4.17.2009

McCain Campaign Manager: Religion Could Kill The GOP

Well, this is very interesting. John McCain's campaign manager Steve Schmidt basically said that if the Republicans continue down the path of religiosity, it's going to doom the party. I say it's already too late and a seismic shift is already well underway. Moderate Republican politicians are going to either change parties or become independents, much like many republican voters did during the primaries and general election.

Steve Schmidt via Sam Stein
:

"If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party," Schmidt declared. "And in a free country, a political party cannot be viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party."

"If you reject [gay marriage] on religious grounds, I respect that," he said. "I respect anyone's religious views. However, religious views should not inform the public policy positions of a political party because... when it is a religious party, many people who would otherwise be members of that party are excluded from it because of a religious belief system that may be different. And the Republican Party ought not to be that. It ought to be a coalition of people under a big tent."

"If a party is seen as anti-gay than that is injurious to its candidates in states like California, Oregon or Washington or New Jersey or New York, increasingly even in states like Virginia and the mid-south," he said. "And to be a national party we need to be competitive in the northeast, for instance. I will argue that our party was a richer party when we had people, by no means conservatives but republicans, like Christie Whitman and George Pataki and all the members of Congress who have since gone extinct."

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