Activist Claims Conservatives Not in Charge of GOP

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(Washington, D.C.) On this Sunday’s “State of Belief,” The Interfaith Alliance Foundation’s show on Air America Radio, Reverend Welton Gaddy speaks with longtime conservative strategist Richard Viguerie, who claims that conservatives need to wage “a battle royale” to win control of the Republican Party. Viguerie’s interview is part of an Election Year reality check, in which Welton challenges some of the big assumptions of the campaign season. Plus, Welton talks to an up-and-coming political blogger.

First, Richard Viguerie challenges the assumption that the Bush Administration is controlled by conservatives. “People in the White House do not have a lot of use for conservatives,” he said. “We have seen through David Kuo’s book [Tempting Faith] how they view religious conservatives. This president claimed to be a conservative, but he is really just a big business Republican.”

Viguerie also tells Welton that he does not fear a Republican defeat this November. “While you don’t hope for defeat, if it happens it is a blessing in disguise,” he said. “Conservatives have often had their best elections after suffering their worst defeats.”

Next, Welton welcomes Chuck Todd, editor of the National Journal’s Hotline, who disagrees that October is the most important month in a political campaign. “You start to frame a debate about the election in May and June,” said Todd. “You can only remind voters why they are happy or upset about things in October. You can’t define the race.”

Pollster Ana Iparraguirre joins Welton to outline an electoral landscape that is very different than originally assumed. Her polling indicates that Democrats are taking the lead in House races even in “bottom-tier districts” where an upset was considered much less likely.

Finally, Welton’s “Blogs of Belief” segment features the blog Political Teen Tidbits. The author is a very astute 14-year-old named Cassie who lives in Texas. She tells Welton why it is sometimes difficult to be a progressive who believes in God.