Has GOProud, the conservative gay group co-sponsoring the Conservative Political Action Conference, found an ally in Sarah Palin?
“Well, I’ve never attended a CPAC conference ever so I was a little taken aback this go around when I couldn’t make it to this one either and then there was a speculation well I either agree or disagree with some of the groups or issues that CPAC is discussing,” the former Alaska Governor told CBN’s David Brody when asked if she had any concerns about GOProud attending the event.
“It really is a matter of time for me. But when it comes to and David, perhaps what it is that you’re suggesting in the question is should the GOP, should conservatives not reach out to others, not participate in events or forums that perhaps are rising within those forums are issues that maybe we don’t personally agree with? And I say no, it’s like you being on a panel shoot, with a bunch of the liberal folks whom you have been on and you provide good information and balance, and you allow for healthy debate, which is needed in order for people to gather information and make up their own minds about issues. I look at participation in an event like CPAC or any other event, along, or kind of in that same vein as the more information that people have the better.”
WATCH: Palin addresses GOProud’s CPAC inclusion
Some socially conservative organizations such as the Family Research Council and Liberty Union have launched a boycott of CPAC due to GOProud’s involvement with the event this year.
“One co-sponsor, in our view, should not undermine the views of another co-sponsor,” Liberty Union chief and Liberty University law school dean Matthew Staver told NPR. “We will certainly encourage our students to attend from Liberty University, but we’re not going to have our name as a co-sponsor along with an organization that actually works to undermine conservative values — in this case, marriage.”
Palin has a history of sending mixed messages on gay rights issues. Earlier this year, Palin re-tweeted a message from openly gay conservative radio host Tammy Bruce calling for an end to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which led some in the media to believe that the former Alaska Governor supported repeal. Palin then backtracked, telling Fox News Sunday that that she did not believe the policy should be repealed “right now.”
So does Sarah Palin support GOProud’s involvement with CPAC? Her answer did not explicitly support the group’s participation or condemn CPAC for hosting them. Palin could still come out against GOProud later without having to directly contradict herself. At the same time, she can point to her statement has a tacit approval of GOProud’s involvement. As she did with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” issue, Palin has left herself some room to maneuver, leaving media figures to speculate on what her true position really is.
Andrew Breitbart headlined Palin’s response to Brody as a clear statement of support for GOProud. The truth, however, is that she delivered a careful non-answer, saying she supports “debate” without taking a clear stance on GOProud’s co-sponsoring of the event.
CPAC will run Thursday through Saturday in Washington, DC.