it seems that every Republican candidate is talking about American exceptionalism – and the claim that President Obama, Democrats, and “liberal elites” don’t believe that the U.S. is the God-ordained greatest nation in the history of the world – so it’s going to be hard to break away from the pack on that score.  Gary Bauer claimed that American elites don’t believe the words of the Declaration of Independence. 
 
‘Obamacare’ = Socialism = The End of Freedom
 
Many speakers cited health care reform as the ultimate example of the Democrats’ commitment to freedom-destroying socialism.  Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network said it was one example of progressives’ tendency to say “to hell with the Constitution” when it got in the way of their policy goals.  Rep. Allen West even attacked the notion of “shared sacrifice,” which he said was code for “redistribution of wealth,” which is how the right-wing looks at progressive taxation.  Rep. Tom Price, who clearly needs to spend some time studying American history, called the health care reform bill “the furthest reach of oppression that this society has ever seen.”  Others similarly insisted that the implementation of the law would mean the end of liberty in America.  Michele Bachman shouted, “I will not rest until we repeal Obamacare. America will not rest until we repeal Obamacare.”  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the fight against Obamacare is just one sign that federalism is reemerging.  He argued that Americans need to understand that there is a “liberty pie” that does not grow – and it has only two slices, government power and individual liberty – and one necessarily grows at the expense of the other. 
 
America Needs More Religion (as long as it’s not Islam)
 
The FFC was long on Religious Right rhetoric on religion and politics.  The pastor who gave the opening prayer for the conference gave thanks for “a nation founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”  The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins exulted that it was good to be among folks who are “not ashamed to defend the Christian principles on which this nation was founded.”  The Republican National Committee’s Reince Priebus said America’s greatness is “rooted in our faith” and that “faith in our God, and faith in our savior” is “not a convenience, it is the foundation of a good life.” But Islam was clearly deemed a threat, with one participant telling a contentiouspanel on Sharia law that in Minnesota “we practically have a Muslim state.”  
 
Reproductive Rights and Gay Rights = Big Government
 
In the “Social Issues: Why They Still Matter” panel, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal discussed “the psychology of those who are trying to undermine the moral fiber of this country,” arguing that liberals are compelled by a lust for power and therefore need to “control people” and “lower standards of society as a whole.” Fund explained that “if you can lower standards” by permitting legal abortion and gay equality, then liberals can gain control over society, and insisted that “we have to bring back shaming” of women who had abortions because “we need to be judgmental about this issue, we need to call out people for the choices that they made, ‘shaming’ is not a bad word in this society.” On a separate panel, National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher said, “When you redefine marriage, you also redefine the relationship between Genesis and the American tradition,” which would jeopardize freedom because “in some cases, the power of government is already being used to marginalize and stigmatize people who disagree with the foundational ideas of same-sex marriage.”
 
Obama as Enemy of Israel
 
Michele Bachman was one of several speakers who misportrayed recent Obama administration comments about Israel, calling them a “shocking display of betraying our greatest friend and ally.” One participant commented that “life, liberty, and Israel” were the elements that make up “the pursuit of happiness.” Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said Obama may soon be referring to Israel as “the Zionist regime” and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission implied that Obama may bringing upon the country the curse of God for his policy towards Israel. Peter Roff of U.S. News and World Report lamented that “the American Jewish community is for some reason enamored of Democratic politicians in general and Barack Obama specifically.”
 
Unified Conservative Movement
 
FRC’s Perkins was among many Religious Right speakers who argued for keeping social conservatives’ priorities at the forefront of the movement in the name of conservative movement unity.  Perkins used a strange mixed metaphor, saying it is the “bottom of the ninth for our beloved country” and no time to lapse into an undisciplined orchestra, calling for a “rousing symphony” – drums of national defense, the horns of economic abundance, and the strings that bind a strong family.  Among others who sounded the same theme were Indiana gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence, who said, “we have to recognize that our present crisis is not just economic or political but moral in nature” and touted the importance of the sanctity of life, “traditional marriage,” and the importance of organized religion in our daily life.
 
