Skip to comments.Conservatives Take Back Seat at Republican Convention
Posted on 08/31/2004 10:11:57 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Republican Party is presenting a moderate image at its national convention but conservatives who dominate the party say they are happy to stay in the background, confident that President Bush (news - web sites) will take care of their interests if he wins the election.
"The speakers at the convention may be thought of as moderate but their message is a strong conservative message. They are not going to be speaking about abortion rights or same sex marriage -- that would go down like a lead balloon," said Gary Bauer (news - web sites), a prominent Christian conservative who ran against Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000.
This time, Bauer said he and his supporters were enthusiastically backing Bush and would turn out in massive numbers on Election Day on November 2. He said he was not too bothered that Christian conservatives did not have a prominent role at the convention, noting that the party platform was adamantly conservative.
That is not to say that all conservatives are equally happy with Bush. Some are bothered at the growth of government spending and the federal budget deficit and others oppose Bush's proposal to allow some illegal immigrants to obtain legal work visas.
K.B. Forbes, who was spokesman for former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes (news - web sites) in 2000, said some conservatives were also upset that the convention speakers' lineup was dominated by what he called "a bunch of RINOs -- Republicans in Name Only."
"But what you hear from the grass-roots is that fear of (Democratic presidential candidate) John Kerry (news - web sites) is so great that they will swallow their doubts. Kerry is regarded as so liberal that he scares them," he said.
Mark Rozell, a political scientist with George Mason University, said that in many ways the image the Republicans were presenting to the country was misleading.
"It's not an accurate picture of the Republican Party which has become an overwhelmingly conservative party with a relatively smaller number of moderates," he said.
"But conservatives know they have the president with them on most of the major issues and they don't need the symbolism of having speakers at the convention," he said.
Bush campaign officials are confident their political base is firmly committed to the president and do not need to be wooed. They want to use the convention to reach out to moderate, undecided voters.
Polls show Bush has the backing of around 90 percent of self-identified Republicans -- an almost unprecedented percentage. Democrats are almost equally committed to Kerry.
"The whole purpose of the convention is to sell Bush and the party to swing voters so the effort is to stress moderate elements of the party," said University of Akron political scientist John Green, a leading expert on the political role of evangelical Christians.
The Republicans are doing so by presenting speakers like former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (news - web sites), California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) and New York Gov. George Pataki, all of whom support abortion rights, in prime time speaking slots.
Bay Buchanan, a prominent conservative activist, said convention speakers, most of all Bush himself in his speech on Thursday, still needed to inspire conservatives by stressing issues important to them. She would be looking most of all for the president to reaffirm his determination to work for a constitutional amendment to outlaw same sex marriage which she called the number one issue in the minds of Christian conservatives right now.
"I'm not paying that much attention to all these other speakers. It's what Bush says that matters to me and I do expect something to be said about gay marriage that shows he's still committed and not hesitant or afraid to stand up on this issue," she said.
Rueters attempts to create a rift after a great first night at the RNC.
Bush is not exactly conservative either, other than being for tax cuts and fighting the WOT.
Virtually all of his other domestic programs are what I should call moderately progressive.
More like the RINOs created the rift and made it look like the conservatives' fault.
Colmes was hammering away at that theme with each guest last evening.
By the way, does anyone know what is wrong with Alan Colmes? He appears to be very ill, or at least many pounds thinner.
Have conservatives become the 'Rodney Dangerfields' of politics..?
We might find the MSM portrayal of conservatism as much responsible for that as anyone.
I agree. We are and can put aside all the intra-party fighting for 63 days.
LOL! The MSM is upset that the Republicans look good, and are now accusing them of the same stunt Kerry and Co. tried to pull off in Boston. However, the howls of misleading the public were silent.
Those are two of the four primary issues on the conservative agenda. Support for a strong defense, limited govt, tax reform and advancing pro-life concerns. Bush may not be a conservative ideologue, but he is politically conservative. An instinctive conservative.
"what is wrong with Alan Colmes? He appears to be very ill, or at least many pounds thinner"
I noticed ,too. Is he sick?
Funny how hard the liberal media tries to stir the pot. I have yet to see one christian right conservative complain about this.
No there real strategy is America dont fall for this dirty Republican trick of having moderates, liberals and democrats speak at there convention they arent the REAL republicans the REAL republicans are neo-fascist racists who sit around everyday thinking of how they can steal from the poor and give to the rich.
Did Reuters write an accompanying article about how the democrats were hiding their radical hate-America leftists in Boston?
You havent? The hard christian right was balling about the speaker line up.
It's a monster of a system that has become our modern day government. So many dollars, so many bureaucrats, so many lobbyists, ... and no end in sight.
I feel for the President and his administration, they are in a tough spot. They are trying to move thru legislation sorely needed (energy bill comes to mind, for one) but obstructionist forces stand in their way in every area proposed for reform or elimination.
The task is enormous,, but to fail to even try and propose and enact reforms in "entitlement" programs and allow for some control over monies withheld for future purposes, puts us only a couple a years away from a 10 Trillion dollar national debt.
Remember the year they had Pat Buchanan speak in prime time and he had everyone angry? Which convention was that?
Who do you consider the hard christian right?
Pat Robertson is one.
In 1992 Pat gave the Culture War speech and it was pretty darn good, then the media spun it.....and well you know the rest of the story.