‘Duck Dynasty’ Star: ‘If We Don’t Turn To God At A Pretty Rapid Clip, We’re Going To Lose The United States Of America’

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‘Duck Dynasty’ Star: ‘If We Don’t Turn To God At A Pretty Rapid Clip, We’re Going To Lose The United States Of America’

"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson greets fans in the Duck Commander Compound at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

“Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson greets fans in the Duck Commander Compound at Texas Motor Speedway on April 5, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

 NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Republicans are poised for successful midterm elections, but many of the party’s most conservative activists are looking ahead to something bigger.

“We need to save this country in 2016,” Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus told the opening session of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday.

The annual event has grown into an opportunity for rising GOP stars to address some of the most conservative rank-and-file party faithful who influence the presidential nomination process.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal kicked of the list of White House hopefuls, delighting delegates by skewering President Barack Obama as “the most ideologically liberal” and “most incompetent president of our lifetimes.” Delegates will hear Friday and Saturday from tea party hero Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, 2012 presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and others.

Jindal previewed what his presidential campaign pitch might look like, should he run, explaining his statewide private school tuition voucher program, privatization of the state’s public hospital system and a series of tax cuts as examples of a conservative renaissance in his state.

Jindal noted that the Obama administration sued unsuccessfully to block the tuition program, a move the governor called “cynical, immoral, hypocritical.” He also used some barbs at Obama to take indirect swipes at some of his potential White House rivals like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

“We’re watching on-the-job training,” Jindal said, because “we have a president who’d never run anything before.”

Governors, he said, make the best presidents, pointing to Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat Bill Clinton.

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin made a surprise appearance, helping introduce Phil Robertson, patriarch of cable television’s “Duck Dynasty.” Robertson has become a cultural icon for many conservative because of his outspoken Christian faith and commentary on sexuality, including opposition to same-sex marriage.

He mostly stayed clear of partisan politics. He blasted separation of church and state and called abortion a “blight” on society. He drew applause and shouts of “Amen” in calling for a national Christian revival and describing himself as a “Christocrat.”

“If we don’t turn to God at a pretty rapid clip,” he said, “we’re going to lose the United States of America.”

Neither Rubio nor Paul is scheduled to speak at the three-day gathering. Two of Jindal’s fellow governors — Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin — also are skipping it.

The conference comes as Republicans campaign to win complete control of Capitol Hill for the final two years of Obama’s tenure. The GOP is favored to retain its House majority and has a strong chance of winning a Senate majority to control all of Capitol Hill for the final two years of Obama’s term.

But delegates here, many of them festooned in red, white and blue, were brimming with talk of 2016.

While Priebus joined in the cheerleading, the chairman reprised his frequent call for the party to get better at the nuts and bolts of campaigning — from corralling a free-for-all primary process to reaching into minority communities that overwhelmingly support Democrats — before even thinking about who the 2016 nominee should be.

“We have a tale of two parties,” Priebus said. “We have a midterm party that doesn’t lose, and we have a presidential party that’s having a hard time winning.”

He noted obvious voter demographics that show Republican nominees must attract more young and minority voters. But public opinion polls also suggest that the party’s conservative positions — and its candidates’ emphasis — on issues like immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage are liabilities with some of the very groups they want to win over.

The chairman avoided saying the party should change any of its positions. “It’s not my job to write legislation,” he said, though he added later that “we could emphasize different things,” such as expanding school choice or loan programs for minority entrepreneurs. Whatever the policy, he said, “we have to show up and make the argument,” rather than concede swaths of the electorate.

Roy Luke, a retired Air Force master sergeant from Augusta, Ga., said the party’s problem is “more about image than substance.”

Luke argued that younger voters are eager to hear economic growth arguments from Republicans, while religiously conservative Latinos agree with the party’s socially conservative stances. “These are all Republicans,” he said, emphatically. “They just don’t know it yet.”

 

The Republican Party will split into two parties- Mark Levin

Mark LevinOn the Monday night broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Mark Levin warned the Republican party will split unless RNC chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker John Boehner are thrown out.

MARK LEVIN: The autopsy report. They don’t even know how to name a report. The autopsy report. Here’s the deal, folks: Reince Priebus was ahead of the Republican National Committee when Romney lost. Why hasn’t he been fired? Why hasn’t he been fired? Karl Rove ran the biggest independent PAC in America, or one of them. He won 1.3% of his races. Why do people keep promoting him? On TV, donors, and so forth. These losers are not going to save the Republican party.

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LEVIN: A year ago, a poll was done, it’s not every year, except this year so far, and I believe it’s Gallup, the political ideology of the American people. ‘While 47% of Americans continue to describe their views as conservative, 35% moderate, 21% liberal. For the third straight year, conservatives outnumber moderates, after more than a decade in which moderates mainly tied or outnumbered conservatives. I’m giving you this information for a reason.

February, 1, 2013, Gallup did another poll of the individual states. Which ideology outnumbers which ideology in the states? Conservatives outnumber liberals in 47 out of the 50 states. So what’s the problem here? Well, the word conservative can be a little ambiguous. But what’s the real problem here? If you’re going into elections and your political party, where every survey and poll shows that Americans identify themselves more as conservatives than liberals, and you can’t beat Barack Obama, what’s the problem here?

The problem is execution. The problem is your being outworked, you’re being outsmarted. The problem is you’re not standing on “conservative principles.” You’re not believable. You’re not an alternative to Obama. You’re not an alternative to Pelosi and Reid. Less and less people view you that way. I mean, I’m amazed by this. When we look at the last thirty years, who was the most successful Republican president electorally? Ronald Reagan. Of course the times have changed, but the principles haven’t. Just apply them, wisely.

That’s like saying, ‘the times have changed, so our Constitution needs to be living and breathing.’ No it doesn’t! These principles are invaluable. These rights are inalienable. The fact that the modern politician in the Republican party is incapable of articulating them and applying them to modern society is the problem with that politician. The fact that the chairman of the Republican National Committee can’t do it and the Speaker can’t do is a problem with the Republican party and it’s leadership. And damn it, if it’s not changed, if these people aren’t thrown out, we’re going to lose. And the Republican party is going to split, and there’s going to be two parties. (Mark Levin Show, March 18, 2013)