CPAC beats back controversy over boycotts
February 10th, 2011
12:09 PM ET
4 years ago

CPAC beats back controversy over boycotts

Washington (CNN) - Organizers for the Conservative Political Action Conference are downplaying the fact several socially conservative groups have boycotted the event this year.

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a major organizer of CPAC, told reporters Thursday "our mission is to bring everyone together."

The boycotts are a in part the result of CPAC's decision to include GOProud – a pro-gay rights group. GOProud says it does not take a position on same-sex marriage considering it a matter for the states. The group says it is "committed to a traditional conservative agenda that emphasizes limited government, individual liberty, free markets and a confident foreign policy."

"Regardless of who is upset...we cover all of these issues," said Keene.

Such leading social conservative groups as the Family Research Council and the Heritage Foundation and individuals, including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) decided not to participate because of GOProud's presence.

"It is their right," Keene said but added he had no regrets.

Meanwhile, Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, defended his decision to skip the event.

"You know sometimes it's better to take a principled stand on conservative corporate principles and that's what you see happening here," he added. "And it's not just social conservatives by the way. You have organizations like Heritage that are not participating, not simply over this one issue but because of the drift."

"What's made the coalition of conservatives successful is not that everybody shares every view identically but they respect one another's views and do not work at cross-purposes. What we have here, in this CPAC, are some conservatives that are really more libertarians than conservatives working at cross-purposes with some in the movement and that is very dangerous to the conservative movement," he added.

This is the third year the Family Research Council has not taken part in CPAC because of differences with organizers.

Keene and other organizers pointed out that many conservatives used to support abortion rights and have now reversed their positions - a sign they said that the movement can embrace a wide range of views.


Filed under: CPAC 2011
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Video Guy

    I think getting the GOP on track to win anything is going to be like herding kittens.

    February 10, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    Duh – Deja VU is in the MIX
    CNN is confused – they must be BEWITCHED!!!
    Two stories – saying the SAME!!
    I guess it's not ME going INSANE!!

    (Actually, I did not read it – so maybe a corrections was made or something – WHO CARES!!!)

    February 10, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. duke

    Boy oh boy, Republicans know that american people are none too bright!
    These are the same people who pushed everyone of their congressional puppets to vote down all laws respecting the gay community,
    Now for votes these same party of god(gop)members claim to stand for gay rights??
    And the american people seem to just accept this(none too bright)!!
    Republicans are users,why do you think they only get black people one at a time?
    Never will they be able to woo the entire black community in this way because we've been down this dirt road before,just ask Michael Steele!!

    February 10, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Root and stem

    There is as much opposition to Obama in the U.S. as there is opposition to Mabarak in Egypt. Mr. Obama, Biden, and the entire Obamist government should resign TODAY and turn the government back to the people of the U.S. Dictatorships are unacceptable either in the U.S. or Egypt.;

    February 10, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    I have a nephew who's gay who's also a Republican ... blows me away how he and so many other people support a party that would love to literally throw them under a bus ...

    February 10, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Sanity Please

    David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a major organizer of CPAC, told reporters Thursday "our mission is to bring everyone together."

    Yeah I'm sure that's your mission. Bachmann do a great job of doing that?

    Shut up moron.

    February 10, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. MJ

    Yes, because gays are not really people so why should they have a voice in the Republican party...... Unless, it is a silent voice hiding behind his anti-gay position?? Maybe if they would agree to only count themselves as two thirds of a person these hate groups, I mean religious groups, would come back.

    February 10, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    ReFascistican

    This is not the Bush Administration Ari. The Obama Administration thinks before the they stick their foot in their mouth.
    ________________________

    Cute new name, Dutch. Come up with that all by yourself?

    But you're right – the Obama administration thinks before they stick their foot in their mouth. And then proceed to stick their foot in their mouth.

    February 10, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. carlos

    root and stem.......and turn it over to your despicable liars republiCONServatives, the biggset PREVARICATORS and BEGUILERS???????......NO

    February 10, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    if the people in groups like GOPride and the Log Cabin Republicans still want to associate themselves with a party that has done NOTHING for their causes and views them as sodomites then they deserve each other. Stupid is as stupid does and there is PLENTY of stupid in the GOP!