Haley Barbour, one of the potential presidential candidates who decided not to run, devoted his remarks to lecturing attendees about the need to rally behind whichever candidate was nominated even though the nominee won’t be perfect.  “In politics,” he said, “purity is the enemy of victory.” Tony Blankley warned that the media and Democrats would love to “divide and conquer” the movement.
 
Advocating for social issues at the FFC was clearly preaching to the choir.  But some Tea Party activists were clearly annoyed by the “you’re nothing without us” attitude of Religious Right activists Jordan Sekulow and Matt Barber at a panel on the “Teavangelicals” that was moderated by the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.

Garlow: "Your Land Has Cancer"

For years now, Jim Garlow's wife has been battling cancer and recently had a setback that prompted Garlow to consider canceling his scheduled appearance at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference over the weekend.  Ultimately, at his wife's insistence, he kept his commitment and traveled to Washington DC where he delivered an address in which he likened marriage equality to children losing their parents on 9/11 and declared that America has cancer and that, come 2012, he hopes to be able to say that not only has his wife survived, but the nation has as well:

Right Wing Round-Up

Richard Land Says Ralph Reed Was "Victimized by Abramoff"

Richard Land was one of the dozens of speakers Ralph Reed lined up for his Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference, so it makes sense that he would have some nice things to say about him ... but his ill-informed gushing over Reed's supposed brilliance is downright embarrassing:

"Ralph invented the game and how to play the game. He's got a PhD in political science," said Dr Richard Land the head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Church, the nation's largest denomination with 16 million members.

"He's one of them. He's and evangelical. He understands the evangelical and the conservative Catholic positions. He understand what rings their chimes and what doesn't."

"Any time Ralph Reed is involved in something it's going to make a difference. If I were running for office the very first thing i would do is hire Ralph as a consultant," Land said. "Ralph knows how to do this."

...

"Most evangelicals who know about it, view Ralph as a victim and that he was victimized by Abramoff like so many others," Land said adding, "Conservatives don't have any problem with people making money."

First of all, Reed received his Ph.D in history, not political science.  And secondly, only in the intentionally myopic view of the Religious Right was Reed in any way a "victim" of Jack Abramoff. 

Reed was a knowing participant in Abramoff's scheme to use the Religious Right to protect his client's gambling interest and Reed, as such, went out of his way to conceal the source of that money from his Religious Right allies. 

Abramoff and his colleague Jeff Scanlon called Reed a "bad version of us" and yet, to this day, Reed maintains that he "proud" of the work he did for Abramoff and insists that "it advanced sound public policy."

Hardly the words one would expect from someone who was "victimized by Abramoff."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Bryan Fischer really does not understand the definition of a "hate crime."
  • The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants the California Attorney General to investigate Harold Camping for fraud.
  • WND says White House Counsel Bob Bauer resignation "marks the beginning of the Obama eligibility cover-up starting to unwind."
  • It is pretty clear that nobody on the Religious Right actually cares about Newt Gingrich's serial infidelity.
  • Glenn Beck will speak at Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference.
  • Mike Huckabee does not want to be President, but is apparently open to being Vice President.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Looks like Sarah Palin will be launching a "hey, please pay attention to me" bus tour.
  • Rep. Eric Cantor is the latest Republican to sign on to Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.
  • Focus on the Family looks at how marriage equality was defeated in Maryland.
  • John Stamos will be joining The Beach Boys for the second annual Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Concert. Sounds exciting.
  • The AFA loves Herman Cain so I wonder how long it will be before they remove this Elijah Friedeman post from their blog.
  • Finally, I am looking forward to seeing how Bill Donohue responds to this.  I am sure he will blame "the gays."

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mitch Daniels is out.
  • But Tim Pawlenty is in and he'll be attending Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition conference.
  • FRC says gays activists are trying to keep their "goal of perverting children under wraps."
  • The title of Gary Bauer's latest column is literally "Obama Signs Israel's Death Warrant."
  • Finally, an interesting piece on David Barton, Glenn Beck, and Mormon conspiracy theorist W. Cleon Skousen.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 5/17/11

Michele Bachmann

2012: More likely to run for president following Mike Huckabee's decision against running (CBS News, 5/16). 

