September 10th, 2010
03:24 PM ET
12 years ago

Ralph Reed's comeback – with a little help from his friends Newt and Karl

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ralph Reed is the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition."]Washington (CNN) - Ralph Reed beamed in the back corner of the colonial ballroom at Washington, DC's Mayflower Hotel as Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland spoke. Reed clapped the loudest as Westmoreland laid out the plan for social conservatives to get involved in November's mid term elections.

"We need you in November worse than you can imagine," Westmoreland told the crowed at the Faith and Freedom Conference and Strategy Briefing.

Of course, this is also Reed's handiwork. He's the former head of the Christian Coalition and now the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. He organized the conference to bring high-powered conservatives to address the conference to help mobilize faith voters.

Former George Bush adviser Karl Rove received a standing ovation from the crowd as he stepped up to the podium. He reminded the crowd the midterm elections are just a few weeks away. "Remember who are target is, it's not people who are already with us, it's people who are up in the air," he said. "We have to use the words of our opponents to indict themselves. We have to offer a vision."

Reed is seen here as an important messenger of that vision and the crowd embraced him with rousing applause when he welcomed them. He told the group here his motivation for starting the new coalition came after watching the 2008 election unfold. He compared the Republican effort to that of the Washington Generals basketball team that plays against the Harlem Globe Trotters.

"That was us in 2008, we showed up to get beat," he said. Not long after the 2008 election Reed says he got a call from radio and television host Sean Hannity who implored Reed to get back in the political game and organize social conservatives as he once had with the Christian Coalition.

Reed said his new coalition is gaining 1,000 new members a day. One way he said they are able to grow so quickly is with shoe leather hitting the streets. "All the money in the world can't substitute a strong grass roots organization," Reed said.

That organization he promised would, "make a lot of noise in the next 50 days." The group he says will push for several ideas. He said they wanted to see an end to stimulus funding, corporate bail outs, repeal the recent health care legislation, and to "stop apologizing for America like Barack Obama did in his speech to Cairo."
The big draw of the morning was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Gingrich says he this the coming mid term elections, "could be bigger than the 1994 election." He said, "I believe the election of 2010 and 2012 will be a referendum on values."

The biggest response from the crowd came when Gingrich began talking about radical Islam. "What threatens us isn't terrorism what threatens us is radical Islam." He said the current administration has missed the mark on national security. "They willfully desire to avoid reality," he said.

In another example, Gingrich then pointed to comments New York City Independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg made after the attempted car bombing in Times Square when he suggested the bomber could be upset with the new healthcare legislation. "There aren't car bomb factories sitting around America among tea parties members angry about the health care bill." Similarly, he continued, "this administration is an absolute impediment to protecting our country and defeating our enemies."

In closing Gingrich echoed the theme from the podium all morning. "You have to take this moral framework but then you have to roll up your sleeves and apply it."

This conference is evidence Reed is doing exactly that.

Filed under: Ralph Reed
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Jetty

    Newt and Karl failed to stop Obama ascend to presidency and if any political logic is to go, their appearance together again the president, ascertains a good Novembver for the Democrats.

    September 10, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Skip

    Reed, really does epitomize the Christian Right.. corrupt and hypocritical.. Using the honest opposition to gambling of many conservative Christians to enrich himself with bribes from Jack Abramoff.. Have people forgotten this already? He is indeed the kind of person that Newt and Karl will bring back into positions of influence if the Republicans return to power.

    September 10, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. gg

    Ralph Reed and Karl Rove are liars and frauds. They are totally corrupt politicians whose only interest is in stealing as much money as they can while destroying the American middle class.

    Two proud leaders of the modern Repubilcan party.

    September 10, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Michael in Houston

    Oh good grief....this squeak of a creep is back again.

    I realize that the republican party has its hands full with one nut case after another coming out but is there any way you can slow it down to so we can have more time to absorb the lunatics your bringing forward? I mean most of us have just gotten past Palin (are you freakin serious?) and then comes Newt, then a series of wacked out republican looney birds who either think illegal immigrants babies are future terrorists, another who thinks mexicans are beheading people in Arizona and now you parade out Ralph Reed??

    We got it already!! Your all collectively out of your minds!

    September 10, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Bill from GA

    Axis of evil, part 2

    September 10, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. R. Wood

    Was Ralph's buddy, Jack Abramoff there?

    September 10, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Michael in Houston

    By the way Mr Reed...Mr. Values...Mr Self righteous....have you been yet cleared of your activities and fraud associated with Jack Abramoff and the indian casinos??

    ....evidence revealed the participation of the Christian Coalition in the alleged fraud, particularly the Alabama chapter of the Christian Coalition, which received large amounts of donations from the casino money. It is alleged that Abramoff engaged Ralph Reed to set up an anti-gambling campaign to include the U.S. Family Network, the Christian Coalition, and Focus on the Family in order to frighten the tribes into spending as much as $82 million for Abramoff to lobby on their behalf.

    September 10, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Bill from GA

    Three of the most immoral people in American politics.

    Remember how Reed used Texas ministers 9and their flocks) to fight an Indian tribe's gamboling casino, so another tribe, which paid him, could build one??

    September 10, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Puritan Fundamentalists do NOT believe in freedom. All they want to do is oppress people and hijack America with their fundamentalist agenda.
    You may want to change that ridiculous name. Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney are Mormons by the way, not real Christians.

    September 10, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Snow

    This country needs to return to its faith and its roots. If the nation can do this, then there will be alot of new conservatives in DC this mid term election year and in 2012.

    September 10, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Bill from GA

    Three of the most immoral people in American politics.

    Newt and Carl are infamous for their immorality. Reed may be less known to many. He couldn't even win the repugs' nomination for Lt. Gov. in Georgia. If you can't fool GA repugs, you ain't much!

    Personally, I think Carl Rove was behind the selection of Sarah Palin, knowing that thatwas the repugs best chance for an eventual comeback. Throw the election, blame the dems for all of the existing problems, then stage a comeback in the following years. Sound paranoid, I know, but it may be working.

    Nothing new needs to be said about newt; he may be America's worst man in politics, in so many ways.

    September 10, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Aaron

    "In closing Gingrich echoed the theme from the podium all morning. "You have to take this moral framework but then you have to roll up your sleeves and apply it."

    I would wadger to bet that Newt Gingrich has no concept of "Morality" or maybe that it does NOT apply to him. He will always be an Adulterous

    September 10, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  13. Bill from GA

    Hey, America, 2 of these 3 are REJECTS from Georgia politics.

    How ya like them apples?

    They can't win in Georgia; are YOU going to listen to them?

    September 10, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Stacey

    Vote NO to the Party of NO in NOvember!!

    September 10, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. WA

    I am thinking that Republicans are going to be so surprised in November.

    People are tired of the games. Time for some adults to be elected.

    September 10, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    roll up your sleeves and apply your version of moral framework, is that the part when you cheat on your wife? Yet look down on others for the same thing. hypercritical morals. So what would the mark be on national security in your version? Bomb every nation that may have harbored a terrorist or disagrees with the NWO

    September 10, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Yes, please, all you rednecks and rightwingers who listen to brown-shirt nutbag christo-mullahs, like the Kuncklehead Jones down in FLA, get out and vote [R] to make sure America slides all the way back into the Dark Ages. So-called Christians who believe turdburglers like Reed and Gingrich need to re-align themselves with God.

    September 10, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
1 2