Just yesterday I wrote a post noting that Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council were not happy with the new National Council for a New America and it’s obvious lack of concern about the social issues that are central to the Religious Right’s agenda and wondered if Mike Huckabee might be about to emerge as key player in any unfolding drama.
Well, guess what? Greg Sargent reports that that is exactly what is happening as Rep. Eric Cantor scrambles to appease the Right by reaching out to Huckabee:
In a fresh round of GOP infighting over the soul of the battered party, Mike Huckabee just took a shot at a host of potential primary rivals, disparaging Eric Cantor’s new group to revive the GOP, the National Council for a New America, and the high-profile Republicans that make up the group’s “panel of experts.”
The experts Huckabee was referring to include Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Bobby Jindal, all of whom are being talked about for 2012.
Huckabee’s broadside came in a statement attacking Cantor’s group, which Cantor has said was formed partly to “listen” to the American people.
“It is a sad day when our party comes to the point where we think it is necessary to form a `listening group’ to find out what Americans think we should be fighting for,” Huckabee said. “Our problem is not lack of `experts,’ but too many of them and not enough attention to the hard working people in our communities that aren’t connected to the Beltway, but to the heartland.”
In a sign that social conservatives aren’t in the mood to give Cantor’s group room to rebrand the party, Huckabee also took a shot at the group’s lack of immediate emphasis on social issues, saying that the group has dismissed “values voters” and urging an emphasis on “traditional marriage” and the GOP’s role as “a party that values life.”
Cantor spokesperson Brad Dayspring extended a conciliatory hand towards Huckabee.
“Eric reached out to Governor Huckabee, appreciates his efforts as a leader in our nation and he looks forward to remaining in close communication with all leaders,” Dayspring told me, adding that social issues would be a focus of Cantor’s group: “All issues, all topics, and all ideas will be included in the dialogue that the National Council for a New America will have.”