Constitution: High school student challenges her to a debate on the Constitution as a result of her record of making incorrect statements (Minnesota Independent, 5/13). 

Herman Cain

Georgia: Wins praise for speech at Georgia GOP convention (Southern Political Report, 5/16). 

Florida: Tops field in Fort Lauderdale Tea Party straw poll (Sunshine State News, 5/16). 

Mitch Daniels

Reproductive Rights: Signs law defunding Planned Parenthood that costs thousands their health care, state millions of dollars (The Faster Times, 5/16).

2012: Members of Indiana Republican Party encourage Daniels to run during state convention (AP, 5/13).

Religious Right: Anti-choice activists upset Daniels weighed Condoleezza Rice as a running mate because she is pro-choice (Life News, 5/13). 

GOP: Reports say that Governors Haley Barbour, Chris Christie and Scott Walker would endorse Daniels (CBS News, 5/12). 

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Denies advisers' links to Dominionist theology (RWW, 5/16).

Medicare: Describes Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare as "right wing social engineering" but previously said he would've voted for it (Think Progress, 5/16). 

Health Care: Makes inconsistent remarks over his past support for health care insurance mandates (Politico, 5/16). 

Iowa: Will make swing through Iowa this week following official announcement (Dubuque Telegraph Herald, 5/15). 

Jon Huntsman

Religious Right: Set to address Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 5/16).

South Carolina: Huckabee's former state campaign chair announces his support for Huntsman (Politico, 5/16). 

Florida: Meets with key donors in Florida (St. Petersburg Times, 5/11). 

Roy Moore

Religious Right: Claims President Obama is "pushing his own immoral values without regard to what the people think or believe" (WND, 5/16). 

Campaign: Launches website for exploratory committee (RoyMoore2012.com).

Sarah Palin

PAC: Embarks on new direct mail campaign with focus on 2012 election (WaPo, 5/16). 

2012: Supporters hope that Huckabee's announcement will create an opening for Palin (Commentary, 5/16). 

Tim Pawlenty

South Carolina: Hires political director for South Carolina primary (The Hill, 5/17). 

Environment: Continues to apologize for past support of ‘cap and trade’ system (Minnesota Post, 5/17).

Mitt Romney

Fundraising: Raises over $10 million on Monday call-day in Las Vegas (WaPo, 5/17). 

Health Care: Defends state health plan that is analogous to federal health care law (NYT, 5/13). 

Rick Santorum

Medicare: Criticizes Gingrich for attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization proposal (The Hill, 5/16). 

Health Care: Knocks Romney for defending his Massachusetts health care law (The State Column, 5/13).

Huntsman Signs Up For Faith and Freedom Conference

Republican presidential aspirants continue to flock to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Reed today announced that former Utah governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman will speak to the group’s Conference and Strategy Briefing on June 3rd. Other GOP presidential contenders addressing the gathering include Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain, along with Donald Trump, House GOP leaders John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan, and numerous Republican congressmen.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition seems to be the restoration of Reed’s Christian Coalition, and he has focused on building a presence in key primary and general election states like Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Despite Reed’s duplicitous and corrupt background, Republicans persistently seek his support. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody today profiled the group’s plans for the 2012 election and collaborations with the Tea Party movement:

"We anticipate we're going to knock on over 2 million doors," Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, told CBN News.

"We're going to register between 1 million and 2 million new voters so we're going to add 1 to 2 million new voters," he predicted. "And then we'll end up contacting somewhere between 25 and 40 million voters."



The Faith & Freedom Coalition doesn't just focus on social issues. Leaders know that fiscal concerns are huge and will be a major priority but they don't plant to co-opt the Tea Party movement.

"We're saying to them you need to continue to be who you are as Tea Party leaders," conservative strategist Gary Marx told CBN News. "At the same time, there are areas where we can work together and be allied -- like the example of cutting abortion funding for groups like Planned Parenthood," he said.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 4/5/11

Michele Bachmann

Iowa: Hires Mike Huckabee’s former state director for campaign (MN Public Radio, 4/4).

Religious Right: Slated to speak at Family Leader events (Des Moines Register, 4/4).

