Newt Gingrich

Gingrich Group Funneled $125K To AFA To Remove Iowa Judges

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported that Newt Gingrich had quietly help raise $200,000 for the right-wing effort to remove three sitting Supreme Court justices in Iowa over their ruling in favor of marriage equality.

The Times article didn't provide many details about the effort, but today the AP fills them and reveals that Gingrich's group, Renewing American Leadership, funneled the bulk of the money to the American Family Association:

Potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich quietly lined up $150,000 to help defeat Iowa justices who threw out a ban on same-sex marriage, routing the money to conservative groups through an aide's political committee.

Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker who has aggressively courted the conservatives who dominate Iowa's lead-off presidential caucuses, raised the money for the political arm of Restoring American Leadership, also known as ReAL.

That group then passed $125,000 to American Family Association Action and an additional $25,000 to the Iowa Christian Alliance — two of the groups that spent millions before last November's elections that removed three of the state's seven state Supreme Court justices. The court had unanimously decided a state law restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated Iowa's constitution.

The financial transfers, which appear to comply with campaign finance laws, were part of a steady flow of cash into Iowa from conservative groups such as the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council.

During the campaign, the AFA's resident spokesbigot Bryan Fischer regularly bragged that his group was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the effort in Iowa.  Now we know that a significant portion of that money came from Newt Gingrich's organization.

Barton: There Are No Problems In America That The Bible Can't Solve

Just so you know: when Muslims want every aspect of culture to operate in accordance with their Holy Book, it is Sharia and an attempt to institute theocracy and a threat that must therefore be outlawed.

But when David Barton goes on and on about how the Bible was and must remain the foundation of our nation and says that every aspect of American life needs to operate in accordance with it  ... that is totally different, so much so that Newt Gingrich can promise him a key role in his presidential campaign:

Some of the challenges we're facing literally go back to us not having followed Biblical principles; economic principles is a good example, moral principles, the strength of marriage. Sure, marriage is under attack but, my gosh, it's under attack from Christians. Did you know 87% of Christians got a divorce after they became a Christian? Now, we got to follow the word of God better than that - we can't just use it as a devotional guide, we have to use it as a guide book for living. And so we'll strengthen our country by living by the word of God, we strengthen our country by really teaching that and by electing leaders who really understand that. So we've got a lot of challenges, but there's none that the Scriptures won't be able to handle.

Gingrich Says His Infidelity Was Due To The Fact He Was Working So Hard To Save America

CBN's David Brody went to Iowa to cover the Iowa Faith and Freedom event earlier this week and, while there, sat down for a short interview with Newt Gingrich, who explained that reason he carried on an affair while he was still married - not once, but twice - was because he was working too hard because he just loved America so much ... but now God has forgiven him

“There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness. Not God’s understanding, but God’s forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there’s a forgiving God. Somebody once said that when we’re young, we seek justice, but as we get older, we seek mercy. There’s something to that, I think. I feel that I’m now 67 I’m a grandfather. I have two wonderful grandchildren. I have two wonderful daughters and two great sons in law. Callista and I have a great marriage. I think that I’ve learned an immense amount. And I do feel, in that sense, that God has given me, has blessed me with an opportunity as a person. Forget about all this political stuff. As a person, I’ve had the opportunity to have a wonderful life, to find myself now, truly enjoying the depths of my life in ways that I never dreamed it was possible to have a life that was that nice.”

Ummm ... so Gingrich wouldn't be working "far too hard" if he was President of the United States?  But how they is he going to stop the Muslims and Atheists who are out to destory this great nation?

“In a sense, our Judeo-Christian civilization is under attack from two fronts. On one front, you have a secular, atheist, elitism. And on the other front, you have radical Islamists. And both groups would like to eliminate our civilization if they could. For different reasons, but with equal Passion.”

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: Progressive Organizations Criticize King for Targeting Muslims.
     
  • Mark Potok @ Hatewatch: Why Are Peter King’s Hearings So Loathsome? Let Us Count the Ways.
     
  • Nick @ Bold Faith Type: King Witness Attacked Congressman Ellison as Complicit in Terrorist Conspiracy.
     
