A cabal of conservative leaders convened for a meeting of the minds to plot a way to reinvigorate the Republican brand as Democratic President-elect Barack Obama is being ushered into office.
Conservatives who attended the event believe Obama untruthfully campaigned on traditionally Republican issues, like tax cuts, and that the GOP must regain credibility on key issues, like spending, before they can begin winning again nationally.
“In contrast to all the talk about a mandate that President-elect Barack Obama has, he has nothing of the sort,” said organizer Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center. “Why? Because Barack Obama did everything in his power to run on anything but the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party.”
Bozell saw the 2008 election as a decision between a “moderate” and a “far-left” candidate. The moderate lost. Therefore, “the moderate wing of the Republican Party is dead, it is finished,” Bozell said.
Twenty other high-level conservative leaders attended the meeting, including the Leadership Institute’s Founder Morton Blackwell, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, the Publisher of the American Spectator Al Regnery, pollster Kelly-Ann Conway and Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com Richard Viguerie.
Bozell pushed them to consider supporting a “whole new generation of organizations, particularly on the grassroots level” and “massively increasing the fundraising.”
Others demanded that conservatives, rather than moderate Republicans, be appointed to fill leading roles on Capitol Hill.
“Conservative are unhappy, upset even angry with national Republican leaders," said Viguerie. "People feel like they will not get to the promised land unless we get new leadership."