For the last few years, there has been a deepening rift between some Religious Right leaders and the organizers of the annual CPAC conference over what the Religious Right saw as a growing embrace of libertarianism over social conservative values at the event.
For instance, various groups have been boycotting past conferences due to the participation of the gay conservative group GOProud while Mike Huckabee has not attended in several years on the grounds that the conference had become, as Politico put it, “outdated, nearly corrupt and unrepresentative of the conservative movement.”
But earlier this year, Al Cardenas took over as head of the American Conservative Union, which sponsors CPAC, and began trying to repair the strained relationship, first by suggesting that GOProud will no longer be participating. And now it looks like Cardenas has made up with Huckabee as well, as it has been announced that he will be delivering the keynote address at next year’s conference:
The American Conservative Union (ACU) and Citizens United on Thursday announced that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee will be the keynote speaker at CPAC 2012 — the 39th annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
“We are proud to welcome our friend Mike Huckabee back to CPAC. Governor Huckabee was a tremendous chief executive of Arkansas for nearly a decade and has continued his success in the public arena as a best-selling author, influencing hundreds of thousands of grass-roots conservatives across the nation,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “The American Conservative Union looks forward to hosting CPAC next February as the premier venue to highlight conservative leaders, principles and policies in 2012.”