Story and photos by Chris Stone
Echoing GOP themes of the 2012 presidential election, speakers at the Republican National Committee’s winter meetings in Coronado decried some Americans’ dependency on government services.
Speaking at the winter meeting at the Hotel del Coronado, the former neurosurgeon and Fox News commentator said the party should boldly support religious values if they hope to win the White House in 2016.
“This is a country based on Judeo-Christian values, and we should not throw them away,” Carson said to thunderous applause. “We need to be bold in our expression. Don’t be chicken livers.”
Carson hasn’t announced a bid for the White House, but said he and his wife are speaking in four to five states a week.In the Revolutionary War, he said, Americans were willing to die for their country.
“Fast forward to today. What do we have? You have ISIS — wrong philosophy — but they are willing to die for what they believe in while we’re busily giving away every value because of political expediency.”
Carson spoke at the luncheon on the second day of a three-day conference, whose theme is “Building on Success,” a reflection on the party’s midterm congressional victories.
Carson said he wasn’t surprised by the 2014 midterm results, and expects future GOP victories, “ The vast majority of Americans actually have common sense. It’s just that they have been beaten into submission. They are afraid to express their opinions.
“Millions of voters stayed away from the polls because they didn’t see much difference between the parties,” he said, “So instead of tinkering around the edges, we have to turn the ship around, and the ship is heading over Niagara Falls. We need to be dramatic.”
Carson decried what he sees as people’s dependence on government subsidies: “We can’t allow people to exchange the “can-do” attitude for the “what-can-you-do-for-me” attitude.”
A former “liberal democrat,” Carson said he became Republican after listening to Ronald Reagan’s speeches while he was working on his medical residency. His patients were “victims depending on the system. And that’s not the right model,” he said.Texas Gov. Rick Perry and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will speak on Friday.
At a dinner Thursday, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin continued with the themes of the noon luncheon address: Christianity, anti-government, and people’s “dependency” on the government.
Carson and Walker both revived contentions that Mitt Romney made during the 2012 election about 47 percent of Americans being dependent on government entitlements.
“A fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats,” Walker said, is “Democrats and President Obama measure success on how many people are dependent on the government.
“We Republicans measure success by home many people are no longer dependent.”
Yet, he said, Republicans need to show a “fresh new approach” and “exciting new ideas.”
Republicans have to “stand for something: a better America and a better government,” Walker said.
Speaking of the 2014 midterm elections, Walker said potential Democratic standard-bearer Hillary Clinton was one of the “big losers” because she “embodies everything people dislike about Washington.”
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