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. Marie MD

    The rethugs are holding on to their guns and bible trolls.
    They will never and they have no intention of really reaching out to minorities, women, gays, the poor aka the 47%+

    June 8, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  2. Republicans; the "Not Intended to be Factually Accurate" Party

    The ranks of the religious evangelical vote is shrinking with time . . . sort of like the % of the electorate that is white. The GOP has branded itself as the "Christian party" [evangelizing Muslims need not apply], but the behaviors of the party politicians is ANYTHING BUT "Christ-like". That said, the low information Christian is wedded to talk radio & the GOP already so what good does courting evangelicals do the GOP? They`ve got that slice already.

    WhT the GOP FAILS to realize is that by putting evangelical Christians front & center and [correspondinly] catering to their narrow minded views [no one should have an abortion despite it being legal], the party makes it impossible to attract the other slices of America that might at least consider what they have to say . . . if they had something to say.

    June 8, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. regenesis0

    I had been worried how little the Republican Party had done to connect with the religious right.
    I'm glad they're finally reaching outside their base of backs, hispanics and gays.

    June 8, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. Dan5404

    Why would they go after people that are already right wing? They are still running away blacks and Hispanics with their policies, after propagandizing that they were the party of inclusion. North Carolina's governor is working hard to take his state back to the 19th century, destroying public education,and voting rights. They are positioning themselves for a faster downward slide

    June 8, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. Timmy

    Hey never vote repulbican again u really think jesus would be a democrate jesus doesnt support gays in fact he says its one of the worst sins there is i dont think jesus would pick a side he said this world is not my home im a republican cause they have better morals and their not so wasteful

    June 8, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. Jersey Girl

    Well, the Repubs figure it's "easier" to reach out to them than to the Hispanics, etc. Too funny! Talk about separation of church & state, NOT!

    June 8, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  7. Larry L

    Republicans already have a lock on the population that believes the earth to be 6000 years old, thinks the President is the Anti-Christ, believes contraceptives are evil, and considers science the work of the Devil. Why in the hell would they try to expand the hold on a group they already have – a group that's shown to be too radical for mainstream America?

    June 8, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. OKfine

    Wow, now there's a groundbreaking idea.

    June 8, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  9. Jesten

    They should start from scratch and disassociate themselves from the problem within the party. The GOP is it's own worst schizophrenic enemy.

    June 8, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  10. Jewkester

    These are the good people that vote conservatively, why is there a need to reach out to them it they are already within arm's length?
    I'm a mormon and consider my self a religious guy. I don't feel like the GOP needs to reach out to me, I'm already on board.

    June 9, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  11. just sayin

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

    highly unlikely he would support the murder of millions of innocent children under the guise of "healthcare" and "choice" so he would surely not be a democrat. also wasn't he an advocate for teaching people to fish instead of giving them fish (aka welfare)? definitely not democrat material there. and then there this whole gay marriage thing i'm sure he'd pass on. nice try though.

    June 9, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    The GOP is trying to stich together enough small groups of idiots who will vote for anyone who claims to represent their "values". Evangelicals fall in this group: They claim to follow Jesus' teachings, completely ignoring the. fact that Jesus preached whatever we do to the least among us, we do to him. The GOP has proven they favor the rich and consider anyone on need to be a a lazy moocher. But Evangelicals fall hook, line and sinker for the GOP every time because Repubs say "Praise Jesus" on a regular basis

    June 9, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  13. don in albuquerque

    @simplyput-And your God would vote Dem.

    June 9, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  14. 4 trillion

    A match made in heaven
    Christian evangelicals not help the poor, but say nice things
    .....keep your chin high and criticize blacks, and minorities for not holding their chins up
    ....explain how Jesus loves you more than he does all of those "rif raf"
    Like I said A match made in heaven...........

    June 9, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  15. ThinkAgain

    The GOP is like the Saudi Royal family, wanting to own and control everything, with religious police keeping the masses in line.

    It's all about money and power, folks. And the GOP is filled with greedy SOBs.

    June 9, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. ThinkAgain

    I think that before people receive medical treatment, they should have to provide an answer as to whether they believe in evolution or creationism.

    And if they answer the latter, then they should be told to pray away their ailment or injury, because it's medical SCIENCE that could save their life – and we wouldn't want them to betray his principles.

    June 9, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  17. John

    Hey, Simply! I sort of like the open tent with open minds, myself. But don't look now, that is NOT the GOP tent.

    June 9, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  18. breathe deep

    Yes, because they were in such danger of losing that voting block.

    June 9, 2013 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  19. MaryM

    Same ol', Same ol' Nothing changes with the GOP. The republicans party of today is Not your fathers republican party.

    June 9, 2013 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  20. Jeff O'Dette

    Kris kristoffer wrote "when u got nothin, u got nothin to lose".

    June 9, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  21. glennrobert

    The concept of God is not testable and not really necessary for the universe we live in.

    June 9, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  22. Flagship, NC

    The GOP is going to team up with the Baptist Churches that kicked out the Boy Scout kids.
    Some how this is not going to play out well in the future.

    June 9, 2013 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  23. Robert Morales

    Who is running the show over there? A Democrat?! I mean, I'm no political analyst or anything, but what genius decided to reach out to one of the few groups that always votes for you?! What's next; a rich white man outreach program?! Get it together, this is just pathetic to watch...

    June 9, 2013 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  24. Navin Jay

    Republican party, that takes money away from average Americans and hands it over to greedy corporations. Is that what Jesus would do?

    June 9, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  25. Gurgyl

    -religion shelter to falter this nation even further–GOP idiocy is pathetic.

    June 9, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
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