MSNBC Contributor Scolds Faith and Freedom Conference For Failing to Reach Out to New Voters

It looks like some liberals in the media are now judging the Republican Party’s actions through the prism of the party’s supposed need to change. On Saturday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt and MSNBC contributor Perry Bacon Jr. were scrutinizing the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, held over the weekend, when Witt asked about the conference’s ability to help the GOP evolve. According to Bacon, the conference was not doing the job:

"I mean, if you look at the core problem – the RNC released this report earlier this year that says the GOP needs to really expand out to young voters and expand out to minority voters. You’re hearing very little of that at the conference. I mean, jokes about the IRS are not going to bring any new voters to the table."
 

Bacon was referring to a joke that Sarah Palin made about wasteful Internal Revenue Service (IRS) spending. But one would think opposition to the IRS could unite untold numbers of voters, considering that the IRS does not have many fans. At any rate, Palin and all the other Republicans who spoke at this conference had no obligation in that venue to reach out to new voters. The Faith and Freedom conference is tailored to social conservatives, who make up a large existing part of the Republican base. It is a more appropriate place to fire up the base than to reach out to new voters.

Bacon then expanded the conversation beyond the Faith and Freedom conference, chastising House Republicans for failing to change their beliefs thus far:
 

"I mean, the Republicans are still resisting on immigration reform. They’ve really worked – they’re trying to pass something to limit abortions right now. It's not clear they’ve heard the message, at least in the House particularly, and decided to move to the center in terms of their agenda."

 

Considering how loudly the liberal media have been calling for the GOP to change, I’m guessing most Republicans in Congress have heard the message. Bacon may want to consider the possibility that Republicans are simply ignoring all the clamor for change.

It’s important to note the difference between the change that the RNC has called for and the change the liberal media are calling for. Reince Priebus and others at the RNC want Republicans to change their messaging and presentation of the issues, while media liberals want the party to change its beliefs and policy positions. The GOP may eventually change its messaging, but Bacon and his colleagues are unlikely to ever see Republicans “move to the center in terms of their agenda.”

After all, it seems unwise for the party to take advice from a group of people who have been kicking dirt on it for years. I doubt that media liberals have the GOP’s best interest at heart.

Below is a transcript of the exchange:

ALEX WITT: Do you think, Perry, that there is -- are any of the questions that people are posing to the GOP that are getting answered by this kind of a conference?

PERRY BACON JR: No. I mean, if you look at the core problem – the RNC released this report earlier this year that says the GOP needs to really expand out to young voters and expand out to minority voters. You’re hearing very little of that at the conference. I mean, jokes about the IRS are not going to bring any new voters to the table. And that’s the core question is the RNC said earlier this year we need to change our party. But nothing’s happened. I mean, the Republicans are still resisting on immigration reform. They’ve really worked – they’re trying to pass something to limit abortions right now. It's not clear they’ve heard the message, at least in the House particularly, and decided to move to the center in terms of their agenda.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.