In a radio interview yesterday, conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly insisted that she is still in charge of Eagle Forum, the group she founded and has led for decades, despite reports that several members, including her daughter, were working to remove her from the organization.
A group of Eagle Forum activists announced on Monday that they had voted to oust Ed Martin from his post as Eagle Forum’s president, a claim denied by Martin. Martin succeeded Schlafly as president last year, with Schlafly remaining to serve as chairman of the board and CEO. While the dissidents have insisted that they were not moving to oust her, Schlafly has repeatedly said that she is the real target of the coup.
Schlafly told St. Louis radio host Mark Cox that nothing has changed in the organization because she did not recognize the meeting at which the vote to remove Martin took place and therefore the vote was invalid.
“I built the most prestigious and good conservative organization on the planet, and all of the sudden there are some people who think they can run it better than I can,” Schlafly said. “So it’s a takeover attempt. We’re not going to let them do it.”
She said that while her prominent endorsement of Donald Trump played a part in the infighting — five of the six people named by Schlafly as the coup plotters have publically endorsed Ted Cruz and one of them suggested that the 91-year-old Schalfly was “manipulated” into backing Trump — she said it was not the main reason for the schism.
“I think they want to get hold of our assets and our lists; in other words, take over the organization that I’ve built up over about 40 years,” she said, “and we’re not going to let them do it.”
“I’ve got three sons that are helping me and we’re going to win,” she added. (Schlafly has said that her daughter, Anne Cori, is “the leader of the coup”; Eagle Forum’s board named Cori as the group’s executive director after voting to oust Martin.) “Nothing’s changed so far,” Schlafly said. “I’m still running it.”
The discussion then moved to Trump’s presidential bid, with Schlafly praising the GOP billionaire mogul for his vocal opposition to “the immigration of a lot of people who don’t share our values and seem to want to spread their way of life in our country” and his fight against “the kingmakers” who “think they are appointed by God or something to run the party and select the nominee.”
She acknowledged that “large numbers of Eagle Forum are for Cruz” and that she even suggested to Trump that he appoint Cruz to the Supreme Court, saying that he called it a “good idea.”
Schlafly said she will attend the GOP convention to make sure that the party doesn’t “change a comma” in its platform because it is already a hardcore conservative document. “When I took over this fight in the platform, the Republican Party was pro-abortion and I’m happy to claim that I am partially to be credited to changing the Republican Party to be pro-life so that you almost have to at least say you’re pro-life in order to run on the Republican ticket,” she said.