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.”