Open Thread: Cornyn Suggests GOP Keep Focus on Fiscal Issues

He's certainly not the most popular Republican in the nation right now, but despite being virtually synonymous with the establishment GOP, Sen. John Cornyn, Tx., says the Tea Party has helped Republicans most notably by shifting the focus almost entirely to fiscal issues - and avoiding so called "social" ones.

Mr. Cornyn, who has been on the receiving end of anti-establishment anger, argued that the Tea Party had helped Republicans in one important respect, by moving the debate away from social issues. While Tea Party supporters tend to be socially conservative on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion, most say they don't want to talk about them; they believe that by spending so much time on those issues, the Republican Party failed to focus on fiscal conservatism.

While social issues tend to be polarizing, Republicans can win on economic issues, Mr. Cornyn said, because the Democrats have been in charge as the economy has gone south.

"As I've traveled," he said, "I've talked to a lot of folks who are basically independents who say: I'm fine with the Republicans as long as we're talking about fiscal responsibility. Where I go off the reservation is when you talk about social issues."

You all know the stakes, and are probably familiar with both sides of the argument. What do you think? Is the Cornyn/Mitch Daniels strategy the smart one, or should the GOP keep its focus on social issues, as the Mike Huckabees of the party insist?

NB Staff
NB Staff