WASHINGTON, D.C., February 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – RedState.com Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson is no stranger to political fire. Most recently, he has been criticized after giving Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis the moniker “Abortion Barbie.”
In an interview with LifeSiteNews during the Georgia native’s most recent visit to the nation's capital, Erickson said that not only does he ignore the criticism – he notes it's coming from “the same people who called Sarah Palin the 'c-word,' Caribou Barbie, said she was an idiot, [and] attacked her for giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome” – but he actually has a tactical goal in mind by naming Davis “Abortion Barbie.”
“There was polling in Texas done last year that an overwhelming majority of Hispanic voters between 18 and 30 would not vote for someone, regardless of party, if their number-one issue was abortion,” said Erickson. “It seemed very obvious, then, to go on and solidify Wendy Davis as a one-note wonder, a one-issue candidate on abortion. And it seems to have worked.”
In looking at bigger political matters, Erickson blames the GOP's split between fiscal and social conservatives on “a well-orchestrated campaign, largely from consultants in Washington, who view the base of the Republican Party as hicks and rubes, want nothing to do with them, and think their big issue is social conservatism.”
According to Erickson, that “actually isn't true.” “It's a big issue,” he says, “but fiscal issues are as well.”
Erickson describes himself as “an evangelical Christian” who “know[s] we're all born into sin.” Because of this, “I want as few sinners in charge of me as possible, so I support limited government. Along the way, I think that all life is precious, and if we're all created equal, then we all have a right to be born into equality in the world.”
In examining the split on a policy level, Erickson described “restructuring of the tax code” as one policy where social and fiscal conservatives can work together. “It balances both, because the tax code is clearly anti-marriage. It is clearly anti-family, despite all the earned income tax credits and whatnot. It penalizes people for getting married and starting a family.”
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“I think Obamacare is a huge issue that unites fiscal and social conservatives. It does need to be fixed. They both need to keep their fire on it, and have it repealed.”
The abortifacient/contraception mandate was a target of specific criticism from Erickson. “Even libertarians should be concerned about the HHS mandate – forcing companies to provide abortion coverage in their health care. If we're pro-freedom, why are we forcing people to fund contraception or abortion for others?”
Doubling down on his criticism of the mandate, Erickson said he “[doesn't] know that anyone has a religious belief where they should take birth control or have an abortion. I hear people say that – 'you're putting the employer over the employee.' You should prioritize the person who's coughing up the money.”
“When you have a lot of employers who say 'this is hostile to my religious beliefs,' we should treat that sincerely,” Erickson continued. “The First Amendment enshrines religious freedom, it doesn't enshrine birth control.”
One issue that often splits pro-family activists is requiring employers to support maternity and paternity leave. Erickson dismissed the idea, asking, “Why do we have to have a law? There are plenty of corporations out there that already do this. Many of the corporations of the Fortune 500 allow maternity or paternity leave. Why does government have to do it? You don't have to work for them,” he concluded.
Despite being a Fox News contributor, a radio show host in Atlanta, and a guest host for Rush Limbaugh and Herman Cain, Erickson says, “Red State's still the day job.” He said he devotes “probably 12 hours in a day” to the leading conservative blog.
He says he is “really excited” at the opportunity to work with Salem Communications, which purchased Red State parent company Eagle Publishing in January. The buy-out put the blog under the same umbrella as conservative powerhouses HotAir.com, Townhall.com, and Twitchy.com, as well as Salem's network of Christian radio shows.
“It was a very natural fit,” says Erickson.