CPAC Underscores Need for Unity

Saturday, 12 Feb 2011 06:27 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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Rep. Michelle Bachmann got it right when she said at the Conservative Political Action Conference that Republicans can only win the presidency if they pull together.

Her words seem particularly relevant given the divisiveness that erupted over attendance by GOProud, a gay conservative organization.

The Republican from Minnesota pointed out that all conservatives – those focused on fiscal, social and national security issues – need to come together to continue Republican gains in 2012.

“For our conservative coalition to be victorious in 2012, it will take every one of us and then some pulling together to bring the three legs of this conservative stool together,” Bachmann said as attendees stood and applauded at the Marriott Wardman Park.

“I believe in the three-legged stool,” she said. “I believe in this coalition that is our winning combination. I believe you are incredibly talented. I believe you are motivated for 2012. I believe we can do this.”

But she said, “We cannot shun each other in 2012. The structural integrity and the political appeal is not only rooted in this fiscal discipline but the social values and the philosophy of peace through strength.”

Rather than direct fire at fellow conservatives, activists should be focusing on the Democrats, as Mitt Romney did in his speech. Romney told a packed hotel ballroom that “an uncertain world has been made more dangerous by the lack of clear direction from a weak president.”

President Barack Obama’s “proposed policy of engagement with Iran and North Korea won him the Nobel Peace Prize,” Romney said. "How’s that worked out? Iran armed Hezbollah and Hamas and is rushing toward nuclear weapons. North Korea fired missiles, tested nukes, sunk a South Korean ship and shelled a South Korean island.”

He added, “Because America faces unprecedented challenges, strength is the only answer.”

That applies to the conservative movement as well.

“Unfortunately, we have conservatives who think that the movement ought to be defined in terms of themselves,” Dave Keene, outgoing chairman of the American Conservative Union, whose foundation runs CPAC, has told me. “But that’s not the way you build a very popular movement. It’s not the way you attract very many people. And it’s certainly not the way you win an election.”


Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of News max. com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.

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