Ralph Reed just kicked off the Faith and Freedom Conference in DC with a rousing speech that didn’t mention this morning’s job numbers or much about the economy at all.
Such is the stuff of FFC, where the focus is on faith and social conservatism. Reed called the event an “NFL mini-camp” for conservatives, where the focus will be on boosting turnout among the social right. Reed pushed breakout sessions focused on reaching out to “non-traditional conservatives” in the Latino, Asian American, African American and Indian American communities.
It will be the faith community, Reed said, that will seal the fate of President Obama and the Democrats next fall.“We’re going to have to work harder than we’ve ever worked, we’re going to have to rearrange our lives, if we’re going to be able to triumph over that kind of political machine,” Reed said. “And more importantly, we’re going to have to pray.”
We’re going to have to do this prayerfully so that it’s not by might or nor by strength but by His power that his country will be turned back to Him. That’s what we’re going to do.
Reed took some of the credit for GOP gains in 2010, pointing to what he said were increased turnout numbers among evangelicals following a huge voter contact push by FFC, which Reed founded in 2009. He lamented the fact that in 2008, evangelicals didn’t march in Republican lockstep, and he said that FFC has helped to turn that round.
“This is scary,” he said, recalling 2008. “One out of every five self-identified conservative voters voted for Barack Obama.”
What happened next was a “catastrophe,” Reed said.
Obama was “the most out of the mainstream, most far to the left candidate who had ever been nominated for president for either party” and he carried states like Indiana and Virginia “that hadn’t gone Democrat in 44 years.”
“I vowed that as long as I had breath in me,” Reed said, explaining the reason for this weekend’s gathering, “that would never happen again.”