(USA Features) Republicans meeting this week in Florida to plot the party’s path to victory in next year’s midterm elections and beyond are considering a ‘back-to-basics’ approach to winning new voters.
“I think the Republican party right now stands very united, and very much on our founding principles,” Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn told the National Review at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s annual conference in Orlando this week.
“I think if Ronald Reagan was here today, he would say, ‘Let’s get back to basics. Let’s focus on lowering taxes, lessoning regulations, creating an environment where people can live out their version of the American Dream,'” she added.
“The way you change the country is one heart, one mind at a time.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, noted that the “corporate media” writes off the GOP every few years and is continuing in that tradition in the era of former President Donald Trump.
Tony Lowden, the Georgia pastor at former president Jimmy Carter’s church who Trump selected to lead prisoner re-entry efforts during his term, implored the party, “Don’t’ give up on the African-American vote. Don’t give up on the Latino vote. Don’t give up on the Asian vote.”
Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell, who once belonged to the Democratic Party, also praised last year’s Republican National Convention for its outreach effort to minorities. “We’ve got to do that 365 days a year,” he said.
“Many of the values and the policies and the issues that we advocate as conservatives and Republicans are held by tens of millions of minority Americans,” Ralph Reed, the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s founder and president, told the magazine.
“But we have neglected and failed to build an infrastructure and to invest financially in growing our support among those voters. And we’ve paid a heavy price for it,” he added.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told attendees that the GOP should recruit more candidates who “look more like America.”
“You know where those votes lie? In the pews of every church in America,” Graham said.
“You know where those votes lie? In Hispanic communities looking for a better world. You know where those votes lie? African Americans who are tired of being taken advantage of and taken for granted by the Democratic party,” he added.
“We also have to be talking about school choice and criminal justice reform and expanding the child tax credit and economic opportunity and education reform and human trafficking,” Reed noted further.
“If you have a broad-based agenda, then you’re not talking to only religious folks about abortion.”
Cruz said that more pastors should address key cultural issues to their congregations.
“Too many pastors are saying, ‘If I actually preach the gospel, there are going to be some people unhappy in the crowd. They’re going to get up and leave,’” Cruz said.
“Let me tell you right now, if we are going to defeat the woke assault, then all of us need to wake up,” the Texas Republican added.