Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee speaks during an address to the 39th Conservative Political Action Committee. (MANDEL NGAN — AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Speaking at the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference this week, former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee had sharp words for those Republicans who want to move the party away from a focus on social issues like gay marriage and abortion.
After a series of electoral losses, some Republican leaders have suggested that conservatives need to leave the culture wars to the culture. Sen John McCain, (R-Az.) who ran for president in 2008, said in November 2012 that on abortion, members of his party should “leave the issue alone.” The Republican Party’s 2013 blueprint also included references to its opposition to gay marriage; the WSJ reported in March that party members acknowledged that “certain social issues” are “turning off young voters from the party.” Some other young Republican activists agree.
But many social conservative leaders, including Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins and other influential activists, are pushing back on the notion that the Republican Party should disentangle itself from divisive social issues.
Here’s how the Baptist Press reported Huckabee’s warning to the GOP: