Conservative Leaders: GOP Abandoned Conservatism
(CNSNews.com) – Several conservative movement leaders gathered in Washington on Wednesday to discuss holding the Republican Party accountable to its base and continuing to do battle with the president.
“Obama did not support the conservative agenda [and] neither did Mitt Romney,” Brent Bozell, president of the conservative group For America said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “At the end of the day, conservatives were left out in the cold.”
“It should have been a landslide for Romney had he embraced a truly conservative agenda,” he said.
Bozell, who is also the president of the Media Research Center, the parent company of CNSNews.com, outlined an agenda for what conservatives hoped to accomplish during Obama’s second term.
The Republican Party needed to earn the support of conservatives, he said, laying out a list of items that must be accomplished before conservative leaders would support Republican politicians.
“It’s time for conservatives to say enough of this,” said Bozell. “It’s time for conservatives to withhold any further support--financial or otherwise--from the Republican Party unless and until the GOP re-earns it.”
To regain conservative support, Bozell cited 10 items the GOP needed to accomplish, including a vote to defund ObamaCare, reintroduction of last year’s Cut, Cap, and Balance budget plan, a permanent ban on earmarks, tax reform, and embracing social conservatism.
“The GOP has an excellent party platform,” he said. “If you want our support, support your own platform first.”
Other conservative leaders at the press conference criticized the GOP for not putting social issues front and center in the 2012 campaign. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said the 2012 campaign had a “de facto truce” on social issues.
“What we had, unfortunately, was a de facto truce on social issues,” she said. “A de facto truce on social issues on one side but a full embrace of the war on social issues on the other side.”
Dannenfelser said Romney had adopted pro-life, pro-marriage, and other socially conservative issues, but argued that he did not make them a focal point of his campaign.
“I don’t think there’s any question that he [Romney] took all the right stands,” she said. “He took all the right positions and wrote them in his own hand and we were all happy to spread those commitments around. The problem was not communicating on a national stage with Obama what his actual positions were.”
Conservative publisher Al Regnery, head of the Paul Revere Project, said that it was time for conservatives to “put Mitt Romney in the rearview mirror” and focus on the policy battles of the next four years.
“Certainly we will look at this election, analyze it, figure out why things happened the way they did – then it’s time to put Mitt Romney in the rearview mirror,” he said.