Updated: Group calls on McDonnell to cancel appearance at Value Voters Summit
A liberal group is calling on Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to cancel his appearance at the conservative Values Voter Summit this weekend because of the presence of American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, who has made several controversial comments about gay people and Muslims.
People for the American Way has written to McDonnell as well as a number of other prominent Republicans who plan to attend the event, including Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. Read a copy of the letter.
McDonnell is scheduled to speak before Fischer's session Saturday morning.
We have reached out to the governor's office and will let you know when we hear back.
Updated, 2:25 p.m. McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin reponded with a brief statement: "The governor looks forward to speaking at the Summit."
Fischer is director of issue analysis for government and public policy at the American Family Association, which is one of the sponsors of the event. Some of his more controversial statements include: a demand that no new mosques be built anywhere in the United States; a call for the deportation of all Muslims from the United States; and that gay people do not belong in public office.
McDonnell and the former and perhaps future presidential hopefuls will gather at the Omni Shoreham Hotel for the fifth annual event also sponsored by the Family Research Council, the Heritage Foundation, American Values and Liberty University.
Hundreds of activists attend the event, which includes a presidential straw poll, an early predictor of which candidate may win the endorsement of Christian conservatives. The straw poll will include McDonnell.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are not attending, but Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, is scheduled to speak about the "real cost of illegal immigration." See the full speakers list.
September 17, 2010; 12:16 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell
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