  • Tyler Kingkade @ Iowa Independent: Ralph Reed: Marriage rights will not be deciding factor in GOP caucus.
     
  • Towleroad: Newt Gingrich Discusses Participation in Ousting Pro-Equality Iowa Supreme Court Justices Over Marriage Equality.
     
  • Joe.My.God: KANSAS: Lawmakers Call For Continued Criminalization Of LGBT Residents.
     
  • Evan Hurst @ Truth Wins Out: Racist, Homophobic Screed Published on Tennessee City Councilman’s Blog.

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?

Gingrich Kicks Of Presidential Exploration By Meeting With John Hagee

Now that Newt Gingrich has launched a presidential exploratory committee, we're going to have to start taking note of the Religious Right leaders with whom he surrounds himself and with whom he meets ... like John Hagee:

Gingrich has at least two trips coming up in Iowa; at both, he will speak to conservative Christian audiences. After speaking at the "Rediscovering God in America" event in Des Moines in late March, Gingrich is expected to travel to San Antonio, where he will speak at the Cornerstone Church, which has a congregation of 19,000.

While there, he is expected to meet with Cornerstone's sometimes-controversial senior pastor, John Hagee. In 2008, Hagee apologized for comments that were considered to be anti-Catholic. Gingrich, who converted to Catholicism two years ago, has been reaching out actively to evangelical pastors for the last two years.

Because that worked out for John McCain so well the last time around.  Maybe after that he can head to Ohio and meet with Rod Parsley.

Flashback: Gingrich's Presidential Campaign To Heavily Rely On Barton's Counsel and Advice

Hooray!  Thrice-married family values paragon Newt Gingrich will soon officially announce that he's setting up a presidential exploratory committee ... and he's even got his website up and running already.

So now would be as good a time as any to repost this audio clip from last September when Gingrich promised that if he did decide to run, David Barton would play a key role in the effort (in the clip, Gingrich is actually speaking to Rick Green, Barton's colleague at Wallbuilders, but his remarks are clearly aimed at Barton):

Green: Mr. Speaker, my wife and I were really wanting to be able to vote for you for president two years ago. Are we going to get to do that in 2012?

Gingrich: All I can tell you is that sometime in February or March, Calista and I and our family will be making this decision. As you know, I'm a great admirer of your work and of all you've done to teach Americans about their history and the roots of American freedom. And I can assure you that if we do decide to run next year, we're promptly going to call you and say "we need your help, and we need your advice, and we need your counsel." It's more than a voting matter. If we decide to run, David, we're going to need you.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that Fred Phelps and his band of anti-gay bigots have the right to protest military funerals.
  • Apparently Newt Gingrich won't be announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.
  • On a related note, Bryan Fischer says he won't be supporting Gingrich if he does run because "it is imperative that the next standard bearer of the conservative movement be a man who has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to family values in deed as well as in words, a man who does not just talk the talk but has walked the walk."
  • Ken Hutcherson says President Obama's DOMA decision is "delusional."
  • Finally, Pat Robertson tells Newsmax that God is not going to "turn this world lose to the crazies" but He may destroy it with a meteor.  So that is reassuring.

Huckabee And Fischer Agree That Obama's Childhood Instilled "Fundamentally Anti-American Ideas" In Him

The AFA's Bryan Fischer spent the first hour of his daily radio program doing what he usually does: railing against gays and Muslims. 

But today he kicked off hour two with a special guest: Mike Huckabee. 

Huckabee was there ostensibly to promote his new book but most of the interview spent with Huckabee lashing out at those who have criticized him for claiming that President Obama grew up in Kenya.

Huckabee insisted that he simply misspoke but then agreed when Fischer asserted that Obama's childhood is responsible for instilling some "fundamentally anti-American ideas" in him:

Huckabee: And it's really an indication of just how pathetic some of these folks are who claim to be journalists and reporters and have failed to do a decent job. You know, I admitted that I misspoke on that, but I corrected it. But what I have never done is taken to position that Obama was born in Kenya or Indonesia or anywhere other than Hawaii where he claims to have been born. Frankly Bryan, that is not a popular position with conservatives but it is the position I have consistently taken and I just am very amazed at the firestorm this has caused, especially in light of the fact that the talk show host himself has said there is nothing to it.

