The tea party movement represents a call to arms for disaffected citizens, says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
“What’s happening over the last 18 months is a civil awakening,” he told Newsmax.TV during a break in the Values Voter Summit his organization is co-sponsoring this weekend in Washington. “Americans are taking responsibility for our country, and they’re getting involved.”
Perkins was impressed with the victory of Christine O’Donnell in the Republican Senate primary in Delaware. “She had a values message across the board,” he said.
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“That connected with the tea party. They got behind her and other conservative voters got behind her.” As for the Republican establishment, it “became unglued,” Perkins said. “Their policy model doesn’t take into account the tea party movement.”
He says President Barack Obama has been divisive and has failed to hold up the country’s Judeo-Christian tradition.
“There’s not a reluctance for religious freedom in this country,” Perkins said. But, “It does appear that there’s been over-compensation, political correctness that’s gripped this administration and others to be deferential toward Islam but slap down the Judeo-Christian perspective.”
He says the Republican Party isn’t ready to choose a strong presidential candidate yet. “The conservative movement is having an identity crisis that has yet to be worked out. We need a common vision for America, and then we can look for a candidate that matches that vision.”
The summit, which began Thursday and ends Sunday morning, is the fifth annual such gathering of conservative activists and politicians. Sponsors include the legislative arm of the Family Research Council, the legislative wing of the American Family Association, and the Heritage Foundation, among others.
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