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Gingrich Seeks Conservative Unity With New Group

Monday, 23 Mar 2009 08:55 AM

By Jim Meyers

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has launched a new organization that seeks to unite religious and fiscal conservatives, two wings of the GOP base that have often been at odds since Election Day.

Called Renewing American Leadership, the organization is led by Gingrich’s longtime communications director Rick Tyler and includes leading conservative Christian activists on its board.

“In the last few years I’ve decided that we’re in a crisis in which the secular state, if allowed, will fundamentally and radically change America against the wishes of most Americans,” Gingrich told USA Today.

In the coming months Gingrich will speak to several gatherings of politically conservative clergy organized by David Barton, a member of the group’s board and an evangelical activist who led the Republican National Committee’s outreach to clergy in 2004.

Last week, Renewing American Leadership joined with the American Family Association to urge churches and religious groups to take part in no-more-taxes rallies nationwide on April 15.

The rallies illustrate the organization’s efforts to bring together religious and fiscal conservatives to promote the Republican agenda, USA Today reported.

“There’s too much finger-pointing between economic conservatives who say we’re losing ground because of social conservatives and social conservatives who say the opposite,” said Barton.

“We need to start identifying real allies and the real opponents.”

Tyler said Sen. John McCain won the GOP presidential nomination last year in part because socially conservative Republicans backed Mike Huckabee while fiscal conservatives supported Mitt Romney in the primaries.

In his interview with USA Today, Gingrich pointed to several moves by the Obama administration that he sees as threats to religious liberty, including the reversal of a regulation allowing healthcare workers to refuse to provide services they oppose on moral grounds.

He also cited the economic stimulus package, which bars colleges from using federal funds to build or repair structures used for religious purposes.

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