Tim Pawlenty took a shot at the American Conservative Union (ACU) for barring the gay Republican group GOProud from participating in next year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). ACU announced the decision last month in an effort to appease social conservatives who boycotted the conference last year in protest of GOProud’s presence. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Pawlenty stressed that Republicans shouldn’t be afraid of more debate:
Q: A gay conservative group (GOProud) won’t be allowed to participate in the Conservative Political Action Committee conference. What do you think of that?
PAWLENTY: “I’m not familiar with that particular controversy. But I don’t think Republicans or conservatives should be afraid of debating the issues. We can agree or disagree on the merits of it. I’m for more debate, not less debate.”
Some prominent conservatives — including Andrew Breitbart who sits on GOProud’s board — have also denounced CPAC’s decision, arguing that “barring GOProud from a huge political event in a Presidential election year will only serve to fracture the conservative movement.” “What the American Conservative Union did with CPAC has nothing to do with true conservative values, because GOProud supports those,” conservative blogger Jeff Dunetz explained.