A group of Iowa Republicans who call themselves "moderates" will be gathering for a meeting this Saturday in Des Moines. Former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Joy Corning is one of the organizers of the event.
"Our goal is to encourage traditional, centrist, moderate Republicans to go to the Caucus and make our voices heard and to be active in the Republican Party again," Corning says.
Former Iowa Governors Robert Ray and Terry Branstad as well as former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach are scheduled to attend and speak at the event. Corning issued a news release about the gathering with this question as its headline: "Can Moderate Republicans Make a Difference in the Iowa Caucus?" Corning says moderates feel as if their voices are not being heard.
"Our party has been taken over by social conservatives and that is not where a lot of us are," Corning says. "But we feel strongly about our basic Republican principles and we need to get active again."
Corning, a supporter of abortion rights, says the party has diverted from its traditional base and she points as an example to 1964 GOP nominee Barry Goldwater, who was described as a conservative. "He was conservative on maybe national, international policy issues and as far as fiscal conservatism was concerned, but you know what was interesting was that Barry Goldwater and his wife founded the first Planned Parenthood chapter in Arizona so he certainly wasn’t conservative on the social issues," Corning says.
Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, a moderate Republican who served as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for President Bush, will be the event’s keynote speaker. This Saturday conference in Des Moines is sponsored by the Iowa Republican Leadership Council, a chapter of the national Republican Leadership Council which is chaired by Whitman.