Fundraising: Tops Mitt Romney in fundraising (Time, 4/1).

Obama: Says President Obama is deliberately damaging the economy (RWW, 3/31).

Haley Barbour

2012: Wife concerned about presidential race, says bid “horrifies” her (Reuters, 4/2).

Mississippi: Economic conservatives criticize Barbour’s record as governor (Politico, 4/2).

Poll: Trails Huckabee in poll of home state’s Republican voters (Mississippi Press, 3/31).

Herman Cain

Obama: Says President Obama is “not the president of black people” (Daily Caller, 4/4).

Birther: Joins Donald Trump in questioning President Obama’s birth certificate (Politico, 4/1).

Newt Gingrich

Iowa: Defends financial assistance to Religious Right group in Iowa judicial election (Think Progress, 4/4). 

Obama: Likens Obama's fundraising goal to extortion (CNN, 4/4). 

Religious Right: Poised to kickoff right-wing Awakening conference at Liberty University (RWW, 3/28). 

Rudy Giuliani

2012: Frames himself as an electable Republican candidate (GOP12, 4/4).

Foreign Affairs: Criticizes President Obama’s handling of Libyan crisis (Ozarks Unbound, 4/4).

Mike Huckabee

Campaign: Advisers want Huckabee's 2012 campaign to be less family-run (US News & World Report, 4/4). 

South Carolina: Wins straw poll in heavily GOP county in upstate South Carolina (UPI, 4/3). 

Background: Public records as governor destroyed (Mother Jones, 4/1). 

Sarah Palin

Media: Slated to appear in E! True Hollywood story biopic (Mediaite, 4/4).

New Hampshire: Former GOP Senator from New Hampshire slams Palin as overly ambitious, polarizing (Boston Globe, 4/4). 

Rand Paul

Religious Right: Scheduled to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition (RWW, 4/4).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowa GOP’s “Night of the Rising Stars” (Iowa Independent, 4/4).

Tim Pawlenty

Obama: Launches new cinematic video to respond to Obama's reelection announcement (HuffPo, 4/4). 

Background: Left Minnesota with a massive budget deficit (LA Times, 4/2). 

Mitt Romney

Foreign Affairs: Claims his experience in business will help him in foreign policy (RCP, 4/5).

New Hampshire: Set to address Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity forum in New Hampshire (CNN, 4/4). 

Campaign: Runs subdued campaign in order to reintroduce himself to voters (NYT, 4/2).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Accepts invitation to appear in South Carolina debate for presidential candidates (CBS News, 4/1).

Religious Right: Blames legal abortion for Social Security problems (RWW, 3/29).

Rand Paul To Address Ralph Reed's Religious Right Conference

Newly elected Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is set to address the Faith & Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing in June, the hallmark event of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. Sen. Paul and his father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, both appear to be testing the waters for a presidential bid. The younger Paul recently address the Iowa Republican Party’s “Night of the Rising Stars” and the Iowa Campaign for Freedom; he also told The Hill that he feels ready to run for president even though he has only held elected office since January.

Paul has also helped serve as a bridge between the Tea Party and the Religious Right, and conservatives were quick to defend him after he said he publicly opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2009 Paul headlined an event for the Constitution Party, which wants to establish “biblical law,” and his far-right positions have helped him win endorsements from prominent Religious Right figures like James Dobson and Beverly LaHaye.

During his Iowa speech, he said that politicians should refuse to compromise on the issue of abortion, connecting it to compromises on slavery laws prior to the Civil War. Earlier this year, he tried to connect his opposition to abortion rights to his battle against low flush toilets.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is forming a presidential exploratory committee, is also slated to speak at the conference. The group’s Iowa convention hosted likely candidates such as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer.

Behold the Religious Right: Reed and Perkins Suggest Trump Could Win Support

Just when you start to think that your faith in the judgment of people like Ralph Reed and Tony Perkins could not possibly diminish any further, CBN's David Brody reports that both of them are taking Donald Trump's presidential campaign seriously enough to suggest he might actually garner some support from the Religious Right:

Ralph Reed, one of the top GOP strategists in the country and Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition tells The Brody File, “There is a nascent and growing curiosity in the faith community about Trump. Evangelicals will like his pro-life and pro-marriage stances, combined with his business record and high-wattage celebrity all but guarantee he will get a close look from social conservatives as well as other Republican primary voters."

