[Update 9-12-12: Ann Romney Joins Cardinal Dolan In Declining Values Voter Summit Invitation]
Ann Romney, the person tasked with humanizing her husband Mitt, is apparently scheduled to address a conference that dehumanizes others. I’m talking about the Values Voter Summit, which is hosted and sponsored by two Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate groups – the Family Research Council and American Family Association.
The National Journal Daybook
and Values Voter Summit website
both list Ann Romney on the schedule:
Notably absent from the list is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whose spokesperson pointedly declined
FRC’s invitation. Yet there Ann Romney is.
The Romney campaign must have its reasons, but it sure seems like an odd way to deploy Ann Romney. They already have Paul Ryan scheduled to address the conference. Do they really need two
headliners reaching out to the Bachmann-Akin wing of the party? Besides, just last week Ann Romney refused to answer questions about same-sex marriage and contraception, dismissing them as distractions
"from what the real voting issue is going to be."
For weeks, the Values Voter Summit website listed Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as invited speakers. When Ryan was added to the ticket in August, the Family Research Council blasted out an email confirming Ryan’s appearance. No one really expected Mitt Romney to show for the event – too radical, too close to the election. That’s why, when the conference schedule was recently posted, it was a shock to see not only “Romney” on the lineup, but Ann Romney.
Ryan and Ann Romney, if she appears, will be speaking on stage with Perkins in a lineup that includes Kirk Cameron and Michele Bachmann. They’ll be kicking off a conference that features a who’s who of Todd Akin backers
(e.g. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Steve King) and anti-Muslim McCarthyites
(e.g. Frank Gaffney and Jerry Boykin). And, of course, there will be gay-bashers – featured speakers like Perkins and Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver, who recently defended
Malawi’s law criminalizing homosexuality. They would push for the same thing here in America if they thought they could pull it off. In fact, FRC’s Peter Sprigg and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer have already done so
These aren’t conservative people pushing conservative values and policies – this is the radical right. America, and the Romney campaign in all likelihood, would be better served if Romney and Ryan followed Dolan’s example
and skipped the conference. Or they can go cast their lot with the extremists with the national media looking on. We’ll see what their priorities are this Friday morning.