Fischer: Well Governor, what got lost in all the shuffle was the legitimate point that you were making which is that we may have a president who has some fundamentally anti-American ideas that may be rooted in a childhood where he had a father who was virulently anti-colonial, hated the British - might have something to do with the President returning the bust of Winston Churchill back to England. You know, I was struck by the fact that when he made his tour to Indonesia, he made a point of going to an Indonesian memorial that celebrated the victory of Indonesians over British troops - again, part of that anti-colonial thing. And so I'd like you to comment on that; you seem to think that there is some validity to the fact that there may be some fundamental anti-Americanism in this president.

Huckabee: Well, that's exactly the point that I make in the book and I don't know why these reporters - maybe they can't read, I guess that's part of it because it's clearly spelled out and I'm quoting a British newspaper who really were expressing the outrage of the Brits over that bust being returned and the point was that they felt like that due to Obama's father and grandfather it could be that his version and view of the Mau Mau Revolution was very different than most of the people who perhaps would grow up in the United States. And I have said many times, publicly, that I do think he has a different worldview and I think it is, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.

Later in the interview, Fischer asked Huckabee his thoughts about the news that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had been been suspended by Fox News as they mull presidential bids and Huckabee admitted that part of the reason he is in no rush to make any public decision about a run of his own is that, if he does, he'll also lose his gig with Fox. 

Here is the entire nine minute interview:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Family Research Council has filed a FIOA request because they are "deeply concerned that officials at the Department of Justice were collaborating with the litigants in the Proposition 8 case."
  • Speaker John Boehner says social issues will not be ignored.
  • Rep. Eric Cantor says the House will step up to defend DOMA.
  • Anti-Islam activist Robert Spencer wants to know why the US doesn't step up and outlaw Islam.
  • Remember Larry Grard? He's suing.
  • Finally, I am excited that thrice-married Newt Gingrich is forming a presidential exploratory committee and would like to announce my new policy that so long as he maintains this ridiculous charade, I intend to routinely refer to him as "thrice-married Newt Gingrich."

Will Republican Presidential Prospects Address The Iowa Renewal Project?

A little-reported Iowa event may bring together Religious Right leaders and potential Republican presidential candidates for a summit with pastors. Iowa Renewal Project is hosting a “Pastors’ Policy Briefing,” according to The Iowa Independent, that plans to include Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Haley Barbour. The Iowa Renewal Project is one of many state-level “restoration projects” that attempt to organize pastors to support conservative causes and Republican candidates. Most recently, Gingrich and David Barton participated in an event by the Nevada Renewal Project and the American Family Association to mobilize pastors to help Sharron Angle’s unsuccessful Senate bid.

Today, The Iowa Independent uncovered details of a group in Iowa that hopes to connect Republican presidential candidates with not only Iowa pastors but also extreme Religious Right figures such as Don Wildmon, John Stemberger, George Barna, Ken Graves, Jack Hibbs, and Laurence White. Despite the prominence of the attendees, the Iowa Renewal Project like other restoration projects offers little openness or transparency to the public (which might explain why we found out about this event from a letter to pastors, not a press release to the media):

But several rumored Republican candidates will gather in Des Moines later this month for conversations with clergy and congregants, and unlike most events featuring presidential hopefuls, very little is known about exactly who is behind the two-day, all-expenses-paid “Pastors’ Policy Briefing.”

An invitation, stamped with the return address of a West Des Moines UPS Store mailbox, went out this week to Iowa’s faithful. Those who received the call will have an opportunity to hear from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann during a two-day conference at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel on March 24 and 25.

“Meals and lodging are complimentary,” states the invitation, “and will be provided by the Iowa Renewal Project.”

An insert “from the desk of Mike Huckabee,” who addressed the group in 2007, reads:

America and our Judeo Christian heritage is under attack by a force that is more destructive than any threat America has faced in decades. Over the past year, we have been declared to be “not a Christian nation”; a response is necessary from those who believe that while government itself should not establish a faith, our principles are rooted in the notion that we are the result of providence and a dynamic Creator. Defeating the radicals who wish to ignore or revise our history will require renewed resolve and spiritual rearmament by the evangelical pastors in America.

