The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Really? Mitch Daniels Must Not Be Allowed to Speak at CPAC?


Arriving in my e-mailbox:

The American Principles Project today blasted the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for giving a major platform to potential 2012 presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who recently called on Republicans to make a “truce” on social issues, abandoning a key tenet of the conservative movement.

“Unfortunately, while Governor Daniels is slated to speak at CPAC’s ‘Reagan Dinner,’ he has failed to understand how Ronald Reagan fused the three critical legs of the conservative movement into one coherent governing philosophy,” said Andy Blom, executive director of the American Principles Project.  “Discarding one makes the whole obsolete.” 

In November, the group organized a coalition of conservative organizations protesting CPAC’s inclusion of GOProud because it is “fundamentally incompatible with a movement that has long embraced the ideals of family and faith,” it wrote in a letter to CPAC Chairman David Keene and his fellow board members.

“Governor Daniels’ selection is an affront to the millions of conservatives who believe that social issues such as abortion and traditional marriage are non-negotiable.”

Since APP launched the coalition, concern has grown and other groups have pulled out of the conference, including many past sponsors. 

“The Beltway wisdom among Republican insiders boils down to a simple mantra: Social issues are a thing of the past.  But this theory falls apart outside of the Washington bubble.  The Republican sweep in the House was dominated by pro-life, pro-family candidates, and polling shows large majorities want to see action on these issues,” said Mr. Blom.

Really? Mitch Daniels must not be allowed to speak at CPAC? Never mind that he’s managed to balance Indiana’s budget while so many other states face fiscal Armageddon, never mind that Indiana Right to Life loves him, never mind that he opposes gay marriage, never mind that Cato graded him a “B,” never mind that he’s a deeply religious man who has declared, “atheism leads to brutality,” all of that is irrelevant because he’s talked about a “truce” on social issues in some interviews? And for that, he must not be allowed to darken the doors of CPAC?

Just think, it was an entire six years ago that we heard complaints that CPAC was too dominated by social conservatives and was dismissive of the perspectives of libertarians . . .

Tags: Mitch Daniels


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review