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council is curious to hear more as well. “Given Donald Trump's background in the gambling industry and his flamboyancy one would not think he would be a fit with Evangelical voters. However, given the wide open field of candidates, strong statements that Trump has recently made on core social issues combined with an overarching desire to see a new occupant in the White House, he may find support among social conservatives.

New Hire Suggests GOProud's Days a CPAC Are Numbered

Ever since various Religious Right groups boycotted CPAC over the inclusion of the gay conservative group GOProud, there have been a lot of questions about what direction the conference would take in the years to come. 

New new American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas has already been suggesting that he is going to do what he can to bring the offended Religious Right groups back into the fold by limiting GOProud's involvement. 

And now comes word that Cardenas has now hired the executive director of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition to undertake the task of uniting the conservative movement on behalf of ACU:  

The American Conservative Union will announce the appointment of Gregg Keller to serve as its executive director, filling out the group’s new leadership team with a widely respected Midwestern political hand. Keller is a veteran of some of the toughest elections of the last decade: He was campaign manager for Missouri Sen. Jim Talent in 2006 and national coalitions director for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2008. Most recently, he has been executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, the up-and-coming conservative group founded by Ralph Reed. ACU Chairman Al Cardenas, who took over the organization last month, hailed Keller’s selection in a statement: “With Gregg’s help, ACU will continue to unite social, fiscal and national security conservatives for the tremendous opportunities we have in 2012 and beyond.”

KELLER’S COMMENT: “I am excited to join the American Conservative Union at this crucial time for our conservative movement … I am especially looking forward to working with Chairman Cardenas and the ACU Board to help unite our movement and advance conservative positions, principles and policies.”

I think it is safe to assume that GOProud's days sticking a finger in the eye of the Religious Right at CPAC are coming to an end.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The LA Times perfectly sums up last night's Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event: "The candidates essentially pledged the same thing, with a few variations in language and emphasis: defending marriage as a covenant between man and woman; curbing abortion; slashing the federal deficit; and shifting power away from Washington in favor of state and local governments."
  •  

  • Supporters of Fred Grandy, aka Gopher, claim some nefarious Muslim conspiracy to silence him has cost him his radio show.
  •  

  • Phyllis Schlafly sure does find the oddest things to get worked up about.
  •  

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann says she'll decide about running for president by summer. Could we really be so lucky?
  •  

  • Reminder: Peter LaBarbera doesn't like acceptance of gays.
  •  

  • Finally, Sarah Palin will speak at an "Extraordinary Women Conference" at Liberty University in October.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 3/8/11

Michele Bachmann

Health Care: Decries secret funding of reform law which wasn't actually a secret (Minnesota Post, 3/7).

Energy: As gas prices rise over Mideast crisis, Bachmann blames Obama (CNN, 3/7).

Religious Right: Invites Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel to her Tea Party Caucus (RWW, 3/4).

Haley Barbour

Campaign: Adds staff to leadership PAC (The Fix, 3/7).

Iowa: Will join Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich and others at conference hosted by Steve King (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Background: Made millions as a lobbyist for the energy industry, now repeating their arguments (HuffPo, 3/3).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Democrats in state legislature lead boycott to protest Daniels's anti-labor agenda (TPM, 3/4).

Religious Right: Richard Land attacks Daniels's truce proposal as "political suicide" (RWW, 3/4).

Newt Gingrich

Campaign: Discusses "confusion" of exploratory committee announcement (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Obama: Tells Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition that "secular, socialist" Obama administration "cannot represent America" (The Hill, 3/7).

Religious Right: Plans to address Religious Right conferences in Iowa and Liberty University, and meet with controversial pastor John Hagee (RWW, 3/4).

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Tells South Carolina crowd on book tour that the state is a must-win primary (The State, 3/8).

Culture: Slams actress Natalie Portman for allegedly glorifying single motherhood (The Week, 3/4).

