WASHINGTON – The nation's best-known group representing gay conservatives fiercely denounced and dismissed gay GOP presidential candidate, Fred Karger of California.
"Fred Karger's candidacy is a bad joke. He is not a credible candidate," GOProud's executive director Jimmy LaSalvia told Raw Story in an email. "For one, I've never heard him articulate why he would be a better president than Barack Obama, and he spends all his time talking about how homophobic the Republican Party is."
Karger, a businessman and former Republican consultant, was the first official entrant in the GOP 2012 race, as well as the first openly gay candidate of a major political party. He's a proud feminist, pro-same sex marriage, pro-choice, and a critic of Sarah Palin who thinks many Republicans are hypocrites. And his unabashed criticisms of the GOP have convinced GOProud that he's a misfit for the party.
"It seems to me that he's probably running in the wrong primary," LaSalvia said. "Maybe 'Mr. Pro-Marriage Equality Karger' should run in the Democratic primary against 'Anti-Marriage Equality Obama.'"
The GOProud chief didn't directly address whether or not a gay candidate would be a welcome addition from the perspective of his group, which opposes a federal ban on same sex marriage from within a party that strongly supports the idea. And he's not endorsing any candidates, at least for now.
"We are evaluating all the candidates in the race," he said. "Our ideal candidate would be someone who agrees with our legislative agenda."
Karger has been excluded from nearly all polls of 2012 Republican candidates, and has been banned from participating in the first debate Thursday night in South Carolina.
"I'm a fiscal conservative, I come from a finance background," Karger told Feministing last year at the liberal Netroots Nation conference. "I definitely want to work to strengthen our economy, I believe in the private sector. I'm a libertarian of sorts."
LaSalvia's comments to Raw Story came after he excoriated Karger in the Bay Area Reporter.
"I think his 15 minutes are up," he told the website. "Fred should find something else to do."