Earlier this year, Gov. Mitch Daniels came in for all sorts of criticism from the Religious Right for suggesting that truce might be needed in the culture wars so that the nation can focus on addressing economic and security issues.
If there is one thing the Religious Right hates, it is being told that their issues should be placed on a back burner or that they don’t motivate voter turn out. In fact, just yesterday we noted that the Religious Right was warning House Republicans not to ignore social issues as they lay out their issues and agenda, warning that it would be an “electorally costly mistake for the future for the GOP to write off” the anti-choice, anti-gay social conservatives who make up much of the grassroots base.
So I am guessing that this is not going to sit well with them:
Republican Governor’s Association Chair Haley Barbour cautioned Republican candidates on Wednesday against bringing social issues into the campaign, arguing that any discussion beyond the economy would prove distracting and problematic to their election hopes.
In a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, the Mississippi Republican was asked for his take on remarks made earlier in the year by Mitch Daniels, the Indiana Governor, who had urged social and fiscal conservatives to reach an informal truce for the purposes of 2010.
“I think what Mitch said is very similar to what I have responded to today,” Barbour replied. “The voters have on their mind the economy, jobs, spending, debt and taxes and good campaigns are about the issues that are on the peoples minds.
“I’ll put my bonafides up against anybody as a social conservative,” he added, noting that as governor, Mississippi was voted the safest state in the country for an unborn child. “But that ain’t going to change anybody’s vote this year because people are concerned about job, the economy, growth and taxes… you are using up valuable time and resources that can be used to talk to people about what they care about.”
You know, Mitch Daniels thought that it was his bonafides as a social conservative that gave him the standing and credibility to be able call for a truce in the culture wars, but that didn’t stop him for getting raked over the coal … so if Barbour thinks that the Religious Right is going to simply accept it when he tells them that they “are using up valuable time and resources” talking about issues nobody cares about, I think he is going to be in for a bit of a surprise.