    February 10, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. M. Wagner

    Tony Perkins, "principaled stand". What a crock. Repubilcans have no principals. Only on sundays, mon.-sat. you play reverse Robin Hood and push fear and greed and racism. Very unchristian.

    February 10, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. sammieb51

    Glad the GOP homosexual population is coming out in their own party - got rather tired of seeing them "come out" in places like the airport men's room, the back of the church with Teddy-Bear, on the Congressional pages during the Bush years .... learned more about it than I ever want to know thanks to the GOP!

    February 10, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Protect and Defend Freedom of Speech in the USA

    Doesn't really matter what happens here. Conservatives across the country have seen the destructive power of liberals controlling all branches of the government. That mistake WILL be corrected in 2012. The futre, and very survival of our country, depends on it.

    February 10, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Alistair

    Root and stem

    There is as much opposition to Obama in the U.S. as there is opposition to Mabarak in Egypt. Mr. Obama, Biden, and the entire Obamist government should resign TODAY and turn the government back to the people of the U.S. Dictatorships are unacceptable either in the U.S. or Egypt.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO YOU AND ALL OF YOU WING NUTS! THE LAST ADMINISTRATION LEADERSHIP UNDER BUSH WAS JUST AS BAD THAN MUBARUK. HOPEFULLY BUSH AND HIS PARTNER CHENEY GOES TO JAIL.

    February 10, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Margie

    Hey Briston Palin wants to run for office ask her to speak. She'll tell you not to have children before marriage like she did. You know...do what I tell you, not what I do.

    February 10, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. NJfinest2009

    I am starting to wonder if cpac will have any members after this event?????????????? Nothing against the gay people but aren't the repulicans against the gay people? That is a serious question can somebody answer that for me? Please??

    February 10, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "What's made the coalition of conservatives successful is not that everybody shares every view identically but they respect one another's views and do not work at cross-purposes."

    Note that if you do not qualify as a "conservative" they do NOT respect yoru views and will knee-jerk work at cross-purposes no matter what you say or do...even if you, for example, propose a health care reform bill that mirrors what conservatives previously proposed about a decade ago and one of them even helped institute in one fo the states.

    February 10, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "There is as much opposition to Obama in the U.S. as there is opposition to Mabarak in Egypt. "

    LOL. Yes, I'm sure if we did an "average poll" for Mubarak's approval, it would show that he's about 6 points in the positive for approval just like Obama (even when including Rasmussen and Zogby, which have been consistently presenting outliers in favor of disapproval).

    February 10, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. JenniferinVegas

    Hey GOP....Please, go ahead and continue on this current path. All you're doing is further fracturing an already weak party. Perhaps that will allow us to actually move forward and get things done for the good of the country. We'll be doing that while you are all sitting in a circle pointing fingers at one another.

    February 10, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. ReFascistican

    Discrimination is a ConservaFascists principal. Of course they're not going to attend a conference with Log Cabinners.

    February 10, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It does seem to be a problem for many in the GOP. Where should you align yourself when there are social conservatives who want you to die and the fiscal conservatives that agree with you? I say that you do what you can and join the Libertarians which might be a better fit.

    February 10, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's not converservative or anything else to send billions of taxpayer dollars to war and to Presidents of Iraq, Afghan, Egypt and others and refuse Americans unemployment benefits, mothers food for their babies, healthcare, etc. it's UNAMERICAN.

    February 10, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. EricLr

    "You know sometimes it's better to take a principled stand on conservative corporate principles"

    I think he meant to say "core principles" but the slip-up is actually more accurate.

    February 10, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Rosslaw

    Has anyone noticed how people who obsess over sexual orientation, you know, like Republican politicians, seem inevitably to be dragged kicking and screaming like little girls out of the closet. The Dems Barney Frank must be patting himself on the back for having the good common sense to just be himself. On the plus side for the Repubs, at least the Craigslist-wise former Congressman Lee of N. Y. seemed to be trying to hit on women, albeit more than a little creepily. In any case, I'm still not going to leave one alone in a room with small children, just to be on the safe side.

    February 10, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  25. anagram_kid

    Root and stem,
    If we were living in a dictatorship do you think you would be allowed to post your rants in a public forum? Do yourself a favor and read up on what life is like under an actual dictator.

    February 10, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |