Conservative Leaders Meet, Plan to Battle Obama’s Agenda – With or Without Republicans
November 6, 2008 - 6:03 PMA group of about 20 conservative leaders met in the Virginia countryside Thursday to begin planning the fight against the liberal agenda of President-elect Barack Obama – with or without the Republican Party.
The meeting was seen as the first in a series of gatherings that conservative leaders will be holding in the coming weeks to plan the development of new organizations, new fundraising efforts and new strategies to deal with what they expect to be a series of momentous battles over significant issues of public policy.
The leaders said they foresee battling Obama and the Democratic Congress – and most likely moderate Republicans, too – over issues including taxes, sanctity of life, marriage, judicial nominations, secret ballots for union organizing and the Fairness Doctrine, which they see as a threat to freedom of speech on the radio.
The group included L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Media Research Center, the parent organization of CNSNews.com; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; Al Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator; longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie and conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway.
There was a consensus among the group that conservative ideas and principles had not been defeated in Tuesday’s election, but a Republican Party that walked away from these principles had been defeated.
“This was a campaign between the moderate wing of the Republican Party and the Democrats,” said Bozell.
“Conservatism did not lose – big government Republicanism lost,” said Viguerie.
The participants generally agreed that new national conservative political leaders will emerge from the major public-policy battles that they anticipate.
Conway said conservatives will be looking for the candidates and elected officials who fit the movement’s “job description” – meaning that they are with the movement on the core issues at stake in these battles and are in the thick of the action when those battles begin.