Rediscovering God in America’s goal is to ignite people of faith to again engage the culture and bring America back to our standing around the world as a Beacon of Hope and a Shining City on a Hill.

Because God has entrusted you to care for His flock, you are a critical component to reclaiming the centrality of God in American life and confronting the evil that faces us now. At a time when Congress is busy trying to legislate defeat, we are inviting you to a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will help you engage the battle, to walk point. Today, with our troops facing danger abroad and our nation looking for guidance here at home, America’s need is to rearm spiritually through the leadership of her Pastors. The silence of the church and her pastors have helped to create this mess: Russell Kirk offers insight into the political climate of America if bible believing pastors pick up the mantle, “politicians are actors performing a script that is written by the audience”. Rediscovering God in America-Des Moines is to remind and encourage us that the proper position for America when facing evil and confronting enemies is not to find excuses for defeat but to find the resources, the courage and the strength from God necessary to win.

As Waddington notes, Huckabee’s letter is extremely similar to one Texas Governor Rick Perry sent to the Texas Renewal Project in 2008:

Both our nation and our Judeo Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more dangerous than any threat our world has faced in recent memory. I am convinced that our ability to defeat the radical jihadists who threaten our nation will be significantly impacted by the prayers and leadership of America’s evangelical pastors.

"Rediscovering God in America” was created to inspire people of faith to engage the culture and bring America back to our worldwide standing as a beacon of hope, a city shining on a hill.

Because God entrusted you to care for and lead His flock, you can play a key role in restoring God to the center of American life, thus strengthening our nation to confront this looming threat.

While Congress occupies its time trying to legislate defeat in Iraq, we hope you will attend a Pastors’ Policy Briefing that will equip you to walk point in the war of values and ideas.

Rediscovering God in America-Austin is intended to remind us that excuses are not the proper strategy when facing evil and confronting enemies. Instead, we must rally godly people and seek God’s provision for the resources, the courage, and the strength necessary to win and, ultimately, glorify Him.

Texas Think Tank Toasts GOP Freshmen

Early risers got a chance to start the second day at CPAC by quaffing champagne mimosas and rubbing shoulders with a group of freshman GOP representatives. The reception was hosted by the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation, a think tank founded in the 1980s by Dick Armey and dedicated to “Advocating lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a smaller, less-intrusive government.”   Greeting the mimosa drinkers was IPI President Tom Giovanetti, who once complained that Republicans “blew it” in the 1990s when they got a congressional majority and failed to fire all the Keynesians from the Congressional Budget Office.

IPI pushes a libertarian economic agenda: no estate taxes, privatized social security, etc. Giovanetti urged the new members of Congress to rely on his scholars for free expertise on free-market-oriented health and technology policies. Incidentally, Newt Gingrich spoke at the group’s “Reclaiming Liberty” event last November, at which he lavished praise on Rep. Louie (“a terrific national asset”) and evangelist James Robison (“an amazing person.”)Gohmert
 
But I digress. The CPAC reception featured several GOP freshmen who took turns talking about why they ran for office. Most said they ran to secure America on behalf of their children and/or grandchildren; two had personal beefs with the Obama about family car dealerships that were lost when GM was reorganized as part of the federal bailout.
 
Not surprisingly, each of the members praised National Republican Campaign Committee chair Pete Sessions for overseeing the big GOP gains in the House. Sessions’ remarks were notable primarily for what may be the single least inspiring evocation of “American exceptionalism” ever uttered: “an idea and a thought process that we need to buy into.”

Texas Think Tank Toasts GOP Freshmen

Early risers got a chance to start the second day at CPAC by quaffing champagne mimosas and rubbing shoulders with a group of freshman GOP representatives. The reception was hosted by the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation, a think tank founded in the 1980s by Dick Armey and dedicated to “Advocating lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a smaller, less-intrusive government.”   Greeting the mimosa drinkers was IPI President Tom Giovanetti, who once complained that Republicans “blew it” in the 1990s when they got a congressional majority and failed to fire all the Keynesians from the Congressional Budget Office.

