Ralph Reed Tells Conservatives: Focusing On Obama’s Past Won’t Win This Election

There are few political activists among the social conservative set with a bigger cachet than Ralph Reed, which is why his comments yesterday about conservatives who spend time talking about birth certificates and the President’s ties to people like Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Conservative activist Ralph Reed, who runs the Faith and Freedom Coalition, said on Friday that “it isn’t enough to be anti-Obama,” and dismissed the fringe elements of his party, despite answering a birther question during a breakout session.

A Faith and Freedom Conference attendee named Robert Dickstein asked Reed why conservatives don’t go harder on Obama, saying “his birth certificate which is clearly fraudulent, they never mention that allegedly he’s had homosexual affairs, where drugs were involved, his whole Columbia situation is as vague as anything” and “even his name is a phony, his real name is Barry Sotero.”

Reed nodded slightly throughout Dickstein’s question, but said he disagrees.

“I think he was born in the United States,” Reed said.

“Allow me to, as your friend, and I mean this in that spirit, to disabuse you of the notion that there is something about Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers or his personal life that’s going to win this election,” Reed continued. “It’s not going to happen.”

Asked about the exchange later, Reed said he didn’t think that extremists would be an important part of this election cycle.

“Well, I don’t really think it’s a significant number of voters,” Reed said. “I don’t think it was an issue in 2008 and I don’t think it’ll be an important issue in 2012.”

One wonders how long it will be before Reed is called a RINO.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Campaign 2012, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. David says:

    Barring economic collapse, for the republicans to win the white house, they need to put forth an economic plan that is not just a rehash of cut taxes and, if the affordable care act is thrown out by the supreme court, a comprehensive plan to address health care in this country. The economy, the deficit, and health care have to be addressed. And they need to do it with new ideas. We tried cutting taxes and after 10 years or so of the lowest tax rates in generations, it is pretty clear that it doesn’t work.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Asked about the exchange later, Reed said he didn’t think that extremists would be an important part of this election cycle.

    “Well, I don’t really think it’s a significant number of voters,” Reed said. “I don’t think it was an issue in 2008 and I don’t think it’ll be an important issue in 2012.”

    At one point a couple of years ago polls showed that over 50% Republicans believed as the Birthers did, that Obama is not a legitimate citizen of the United States. A key for Republicans is to keep nuts like Robert Dickstein motivated enough to turn out and vote.

  3. Translation: Anyone who disagrees with you is an extremist

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Reed is pious. But he’s no dummy.

  5. DRS says:

    It’s always fun to listen to people like Dickstein and get a hint of the kind of emails that circulate about Obama. Gay affairs involving drugs is kind of a new one to me, though. I don’t remember that from 2008.

  6. Racehorse says:

    The Republicans can win, and also get my vote, if they promise the American people no limits on soft drink sizes!

  7. mattb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: While he could have phrased it better @al-Ameda has a point.

    By all exit polling, the base abandoned McCain (many staying home), and are still luke warm on Romney. While the turnout for Obama will be down, and some independents will vote Republican, Romney needs to get every Republican he can to vote for him (especially in Swing States). And while many will pull the lever for “Not Obama” (as Obama benefited from “Not Bush” votes), even you have noted that things will be close.

    So McCain continues his balancing act, and doing his best (though proxies) to keep the Dicksteins of his party happy.

  8. An Interested Party says:

    Reed is pious.

    About as pious as Dick Morris…