September 15th, 2009
03:54 PM ET
13 years ago

Movement 'coming from the soil of America,' conservative says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/15/art.perkins0915.cnn.jpg caption="Tony Perkins said Tuesday that recent conservative outrage directed at the Obama administration isn't necessarily going to be a 'windfall' for the GOP."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Three days after conservatives converged on the nation's capital to express their concerns about a number of the Obama administration's policies, a leading social conservative has a warning for the Republican Party.

"The public is not saying they're for Republicans," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said Tuesday at a gathering of conservative bloggers and online activists, "they're saying they're against big government and this is not necessarily going to be a windfall for Republicans."

As bipartisan negotiations over a health care bill in the Senate Finance Committee appear to be reaching a conclusion, Perkins said it would be a "disaster" for congressional Republicans to give their support to "anything that has any element of the public [health insurance] option."

And Perkins rejected the notion that the growing outpouring of concerns expressed by conservatives – during the recent August congressional recess and during last Saturday's event in Washington – had been contrived by groups like his.
"I don't think it's something that can be directed or controlled. This is not the work of organizations. I think organizations can fan it and channel it but they can't build it and direct it. I think this is coming genuinely - this is not astroturf. This is coming from the soil of America."

The Value Voters Summit, an annual Washington gathering of social conservatives put on by the lobbying arm of Perkins' group, is set for September 18-20. Carrie Prejean, a former beauty pageant winner who became embroiled in controversy after she supported traditional marriage, is set to join a number of other prominent conservatives at the event.

"She was just unmercifully attacked," Perkins said of the former beauty queen in a separate interview with CNN. Perkins added that his group is going to "stand up" for anyone in Prejean's position "and we're going to give them a platform."

Perkins also told CNN that "there's a natural overlap" between social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and foreign policy conservatives. "Americans don't draw the lines . . . like we do in Washington." Perkins estimated that 9 out of every 10 social conservatives are also fiscal conservatives.


Filed under: GOP • Tea Party movement
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    All these self indulgent rich complainers sound like, God forbid, VICTIMS!!

    September 15, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Bill Sampson

    The "religious conservatives" are nothing but a front for business. As so often happens, "religion" is used by cynics to obtain support from those they actually hurt with their policies. It is ALWAYS a sham.

    Keep "religion" out of politics.

    September 15, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Fed Up

    I guess we'll find out next year how much big government is wanted in this country. Of course, if the Dems lose, the "real Americans" won't have voted.

    September 15, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Bug3t | Ruth, CA

    Perkins estimated that 9 out of every 10 social conservatives are also fiscal conservatives.
    -------
    Five out of ten so-called Republicans are illiterate, under-educated and indoctrinated by organized religion in churches that despite their "tax-free" status, have giant billboards outside their mega-churches declaring how Jesus would vote for an issue.

    All you have to do is drive through Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma and other red states to see it for yourself.

    Fiscal conservatives? Hardly. They just believe they can buy their way to Jesus because that pastor in the $2K suit said they could... all the while touting their pro-life, holier-than-thou propaganda and supporting a war started for oil that killed and still kills thousands.

    And that's just the American lives. Of course, in their world, some lives are worth MORE than others.

    September 15, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter, soil = dirt

    God forbid we should spend any money that will pay off big time down the road. It's called investing, people. Most Americans can't think that far ahead, though. That's what we get for turning our education system into essentially vocational training instead of teaching independent thought. That's it teabaggers, fight against your own best interest once again like good little consumerbots. Your corporate masters are mighty pleased. Have a nice day!

    September 15, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Pee Wee

    "The public is not saying they're for Republicans," ... "they're saying they're against big government and this is not necessarily going to be a windfall for Republicans."

    He is absolutely spot on with this observation. I was a registered Republican until 2003. That party left me, not the other way around. We've forgotten that we need men and women of integrity in public office. Many have abandoned any of their own ideals to identify with one party or the other. It's sad really, the tribal mentality of most.

    My observation above is supported by many posts I see on these blogs decrying the actions of "Republican" Congressmen, because the article refers to them as (e.g. Rep. Pete Stark, D-California). The poster is so anxious to spew hate against that Rethug, but fails to notice the true party affiliation. Hint: if Rep. PRECEDES the name, it means Representative.

    September 15, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. ch

    "The Soil of America?"

    Well, the GOP, the teabaggers and extremist Christians like Perkins could surely serve as fertilizer!

    September 15, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Typical Republican

    yea...that's right...because that's where we live, in the DIRT! You heard it here first, we are coming out of our dirt homes because you are not listening to us little retarded people!

    September 15, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Blaine

    For once I agree with the FRC. The fervor over Health Care Reform is not helping Republicans at all; Americans see through the lies and distortions that have become commonplace for the GOP. As a former Republican, this is the very reason I left the party.

    As much as they want to continue to obstruct real reform and actionable change in this country, they will continue to alienate voters as a result. It's unfortunate that too many people have become confused by the lies being spread and result for the administration has suffered.

    I cannot wait for the day when we finally have this heath care debate behind us and we all have access to health care. When people finally realize that Grandma didn't have her plug pulled and no one was withholding care the Republicans will truly suffer. Voters will realize how ignorant and backward the GOP has become.

