Do the folks at CPAC wish they knew how to quit GOProud?
As Frum Forum reports, the new head of the conservative conference’s parent organization, American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas, now says that “it’s going to be difficult to continue the relationship” with the gay conservative group. GOProud has been at odds with social conservative groups who have criticized its participation in CPAC, some having gone so far as to boycott the convention as a result.
“I have been disappointed with their website and their quotes in the media, taunting organizations that are respected in our movement and part of our movement, and that’s not acceptable,” said Cardenas. “And that puts them in a difficult light in terms of how I view things.”
In the run-up to the convention, GOProud chairman Chris Barron called Cleta Mitchell, at the time the chair of the ACU Foundation, “a nasty bigot” after she pushed conservatives to boycott CPAC.
Barron has since apologized for that comment: “For the past six months, we have watched as unfair and untrue attacks have been leveled against our organization, our allies, our friends and sometimes even their families. Everyone has their breaking point and clearly in my interview with Metro Weekly I had reached mine. I shouldn’t have used the language that I did to describe Cleta Mitchell and for that I apologize.”
TPM asked GOProud executive director Jimmy LaSalvia for further comment on the latest frictions. “I think that the statements were unfortunate and a mistake, and you know Chris has apologized,” said LaSalvia, “and we’re having a great CPAC. This CPAC is awesome, it’s the best one ever, and we expect that CPAC will continue to grow and be a great event in the future under the current leadership. They have a good team in place, and they know how to run this conference.”
Does GOProud expect that they will participate in CPAC next year? “I think that chairman Cardenas said that we’ll sit down and talk with them after, I think,” said LaSalvia. “I have to tell you I haven’t talked with him about this. We’re all focused on having a great CPAC this year, and we’ll be looking at next year when we come to it and we hope to be a part of CPAC.”