A Barack Obama win in November will lead to a meltdown within the Republican Party, said Bryan Fischer, an influential official at the American Family Association. And he isn’t too optimistic about Mitt Romney’s chances.
“If Barack Obama wins this election the Republican Party as we know it is finished, it is dead, it is toast — you can stick a fork in it,” he told TPM Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. “And conservatives, grassroots conservatives, are either going to start a third party or they are going to launch a hostile takeover of the Republican Party.”
Fischer said he believed Romney would be leading national polls by double digits at this point if he had followed Paul Ryan’s lead and offered more detailed conservative positions on the budget and social issues.
“The biggest mistake is they put a bag over Paul Ryan’s head,” he said. Fischer said he was “deeply disturbed” that Ryan didn’t mention the campaign’s opposition to gay marriage in his speech to the summit on Friday.
“I got to believe that there was some kind of directive from the top of the campaign: We don’t want you to deal with this issue,” he said.
Fischer has never exactly been on good terms with Romney. The Republican nominee denounced Fischer at last year’s Values Voter Summit for derogatory comments he made against Mormons. Fischer was left off the speakers list at this year’s summit, where he’s been a mainstay in the recent past. He also broke with Romney and other top Republican officials last month to strongly defend Todd Akin over his comments that women have an unnamed biological defense that prevents them from becoming pregnant after “legitimate rape.”
While he did not predict Romney would lose, he had some advice for conservatives looking to rebuild the party in the wake of an Obama re-election.
“I think if Mitt Romney loses this election that the pro-family leaders in the United States should get together with Rick Perry on Nov. 7 and start planning for 2016,” he said.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.