IPI pushes a libertarian economic agenda: no estate taxes, privatized social security, etc. Giovanetti urged the new members of Congress to rely on his scholars for free expertise on free-market-oriented health and technology policies. Incidentally, Newt Gingrich spoke at the group’s “Reclaiming Liberty” event last November, at which he lavished praise on Rep. Louie (“a terrific national asset”) and evangelist James Robison (“an amazing person.”)Gohmert
 
But I digress. The CPAC reception featured several GOP freshmen who took turns talking about why they ran for office. Most said they ran to secure America on behalf of their children and/or grandchildren; two had personal beefs with the Obama about family car dealerships that were lost when GM was reorganized as part of the federal bailout.
 
Not surprisingly, each of the members praised National Republican Campaign Committee chair Pete Sessions for overseeing the big GOP gains in the House. Sessions’ remarks were notable primarily for what may be the single least inspiring evocation of “American exceptionalism” ever uttered: “an idea and a thought process that we need to buy into.”

For Third Year In A Row, Gingrich Makes Grand CPAC Entrance

For the third year in a row, Newt Gingrich makes a State of the Union-like entrance to CPAC, entering from the back of the ballroom and shaking hands as he makes his way to the stage as "Eye of the Tiger" blasts over the sound-system, while every other speaker simply steps on stage after waiting in the wings:

For Third Year In A Row, Gingrich Makes Grand CPAC Entrance

For the third year in a row, Newt Gingrich makes a State of the Union-like entrance to CPAC, entering from the back of the ballroom and shaking hands as he makes his way to the stage as "Eye of the Tiger" blasts over the sound-system, while every other speaker simply steps on stage after waiting in the wings:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Mike Pence will not run for President, disappointing literally dozens of voters.
  • Sharron Angle, on the other hand, just might make a run.
  • Nobody cares, but apparently Mark Salter is the "anonymous" author of the novel "O."
  • John Stemberger's legal defense fund was set up by Citizens for Community Values.
  • You know what stopped the flooding in Australia?  Prayer.
  • Bryan Fischer says Newt Gingrich is "too green" to be the GOP nominee - and he doesn't mean inexperienced.
  • Finally, Al Mohler says the theory of evolution is incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the reason the universe appears to be billions of years old is "because it bears testimony to the effects of sin."

Huckabee and Norquist Disappear From List of "Invited Speakers" to "The Awakening 2011"

Earlier this month we noted that the Freedom Federation had announced that the next "Awakening" conference would be held at Liberty University in April, offering an opportunity for Republican leaders like Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich to rub shoulders with Religious Right activists like Lou Engle and David Barton.

Among those listed on "The Awakening 2011" flier at the time as "Invited Speakers" were Mike Huckabee and Grover Norquist:

But the flier has recently been updated and both men have been removed:

Now, it makes sense that someone like Norquist would be dropped, given that he is involved with the organizations that are causing many of the Religious Right groups to boycott CPAC, but why has Huckabee suddenly disappeared from the list of "invited speakers"?  Did he decline to participate, or has he been uninvited, or what?

Huckabee and Norquist Disappear From List of "Invited Speakers" to "The Awakening 2011"

Earlier this month we noted that the Freedom Federation had announced that the next "Awakening" conference would be held at Liberty University in April, offering an opportunity for Republican leaders like Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich to rub shoulders with Religious Right activists like Lou Engle and David Barton.

Among those listed on "The Awakening 2011" flier at the time as "Invited Speakers" were Mike Huckabee and Grover Norquist:

But the flier has recently been updated and both men have been removed:

Now, it makes sense that someone like Norquist would be dropped, given that he is involved with the organizations that are causing many of the Religious Right groups to boycott CPAC, but why has Huckabee suddenly disappeared from the list of "invited speakers"?  Did he decline to participate, or has he been uninvited, or what?

Newt Gingrich Wants to Eliminate EPA, Once Backed Efforts to Fight Climate Change

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is inching closer to a presidential run, told a meeting of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association that he wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Like other leading Republicans, Gingrich says that the EPA’s life-saving oversight is too burdensome for businesses, calling the agency “a job-killing, centralizing engine of ideological litigation and regulation that blocks economic progress at every turn.” He wants to replace it with an agency that is more friendly to business, asserting that the “EPA’s current attempts to regulate greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, and thereby the entire American economy, is the latest and definitive proof that the EPA has gone well beyond its original mandate.”