Obama: Agrees with Bryan Fischer that Obama is anti-American; falsely claims that President Obama grew up in Kenya and then lied in his mea culpa (RWW, 3/2; County Fair, 3/7).

Religious Right: Joins Bachmann, Barbour, Gingrich and pseudo-historian David Barton for a webcast on religion in politics (RWW, 3/2).

Jon Huntsman

Campaign: Top aides meet in New Orleans, set sights on New Hampshire voters (RCP, 3/7).

Obama: Praise from President may damage Huntsman's chances (Salt Lake Tribune, 3/6).

Donors: Supporters of Huntsman paid for video about his work as Ambassador (Politico, 3/3).

Sarah Palin

2012: Says she would run for President if voters are ready for someone who is against "obsessive partisanship" (BBC News, 3/7).

Culture: Picks fight with comedian Kathy Griffin (LA Times, 3/7).

Foreign Affairs: Prepares for trip to India (Politico, 3/6).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: May be GOP front runner due to the "process of elimination" (TNR, 3/8).

Religious Right: Calls on members of Ralph Reed's Iowa group to "take back our country" (CBS News, 3/7).

Minnesota: Keith Ellison says Pawlenty has "no connection" to his roots (Think Progress, 3/4).

Buddy Roemer

Tea Party: Tells Religious Right group, "Thank God for the tea party" (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Campaign: The former Louisiana governor announces exploratory committee (CBS News, 3/4).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Massachusetts AG uses Romney's health care policy to defend federal law (Politico, 3/7).

Social issues: After turning hard right on social issues, Romney now wants to downplay them (Salon, 3/7).

Campaign: Produces "restoring hope" video for leadership PAC (Politico, 3/7).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Plays-up his career in the anti-choice movement to Ralph Reed's Iowa group (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Religious Right: Argues in Iowa op-ed that LGBT equality will "eviscerate" freedom (RWW, 3/7).

Reed: It Is Unfair For Conservatives To Be "Judged On Their Past"

Tonight, the Iowa affiliate of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition is hosting it's "Spring Kick-off Event" featuring Five potential presidential candidates - Herman Cain, Buddy Roemer, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich.

And Reed wants it known that social conservatives have no intention of riding in the "back of the bus":

The Iowa political season is set to kick off with Monday’s Faith and Freedom Coalition forum featuring a slew of potential 2012 hopefuls — an event that group’s national chairman says will show that social issues “shouldn’t ride in the back of the bus” in the Republican primaries.

“This is a reminder that in spite of what the polls say nationally about the most important issues, there are literally tens of millions of grassroots activists within the Republican Party who will play an exaggerated role in the nominating process,” coalition leader Ralph Reed Jr. told POLITICO.

He added that those activists “want to have a nominee who thinks that social [issues] shouldn’t ride in the back of the bus. They want to see... a leader in the party and in the country who can lead on more than one front at the same time.”

Given that Religious Right activist expect to be front and center, you would expect that would be bad news for Gingrich who, with his checkered past, might have some trouble convincing these "family values" activists that he is worthy of their support ... but Reed insists that that is not the case at all:

“I just reject the argument that ... Newt's past would be a liability,” said Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition chief. “I think as long as he’s prepared to confront those challenges and he can do so in an authentic way, people’s (inclination) will be to be forgiving. Who wants to be judged on their past? Everybody has had issues.”

Gee, Reed doesn't think that Religious Right leaders ought to be "judged on their past"?  I wonder why that would be?

Santorum: Obama Will "Eviscerate" Freedom By Supporting Gay Rights

Rick Santorum is set to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa tonight along with Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer. On Saturday he wrote a guest column for the Des Moines Register where he repeated the same groundless right-wing arguments that marriage equality will lead to the end of religious freedom and that the Obama administration has stopped enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. In Iowa, a state which has had equal marriage rights since 2009, religious liberty has yet to collapse, as many conservatives predicted. And while the Obama administration found DOMA to be an unconstitutional law that it would no longer defend in court, it will continue to enforce the law. Santorum claims that as a result of Obama’s “power grab,” the “free exercise of religion will be eviscerated,” and also argues that advocates of marriage equality use “hate-filled” rhetoric against their opponents:

In refusing to enforce DOMA, the president was saying a law that was overwhelmingly passed by both Democrats and Republicans, and signed by a Democratic president, was simply no longer valid, no longer constitutional. Usually such actions are the province of the Supreme Court. This was a power grab, and it was wrong at every level. It was also a surprise. President Obama defended the law in the courts for the first half of his term, and said to Rick Warren in 2008, "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman."

