Politics

Chris Hayes won’t speak at CPAC unless GOProud can be a co-sponsor

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

You might have heard that CPAC invited liberal MSNBC host Chris Hayes to speak on a panel at CPAC this year.

This morning, Hayes took to the air (and his blog) to give the organizers his demands, err, conditions for accepting this honor.

According to Hayes, his initial instinct was to accept the invitation,

“But then I remembered, thanks to a number of conservatives in my twitter feed, a pretty gross episode from 2011.

That year the board of the American Conservative Union, which sponsors CPAC, voted to ban the gay conservative group GOProud from sponsoring the 2012 conference. GOProud was founded in 2009 by two former Log Cabin Republican staffers and its co-founder Chris Barron told me that one of the first things they did was send a check to the ACU to co-sponsor CPAC. They were accepted as sponsors in 2010 and in 2011, but social conservatives mobilized against them and ultimately prevailed.

As far as GOProud knows the policy is still in effect. So I wrote back to Al Cardenas who runs the ACU in a letter yesterday and asked whether the policy is still in effect. If it isn’t, I told him, I’m psyched to go and if it is, well, I’ll wait until it changes, which is, really, just a matter of time.”

This strikes me as a smart move. Hayes gets to garner press and drive a deeper wedge into the conservative movement — all without actually having to attend this conference.