Battle Between  The  GOP photo Battlebetweenthegop_zps68d06c95.jpg

Social conservatives warn Priebus they could abandon GOP

Thirteen social conservatives, representing various influential groups, wrote Priebus ahead of the RNC’s quarterly meeting this week in Los Angeles to sternly rebuke the conclusions of a post-election report that advised Republican elected officials to adopt a softer tone toward social issues.

“We respectfully warn GOP Leadership that an abandonment of its principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents to their support,” concludes the letter, which was obtained by and independently verified by NBC News in advance of the meeting this week.

The letter further asks GOP committeemen to pass a resolution at their meeting this week re-affirming the party’s 2012 national platform, which includes language calling for bans on abortion and same-sex marriage.

“Chairman Priebus agrees that we must stand up for our conservative principles while we work together to grow our party and win elections and has been traveling the country with that message,” said Kirsten Kukowski, an RNC spokeswoman. Furthermore, she said that a resolution re-affirming the platform was currently being drafted, and would likely win approval from the full RNC this Friday.

The Growth and Opportunity Project report, commissioned by Priebus in the wake of Republicans’ losses in last fall’s elections, offered a number of recommendations for the party to broaden its appeal and be more competitive in future national elections.

Among its recommendations were that Republican officials speak with a more welcoming tone on social issues, particularly abortion rights and gay rights, the latter of which the report said had become a “gateway” for whether young voters decide whether to identify as Republicans.

To that end, several high-profile Republicans have emerged in recent weeks (along with a slew of elected Democrats) to back marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, including Sens. Rob Portman, Ohio, and Mark Kirk, Ill.

Much of the conservatives’ letter to Priebus stresses the issue of gay rights, and challenges the logic of the Growth and Opportunity Project’s advice to broaden the party’s appeal. Holding the line against same-sex marriage, the letter argues, would allow Republicans to make better inroads, for instance, into more traditionally-minded corners of the African American community.

Read Full Article Here