Let me first define what we are not talking about. I believe if two adults of the same sex want to have a relationship that is their business. But when they ask society to give that relationship special recognition and privileges, then we should be able to have a rational debate about whether that is good public policy.

We should also ensure the debate takes cognizance of its constitutional implications. And with the President's decision, the free exercise of religion will be eviscerated.


Iowa is on the front-line of this looming battle because its activist Supreme Court redefined marriage to include same sex couples. But for the first time in Iowa history all of the justices up for retention were soundly defeated in November.

Iowans are not alone in standing up for traditional marriage. From Maine to California, 31 times voters were given the opportunity to amend their state constitutions to affirm marriage as it has always been, one man and one woman, and 31 times it has passed.

What is the retort to those who stand for what has been the foundation of every society from the beginning of time? Do they make a reasoned case providing evidence about such things as the effects on children, traditional marriage, faith, school curriculum and public health?

No, sadly there is no reasoned, civil discourse. Civility is only trotted out as a tactic to put the opponent on the defensive, never to actually enlighten. Their game plan is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. Claim high-minded concepts like "equality" and "tolerance" then launch vile and hate-filled personal attacks intended to strike fear and silence the opposition.

Some have argued this is not the time to wage this fight; that we have to focus solely on the vitally important job of limiting government, reducing the debt and creating jobs and growth. I agree these issues are at the top of our national list, but a big nation can focus on more than one thing at one time, just as men like Jefferson and Madison fought for religious liberties when arguably more consequential issues were occupying the public mind. In the end, it simply will not profit a country to gain wealth and lose its soul.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 2/15/11

Michele Bachmann

New Hampshire: Announces intention to visit New Hampshire at CPAC (Minnesota Independent, 2/14).

CPAC: Uses faulty tax math at her CPAC speech (WaPo, 2/11).

Health Care: Says that repealing reform law is “the driving motivation of my life” (RWW, 2/10).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Lobbied for Mexico to support the extension of an “amnesty” program (Salon, 2/14).

Lobbying: Politico looks into conflicts of interest as Governor after lobbying for tobacco industry (Politico, 2/14).

Iowa: Plans to address a Republican fundraiser in Iowa on March 15 (The Note, 2/14).

Mitch Daniels

Tea Party: Rush Limbaugh thinks Daniels is trying “to discredit talk radio and the tea party movement” (Politico, 2/14).

CPAC: Speech on debt receives rave reviews from pundits, but Daniels wins just four percent of straw poll votes (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 2/14).

Education: Pushes dramatic school vouchers bill despite cuts to public education (Evansville Courier & Press, 2/13).

Jon Huntsman

Utah: The former Utah governor trails Romney among state’s Republicans (Desert News, 2/12).

2012: Hires staff for his leadership PAC (Politico, 2/11).

Mike Huckabee

Religious Right: Criticizes GOProud during CPAC controversy (GOP12, 2/11).

Poll: Leading Republican choice on who would make a good president (The Atlantic, 2/11).

Sarah Palin

Poll: Struggles in polls of early primary states (Politico, 2/14).

Budget: Uses phony data to critique Obama’s proposed budget (CBS News, 2/14).

PAC: Hires chief of staff for leadership PAC (CNN, 2/11).

Tim Pawlenty

Religious Right: Plans to attend Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Iowa in March (Iowa Independent, 2/14).

Florida: Set to address Florida’s Republican state legislators (Florida Times Union, 2/11).

CPAC: Attacks President Obama as weak in CPAC speech (RWW, 2/11).

Mitt Romney

New Hampshire: Has support of 40% of New Hampshire GOP primary voters in WMUR Granite State poll (WMUR, 2/14).

