‘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’

News

‘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.”

 

RNC Unanimously Votes to Shut Out CNN, NBC From Debates

Image: RNC Unanimously Votes to Shut Out CNN, NBC From Debates

RNC Unanimously Votes to Shut Out CNN, NBC From Debates

Friday, 16 Aug 2013 12:58 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

The Republican National Committee on Friday made good on its threat to dump CNN and NBC from covering its GOP presidential primary debates unless they drop their “political ad” productions about Hillary Clinton.

It unanimously passed a resolution that prevents any partnership with the two networks as long as the Clinton projects move forward.

So far, neither has budged in their plans to produce the programs, despite pleas from some of their own news staffers.

“Former Secretary Hillary Clinton is likely to run for President in 2016, and CNN and NBC have both announced programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting [her],” the RNC said in the resolution passed at its summer meeting in Boston.

“These programming decisions are an attempt to show political favoritism and put a thumb on the scales for the next presidential election.

“Airing this programming will jeopardize the credibility of CNN and NBC as supposedly unbiased news networks and undermine the perceived objectivity of the coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign by these networks.”

The RNC noted also that Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, contributed the maximum amount to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign committee; $25,000 to Obama’s 2012 Victory Fund; and this year, $10,000 to the Democratic National Committee.

The committee again called on CNN and NBC “to cancel the airing of these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment.”

It said that if they continue the projects, the committee “will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor.”

The RNC concluded it will “endeavor to bring more order to the primary debates and ensure a reasonable number of debates, appropriate moderators, and debate partners.”

The no-nonsense resolution follows RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ warning earlier this month that the two television networks would be shut out unless they pulled the Clinton projects.

Priebus had written both NBC’s Greenblatt and Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, to protest their programming plans.

“It’s appalling to know executives at major networks like NBC and CNN who have donated to Democrats and Hillary Clinton have taken it upon themselves to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives,” Priebus said.

NBC has announced plans to air a four-hour mini-series about the former first lady, senator, and secretary of state entitled “Hillary,” which, the network says, will track “Clinton’s life as a wife, mother, politician, and cabinet member,” starting in 1998.

CNN is working on a documentary from director Charles Ferguson, who won an Oscar in 2011 for his film “Inside Job,” which he once described as chronicling “the systemic corruption of the United States by the financial services industry.”

In letters to the two networks, Priebus said airing the shows would be unfair not only to the GOP’s presidential pick, but to Clinton’s potential Democratic primary rivals — who he named as Vice President Joe Biden, Govs. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Andrew Cuomo of New York, and John Hickenlooper of Colorado, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

He said the networks’ “actions to promote Secretary Clinton are disturbing and disappointing. … I hope Americans will question the credibility of these networks and that NBC and CNN will reconsider their partisan actions and cancel these political ads masked as unbiased entertainment.”

NBC’s chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd has said the planned mini-series from his network’s entertainment division could represent a disaster for the news division.

People fail to realize the split between the two NBC arms, which don’t always get along,he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“This is why this mini-series is a total nightmare for NBC News,” Todd said.