Conservative Group: RNC's 2012 'Autopsy' Mistaken

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 03:01 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Republican Party needs to make a strong stand on social issues while it works on its economic message, claims a conservative group that questions findings from the party's "autopsy" following the 2012 election.

"Accepting this emerging conventional wisdom will, in our view, likely consign the GOP to a permanent minority status," American Principles in Action says.

The conservative group's report says that the "conventional wisdom" in the Republican National Committee's "Growth and Opportunity Projects Report" claims presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other key Republicans lost their races because of "extremist" social issues, which took attention away from the GOP's "winning" economic message, Politico reports.

But the American Principles in Action group's report, authored by social issues activist and author Maggie Gallagher; activist Frank Cannon, and group economic projects director Rich Danker, calls for more attention to social issues, not less.

The report says social and life issues help win elections, and the GOP's economic message "as currently structured is not a winning message.”

The RNC's report offered solutions that include engaging diverse communities, improving campaign mechanics, and a more accepting approach to social issues while not setting a policy on them. The American Principles report though, argues that Republicans are allowing Democrats to define social issues when the GOP doesn't deal with them directly.

It pointed to the race for Virginia governor between GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli and Democratic contender Terry McAuliffe, saying Cuccinelli has been afraid to speak about his conservative record on social issues. The report says he has "accepted the conventional wisdom that the best use to make of social issues is to signal to voters that you don’t take your own positions seriously enough to govern with them, so it’s safe for the mushy middle to vote for you."

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