But the potential presidential candidate may want to remember his advertisement for the Alliance for Climate Protection, the group founded by Al Gore, where he joins Nancy Pelosi to call for action against global climate change. Now that the GOP has become the party of climate change denialism, it’s no wonder that Gingrich is now calling for the elimination of the EPA.

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Newt Gingrich Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 01/18/2012, 1:44pm
Remember that “game-changing” endorsement of Rick Santorum by a group of evangelical leaders desperate to deny the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney?  As Brian reports, there wasn’t really that much of a consensus in Texas.  And it certainly didn’t make it to South Carolina, where Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate.  All had their fans in the crowd, and Gingrich seemed to have more, or at... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/17/2012, 10:50am
Did social conservative leaders come together and jointly endorse Rick Santorum at the Texas retreat over the weekend? That is the way Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and many in the media interpreted the meeting of leading Religious Right luminaries, where on the second ballot Santorum led Gingrich 70 to 49, and on the third ballot 85 to 29. Perkins claimed there was a “strong consensus” behind Santorum, who has won the backing of Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance, former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher, American Values... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 01/13/2012, 5:15pm
Religious Right leader and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye has always reserved strong criticism for President Obama, even going so far as to say that he is pushing the world “closer to the Apocalypse,” continued to lash out at the Obama administration in his letter to South Carolina pastors asking them to support Newt Gingrich. LaHaye and his wife Beverly, the founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, endorsed Gingrich yesterday and, like Gingrich’s other supporters from the Religious Right, is warning that America may collapse if Obama wins reelection. “... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 01/13/2012, 10:50am
Is the Religious Right beginning to coalesce behind Newt Gingrich? Yesterday, the former Speaker hosted a conference call with the members of his Faith Leaders Coalition: American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, Religious Right pollster George Barna and pastor Jim Garlow. Now, Gingrich is racking up additional endorsements from Religious Right figures just days before conservative activists are set to meet in Texas to see if they can get behind one of the presidential candidates. Tim LaHaye, the author of the Left Behind series on the End Times and founder of the Council for National... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/12/2012, 4:45pm
Newt Gingrich today joined a conference call with members of his campaign’s Faith Leaders Coalition including Pastor Jim Garlow, American Family Association founder Don Wildmon, and Religious Right pollster George Barna where he urged social conservative voters to coalesce behind his candidacy. During the call, Gingrich repeated his claim that religious charities are losing their rights because they refuse to follow codes that prevent taxpayer-funded services from discriminating against people such as married same-sex couples. He even warned that America might go the way of Europe where... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/03/2012, 11:40am
Yesterday, leading Religious Right activist and Gingrich-surrogate Jim Garlow appeared on The Steve Deace Show, where he joined former congressman J.C. Watts in praising Gingrich. Deace, who recently endorsed Gingrich, asked Garlow why evangelical voters should back Gingrich when many feel there are candidates who are more ideologically pure and do not have Gingrich’s personal baggage. Garlow commented that Religious Right voters continue to be “defeated and frankly humiliated” by “hyper-spiritualizing” elections, when they should be backing candidates who have a... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 12/30/2011, 4:35pm
Facing a barrage of negative ads and a severe drop in support among Iowa voters, Newt Gingrich today held a conference call with Iowa pastors to build up his support among the state’s social conservative voters. Religious Right leaders Don Wildmon and Jim Garlow, both of whom have endorsed Gingrich, were featured on the call, and David Brody of CBN News obtained Wildmon’s letter sent to Iowa pastors. In the letter, Wildmon stressed Gingrich’s “thrust to remove elitist judges,” including the Iowa justices who “voted in 2009 to impose homosexual marriage on... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 12/29/2011, 10:15am
Last night during a tele-town hall hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, a caller asked Newt Gingrich if he would consider choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate if he wins the Republican nomination. Gingrich responded that Palin “is certainly one of the people you would look at” and told the caller that he is “a great admirer of hers,” saying “she was a remarkable reform governor of Alaska.” He also floated appointing Palin to a Cabinet position such as Energy Secretary because he “can’t imagine anybody who would do a... MORE >