First on CNN: Republican Party to step up outreach to evangelicals
June 8th, 2013
02:02 PM ET
9 years ago

First on CNN: Republican Party to step up outreach to evangelicals

(CNN) - The Republican National Committee has brought on a director of evangelical outreach to massage the party's complicated relationship with religious conservatives, GOP sources told CNN on Saturday.

The party organization has hired Chad Connelly, a consultant and motivational speaker who, until this weekend, was the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party.

Connelly resigned from that job Saturday and informed members of the state party's executive committee that he will be taking a job at the RNC.

Details of his job will not be announced until next week, and a spokeswoman for the RNC declined to comment on the new hire.

But Connelly, a Baptist, has told multiple South Carolina Republicans that he will be steering the national party's outreach to faith-based groups. He will be based in South Carolina.

Hiring a full-time faith-based outreach director was one of 14 recommendations outlined by the RNC's post-election "Growth and Opportunity Project" released earlier this year.

The so-called GOP "autopsy" did little to define the job other than to say the RNC should "focus on engaging faith-based organizations and communities with the Republican Party" - a complicated task as the party tries to woo younger voters whose attitudes on social issues, especially same-sex marriage, are increasingly out of step with the evangelical wing of the conservative movement.

Connelly will be replaced at the South Carolina GOP by Matt Moore, an adviser to Sen. Tim Scott and former executive director of the party.

Filed under: RNC • South Carolina
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Just what the GOP needs to establish electoral dominance in the future.


    June 8, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Randy, San Francisco

    The rebranding of the Republican Party is a joke and a sham. Outreach to social conservative evangelicals is like preaching to the church choir.

    June 8, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Pete

    Boy I hope republicans do reach out to their righteous brethren in arms ..Then its all out war and I hope if it has anything to do with churches or tea party groups they get the full rath of the IRS and that's for all churches taking away their tax exempt status and penalizing them to high heavens to make a point ,no politics in religion and should be true no religion in politics as well..Isn't that the concept of seperation of church and state or am I on the wrong page here!!

    June 8, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    What? Is this CNN or Comedy Central?

    June 8, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. rs

    Really?! These are the only folks who vote for Republicans! What will this accomplish?

    June 8, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Thomas

    When you aint got nothin , you aint got nothin to lose !

    Bobby D said that !

    June 8, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Kinpo

    Where's all the outrage over the separation of church and state? When a political party embraces zealots to gain power, there's plenty of cause for alarm. Seems there's no depth a republican won't stoop to, to gain access to money or power. Come election time, I hope the American people remember that it's a constitutional right to have religion separate from government rule.

    June 8, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. YUCK

    Read your ten commandments

    June 8, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |

    What party would Jesus be? That's right, a democrat.

    June 8, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  10. Sarah/VA

    GOP will need minority votes but it will never happen,they're holding America hostage because of a black President they hate so much,we need healthcare & Obama

    June 8, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. Former GOP

    ........That's the ticket.......TRIPLE DOWN on that creationism thing, versus FACTS AND SCIENCE...........

    June 8, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. David

    Wow, the GOP is really out to lunch, they are going after the only voting bracket that consistently votes for them – even if their every man for themselves philosophy is totally contradictory to religious teachings.

    June 8, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. simplyput

    Well who do you THINK Christians will vote for? An open tent with open minds, or a *godless* police state? I'm a member of neither party, but my God rules all.

    June 8, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. impact0900

    The Republican Party already owns the religious fanatics, who else are they going to vote for. They waste a lot of time and money trying to attract a base they already have.

    June 8, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. smith

    The GOP really doesn`t have to do anything, Obama has been such mess they would be better off just keeping their mouths shut and letting the dems implode from within...2016, no more Obama

    June 8, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Doc1

    Wow! Just Wow!

    June 8, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. tripledipper

    Is this from the Onion?

    June 8, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    That's like reaching out to the lsland of the Bahamas and thinking that's going to swing a USA national election, can the gop be anymore stupid and incompetence to government ??????? Dems all the way in 2014 mid terms, gop the labor, party of stupid fits you to a tee . Good luck with the religious Greeks .

    June 8, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. Selfservliberal

    Why all the excitement. Nothing has changed. The GOP has been pandering to the religious right since Reagan proposed that Creationism be taught along side with Evolution (which incidentally is when and why I left the GOP and became a Democrat).

    June 8, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    That's like reaching out to the lsland of religious geeks and freaks ,good luck with that!!!!!

    June 8, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. Jeffro211

    The RNC would make a deal with the devil himself (oh that's right, they already have) if it furthers their self righteous, bigoted, money grubbing agenda. Speak of the devil, isn't Sarah Palin an evangelical? Any questions?

    June 8, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  22. pkrbkr3

    This is absurd.....the base of the Rs is the Evangelicals....why do they need to reach out to them????The rest of the country sees beyond the "bible thumpers".....and votes Democratic! Just shows the Republicans have learned nothing from the past election.....let's hope they keep up the "good work." LOL

    June 8, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. DWB

    CHEENEY reminds us of a war that did not need to happen and President Bush 's part in it.

    June 8, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  24. don in albuquerque

    The party of So Social Values wants to preach to the church of even less.

    June 8, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  25. don in albuquerque

    Sorry, finger slip. That should be "NO" Social Values.

    June 8, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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