Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
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Stemberger election analysis: “Moderate Republicans are losing Republicans”
Posted Dec 3, 2012 by William March
Updated Dec 3, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Analyzing why Republicans lost in the Nov. 6 election, influential religious conservative activist John Stemberger takes the position that the Republican Party’s mistake was to nominate a moderate.
“Moderate Republicans are losing Republicans,” Stemberger wrote recently in an email to supporters of Florida Family Policy Council and its political arm, Florida Family Action. It’s the state affiliate of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family national organization.
Stemberger is an Orlando lawyer active at the national level in the religious conservative movement.
He wrote that Romney is “a Northeastern liberal and arguably the most liberal Republican ever nominated for President,” and fit “a pattern of moderate Republicans losing: Goldwater, Bush I, Dole, McCain, and Romney.”
He said evangelical Protestants and Catholics need to be more engaged in campaigns for Republicans to succeed. Romney “did very little, if anything, to reach out to social conservatives,” and “assumed white evangelicals would just fall in line and choose him over Obama.”
Stemberger also agreed with comments Romney made after the election that recipients of federal welfare benefits turned out to vote for Obama.
“The rapidly expanding welfare class is loyal to the political party who is cutting the checks,” he wrote. “Romney took heat for talking about the 47% in a pejorative way but they are a serious voting force. Rush Limbaugh said it with less finesse when he stated it is ‘Very difficult to beat Santa Claus.’ ”
In addition, Stemberger said the only motivation for conservatives in the election was dislike of President Barack Obama, with “very little positive energy or enthusiasm for the future” generated by Romney, and that “outreach to Hispanics by the Romney campaign and by other coalition groups was misguided, anemic or completely lacking.”
You can read Stemberger’s argument here.