Ralph Reed, who helped build the Christian Coalition in the 1990s, says House Republicans should fight to retain charitable tax deductions and child tax credits as they negotiate with President Barack Obama on avoiding automatic spending cuts and tax increases in January.
“You’d better start figuring out a way to be for middle-class families with children instead of looking like all you care about is a guy’s capital gains tax,” Reed said in an interview today at Bloomberg Government”s Washington offices.
He has conveyed that message to House Republican leaders — telling them that social conservatives “shouldn’t be trapped into this stained glass ghetto of ’we’re the people that you talk to about abortion and same-sex marriage, but we don’t know the first thing about economic policy or fiscal policy.’”
Reed, 51, left the Christian Coalition in 1997 and started a nonprofit organization called the Faith and Freedom Coalition three years ago. The Georgia-based group raised at least $10 million and spent much of its money developing a database of and reaching out to evangelical voters, Reed says.
Between coalitions, he worked as a political consultant, including for President George W. Bush’s campaigns, and unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor of Georgia. He was tangled, though not criminally charged, in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal for his work on behalf of Indian tribes with casino interests.
Reed remains chairman and chief executive officer of Century Strategies LLC, an Atlanta-based consulting firm he founded in 1997.