WATCH: Gary Bauer Insists GOP Can Win If More Antigay
As Republicans argue about the future of their party, Gary Bauer claims the way to lure minority voters into the fold is by amplifying their antigay policy positions. Recent data, though, seems contradictory to his advice.
Bauer led a PAC called the "Campaign for Working Families" that bought ads during the election for the likes of Missouri's failed Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin — the "legitimate rape" candidate who as congressman tried to ban same-sex weddings on military bases. Bauer said during a discussion on CNN's State of the Union that social issues supposedly unite minority voters.
"There's been research done on Hispanic voters on what motivates them," he said excitedly, offering a list of issues before making his claim that Republicans should go even more anti-abortion and antigay. "The research also shows that Hispanics are overwhelmingly pro-life and pro-family. You're suggesting that we drop issues that we might have the best chance to appeal to those voters about."
But on marriage equality, Bauer's contention doesn't match with exit polling or with major polls of Latino voters conducted since President Obama offered his support for letting gays and lesbians marry.
ABC News reported on Election Night that preliminary exit polls showed Latino voters are actually more likely than other voters to back same-sex marriage, with 59% siding with equality.
That finding matched almost exactly with a poll from NBC Latino/IBOPE Zogby in October that found 60% support marriage equality.
Bauer had appeared Thursday on The Janet Mefferd Show and insisted that the reason Romney lost was his failure to talk more about social issues. It's a theme others like the National Organization for Marriage's president, Brian Brown, have also struck.
"Romney was pro-life and pro-family but I don't think we really engaged in the ad war on those issues, and I think if we would've engaged instead of being forced to be on the defensive, I still think we would've gotten many, many more of what used to be the Reagan Democrats," he told Mefferd.
On CNN, he clarified, that "I'm not saying the campaign should have been run on them, the economy was obviously the major issue, but you can't take a crouching position."
Former Utah governor and Obama administration ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, was also on the CNN panel and insisted "people don't want to be moralized to, they don't want to be lectured to" and above all they "want to be left alone."
"The Republican Party needs to decide whether it wants to win or lose going forward," said Huntsman, who lost the Republican primary race for president.
"It's about how we talk about those values and principles," he explained. "As a father of seven, married for 30 years, people can see the way I live my life, I don't need to sit there and rub it in people's faces."