LYNCHBURG, VA -- The gay consevative group GOProud is not happy Mitt Romney chose to speak at Liberty University Saturday.
A statement from GOProud co-founder Jimmy LaSalvia was sent to reporters as Romney delivered his address:
Today, Governor Mitt Romney spoke at Liberty University. Liberty was founded by the late Jerry Falwell, who in 2007 said, “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh's charioteers ... AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”
The speech at Liberty comes just days after top Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said that Governor Romney would campaign on the issue of marriage. In response, JimmyLaSalvia, Executive Director and Co-Founder of GOProud – a national organization of gay and straight Americans seeking to promote freedom by supporting free markets, limited government, and a respect for individual rights, issued the following statement:
“The father of the modern conservative movement, former US Senator Barry Goldwater, once said of Jerry Falwell that he needed a kick in the ass. With his speech at Falwell’s Liberty University, it is clear that Governor Romney’s message to Goldwater conservatives is: drop dead.
“Many on our Board and among our grassroots supporters have long had reservations about Governor Romney’s record – particularly when it comes to issues of importance to conservatives. Issues like fundamental tax reform, healthcare reform, and entitlement reform. As an organization that was born amidst the energy and enthusiasm of the early days of the Tea Party movement, many in our organization are concerned about how seriously Governor Romney will take cutting the size and scope of government, about his commitment to federalism and about whether or not he will dramatically cut federal spending.
“These concerns aren’t just concerns of our organization, these are concerns shared by many limited government conservatives. If Governor Romney hopes he can alleviate these concerns and unite the conservative movement by grossly engaging in the culture wars, as he did today at Liberty University, he is sadly mistaken.
“We have said since our founding in 2009, that we are committed to defeating Barack Obama. We remain committed to Obama’s defeat. However, if Governor Romney expects to be the candidate who can beat Obama in November then he needs to embrace a strategy that makes victory possible – falling into the culture war trap laid by Obama is a guaranteed electoral loser.
“It is not too late. If Governor Romney wants to unite conservatives and motivate Tea Party voters then he needs to embrace bolder positions on taxes, entitlement reform, healthcare and spending, not pander to big government theocrats.”