and Mr. Priebus‘ choice for featured luncheon speaker Thursday at the RNC:
“Boston gathering exposes rifts in GOP, despite Priebus’ best efforts”
Here’s an excerpt from Ralph Z. Hallow’s article in the Washington Times over the weekend:
BOSTON — Once again attempting to achieve the impossible for a single party in a two-party system, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus did his best at the RNC’s summer meeting here to show respect for the many competing strains of thought in his party.
Unfortunately for Mr. Priebus, the effort to acknowledge everyone satisfied almost no one.
Some blasted him for violating conservatism’s freedom-first principles when he won unanimous passage of a resolution to ban two major TV networks from hosting 2016 GOP presidential nomination debates.
Others hit him for quietly helping to table resolutions to undo party rules changes that Mitt Romney’s campaign had pushed through last year.
Still others hammered him for featuring as speakers neoconservative war hawk Bill Kristol, the President Obama-praising New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Sen. Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, the antagonist of social conservatives. . . .
. . .To the surprise of many RNC members, Mr. Christie, Mr. Priebus‘ choice for featured luncheon speaker Thursday, won enthusiastic approval from the Boston audience members for what they said was the solidly conservative content of his speech — despite his past squishy views on abortion, same-sex marriage, gun-control and immigration and, just before the 2012 elections, his high-profile chumminess with President Obama who extended generous federal aid to New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy.
“Christie knocked it out of the park on Thursday here,” said Pastors & Pews founder David Lane, who attended the RNC meeting. “If he gets the social issues down, he will be formidable.”
“He gave a fabulous speech but would I support him for the nomination? No way,” said Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere. “Would I support him if he were our nominee in 2016. Yes.”
Not so for tea party groups around the country.
“Typical of a Republican Party that has lost its way and is being led by a faltering conservative compass,” said Cleveland Tea Party Patriot cofounder Ralph King. “Conservatism and the United States need someone like Ronald Reagan. And Mr. Priebus, Governor Christie is no Ronald Reagan.”
Arizona tea party activist and former Maricopa County GOP chairman Rob Haney said that “tea party sentiment is more like, ‘It’s time to dissolve the RNC and start over. Tea partiers feel betrayed by even those whom they had championed, like Chris Christie — and the RNC for its flip to pro-amnesty on immigration.”
Where do conservative value voters go?