The preferred plot line for many in the GOP establishment for revitalizing their party goes something like this: They move to a more libertarian stance on key social issues â€” particularly same-sex marriage â€” and the Bible-thumping, evangelical wing of the party meekly complies, realizing times have changed.
One problem with that scenario, however: The Christian Right, while a diminished force, doesnâ€™t like how that story ends at all.
Leading cultural conservatives, including the movementâ€™s standard-bearers from the past two presidential campaigns, have had it with Republican elites faulting them for the partyâ€™s losses and are finally ready point a finger back at the establishment.
â€œLook, the Republican Party isnâ€™t going to change,â€ former Sen. Rick Santorum said in an interview. â€œIf we do change, weâ€™ll be the Whig Party.â€
Santorum continued: â€œWeâ€™re not the Libertarian Party, weâ€™re the Republican Party.â€
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who carried the Christian conservative torch in 2008, pointed to the drop-off in enthusiasm among Republicans following George W. Bushâ€™s victories.
â€œThe last two presidential elections, we had more moderate candidates, so if anything a lot of conservatives went to the polls reluctantly or just didnâ€™t go at all,â€ said Huckabee in a separate interview. â€œIf all of the evangelicals had showed up, it may have made a difference.â€
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