    September 15, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    The Tea Baggers are a bunch of uninformed, mostly older, mostly white people directing their anger at an easy target: the government.

    This same government that they probably whole-heartedly supported when we were lied to and led into a war with a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 and was not threatening our security.

    The same government that provides Social Security and Medicare to many of them.

    The same government that supplements local funding for schools, police and fire, not to mention roads and other infrastructure.

    They all have a right to protest, but for Pete's sake, do a little research, Tea Baggers, and stop letting yourselves be used by the Republicans who got us into such a mess in the first place!

    September 15, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Woo Hoo someone gets it, now if we can get the voters educated to.
    Bigger is NOT better, Too big to fail is not good for the Americian taxpayer. Bailouts do not save main street only Wall Street.
    AUDIT THE FEDERAL RESERVE! This is not part of the Government it is a Privaite bank profiting from our tax money, if you think the health insurance business is profiting too much from their business, than why not look at the Fed? This bank has never been audited since it was founded in 1913!

    September 15, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. jr

    The teabag movement began on FOX with help from the planned outburst on the floor of the Chicago exchange on CNBC. Last Saturday was planned and organized by Dick Armey and his right wing group. It was the culmination of six months of publicity by Glenn Beck, on both FOX television and his radio show. Perkins is wrong – these people can be directed and controlled as long as the message is one of hate.

    September 15, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Willy Brown

    Republicans and democrats in Congress Stand by to moved a side

    September 15, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Independent

    One would believe this if it came 8 no 7 no 6 no 5 no 4 no.....years ago....These people are simply a joke. They had NOTHING to say while Bush was destroying the country....So we simply don't care what a few racist people have to say NOW!!!!!!

    September 15, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Alan from rural Illinois

    Unfortnately, Perkins is confusing the "soil of America" with the manure that has been spread about healthcare reform by him and all his ilk.

    September 15, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Get A Brain GOPs

    From the dirt? That's where they all belong bc that's how idiotic their thought process is. All the stuff that they are rallying against should have been done when Bush W was in the White House. But wow, now that a black man is the president, they feel so strong about the role the gov has that they are now calling the president a nazi. I'll take it as a true complaint if you stop the nazi talk, the watering of the tree, the hitler resemblence, the birther movements, the death panel.

    September 15, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. Republican

    Not my soil.. My soil moves for a public option and health care for all. Period.

    September 15, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Al-NY,NY

    the "soil" he mentions is the pile that's gathered behind the outhouse, where most of these rubes come from...

    September 15, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Paul Ernest Show

    The Republican party is going on rampage. They are fanning violence and divisiveness as a means to create a crisis environment on the streets of America. If they think their actions are not having negative effect on they streets of America, then they are living in a bubble. They are simply dividing America and encouraging bad race relations on our streets. One can feel it everyday. If that is the kind of America they desire, I wish them goodluck. People are watching. They are further alienating themselves with their tea parties and almost rioting attitudes.

    September 15, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Robert

    I can't help but laugh whenever I read of these people carrying on about how the public opposes Obama. We do not. He has a 58 percent approval rating on healthcare, and a recent poll said 70 percent support a public option. Truth be told, most voters support a single payer system, but....

    Also, while Obama and Democrats in Congress may have had some slippage in support in the polls, Republicans have not seen their support increase by so much as a single percentage point. It is exactly what it was on inauguration day, and it's very low....

    So, when he says, "The public is not saying they are for Republicans," I have to swallow hard and say – for the first time – that I have to agree with this zealot that I very much dislike. For all the lies fed to them that have caused fear, there is no indication that anyone outside of those who already despise the president give their support to Republicans...

    September 15, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Frank - toronto

    I am a voting conservative but there is a significant difference to the meaning of conservatism in Canada.

    A very large segment of voting conservatives are Progressive-thinking when it comes to Social Issues and Conservative-thinking when it concerns Economic issues.

    The majority of Conservatives strongly believe in and support our single-payer Healthcare System, which to most Americans see as socialized Healthcare System.

    This is incorrect since the foundation of our Healthcare System is based on Doctors that hold private practices where Patients can freely select th Doctor's of their choice and where th government pays for the services provided (funded thru taxation)

    September 15, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. tjaman

    *hopes so very much that the teabaggers start their own party*

    September 15, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. JR

    "coming from the soil of America" huh, that must be why I find them such "dirty" , stinking losers.

    September 15, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. S M R

    It doesn't matter what kind of "RIGHT" they are, The bottom line is these CLOWNS all favor "TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS AND DEREGULATION.

    September 15, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. J.P.

    I think the correct term is libertarian.

    We hate big liberal nanny-state womb-to-tomb programs, intentionally designed to keep people poor and dependent upon their big government slave masters for their very existence.

    And we hate sleazy hypocritical big spending "republicans" EVEN MORE, because *THEY* of all people, should know better.

    The role of government, as seen by we "teabaggers" (as the snarky adolescent media bobble-heads named us), can be summed up like this:
    Defend the borders, build the roads, make the treaties, deliver the mail and stay out of my life and wallet... no wait, scratch that part about delivering the mail.

    And if "republicans" think they have a lock on our votes, they'd better think again, because we have no love nor allegiance to either of these corrupt parties, and we will be out in droves on election day 2010. Pack your bags, incumbents.

    September 15, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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