Nevada: Meets with supporters in the early caucus state (LVRJ, 2/14).

Health Care: Massachusetts reform law continues to haunt Romney among conservatives (The Plum Line, 2/14).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Plans to attend Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Iowa in March (Iowa Independent, 2/14).

Palin: Runs away from criticizing Palin after she calls him a “Neanderthal” (PoliticalWire, 2/10).

CPAC: Criticizes judiciary and defends social conservatism at CPAC (RWW, 2/10).

Syndicate content

Faith and Freedom Coalition Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Monday 06/17/2013, 10:25am
The immigration divide evident from the opening hours of the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference became even more stark as the conference went on.  During a Friday afternoon breakout session on outreach to minorities, called “The True Rainbow Coalition: Building an Organization in Minority Faith Communities,” Hispanic conservatives went after Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, and other speakers who had trashed the immigration reform bill during the morning session. Panelist Adryana Boyne, director of VOCES Action who is also promoting... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 06/14/2013, 2:02pm
A group of conservative evangelical leaders has been pushing their fellow conservatives to embrace immigration reform, in part as a way to make the Religious Right and the Republican Party more appealing to the nation’s growing Latino population. Ralph Reed has been among those supporting the idea of a comprehensive reform bill, but at his Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference in Washington DC, many of the “Teavangelical” activists – people who are part of both the Tea Party and Religious Right movement – aren’t... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 06/14/2013, 1:57pm
In his speech yesterday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to the Majority conference, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) claimed that the Senate’s 81-10 vote against his bill to end aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya was part of a taxpayer-funded “war on Christianity.” In the speech, Paul even compared “liberal elites here at home” to governments that have harsh laws, including the death penalty, against Christians. Paul also said that he would allow “not one penny” in foreign aid to countries that allow the burning of the American flag, which we... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 06/13/2013, 4:27pm
Four of the Tea Party’s favorite senators – Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, and Marco Rubio of Florida – addressed the kick-off lunch for this year’s “Road to Majority” conference, which is sponsored by Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition. Rand Paul made his case for a humbler foreign policy, suggesting that anti-abortion “pro-life” advocates should also think about the lives of 18- and 19-year old soldiers sent abroad before applauding a politician who talks with bravado about pre-emptive wars.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/04/2013, 10:15am
A new report released by the College Republican National Committee has been making waves this week for its stern warning that the GOP’s appeal is foundering among young voters. Chris Moody notes that the group explicitly mentioned the party’s opposition to gay rights as a reason why young voters are repelled by the party: "[T]he conventional wisdom is right," the study's authors write in a section on how Republicans should approach marriage policy for gay and lesbian couples. "Young people are unlikely to view homosexuality as morally wrong, and they lean... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/18/2013, 4:00pm
A few weeks ago, Ralph Reed stopped by the offices of the Wall Street Journal to make "The Case Against Gay Marriage" which he did by declaring that "all the statistics and data that we have" prove that children of intact, loving families to better than children who do not grow up in such families.  Reed proceeded to cite some unnamed CEO who claimed to have studied the most productive staff in the company and discovered that "the number one determinant of how hard they worked and how dedicated they were" was coming from an intact, loving family. Of course,... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 03/15/2013, 12:01pm
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was not officially welcomed at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, but he was invited to speak at Friday morning’s prayer breakfast hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition, along with a couple Members of Congress. Not everybody was happy that McDonnell was on the premises: activists from the National Taxpayers Union and the insanely anti-gay Public Advocate USA gave out anti-McDonnell flyers and stickers to people entering the breakfast.  McDonnell’s sin against CPAC orthodoxy was his support for a... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/13/2013, 10:01am
The news broke this morning that Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has resigned from office over her ties to an organization that ran a series of "internet cafes" in the state that is now at the center of a racketeering investigation. According to reports, Carroll had close ties this organization and even appeared in a commercial for it in 2010. These "cafes" are often borderline casinos that exist in a legal gray area by claiming that they are merely offering "sweepstakes" to customers. So it is just a little too perfect that back in 2011, Carroll was a featured... MORE >