Gary Bauer: GOP Could Have Won if it Emphasized Opposition to Marriage Equality, Abortion Rights
Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat Obama and swing the U.S. Senate to the Republicans. After failing at both of these goals, Gary Bauer in an interview with Janet Mefferd chided Rove for not using his Crossroads juggernaut to focus on social issues. According to Bauer, if only Republicans like Rove emphasized the GOP’s opposition to abortion rights and gay equality, then maybe Republicans might’ve won after all!
Of course, Bauer’s Campaign for Working Families and other Religious Right groups like Eagle Forum and the Family Research Council invested heavily in the campaign to defeat Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and elect Todd Akin, who lost badly and carried just 39 percent of the vote. Bauer also may not be the best political analyst as earlier this year he predicted a Romney victory and said that votes for Obama will only come from fraudulent ballots and people who “depend on checks from their fellow taxpayers.”
Bauer: Karl Rove, a good man and basically a conservative, he probably raised over $100 million running ads, I don’t believe one of those ads were about family, about life, about marriage. Romney was pro-life and pro-family but I don’t think we really engaged in the ad war on those issues and I think if we would’ve engaged instead of being forced to be the defensive I still think we would’ve gotten many, many more of what used to be the Reagan Democrats, Catholics and others who are pro-life and pro-family but may identify more with the Democrats on the economic issues but with Republicans and conservatives on values issues.
Mefferd: I couldn’t agree more. One of my biggest frustrations was during the presidential debates where it was about the economy and the foreign policy and I thought : no one ever talked about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell being repealed, nobody ever talked about the morality or immorality of so-called homosexual marriage, abortion was not a big issue, we didn’t even talk much about radical Islam.
Bauer: I just looked at some polling data we purchased yesterday, exit polling data, it showed that the country is narrowly divided about 50/50 on the same-sex marriage issue but those that are against same-sex marriage were much more intense and much more willing to say ‘I vote on this issue, I will vote against a candidate that is in favor of same-sex marriage.’ Those who are in favor of it were much more squishy about it, didn’t say it was a voting thing for as many of them, so I continue to think that issue, in addition to it being important that we maintain normal marriage, but I also believe it is a political winning issue.
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