Speaker after speaker – including a parade of possible 2016 presidential candidates – served up plenty of criticism of the Obama administration and its policies. But none condemned “activist judges,” as Republicans like George W. Bush have in the past. A handful of them invoked the phrase “traditional marriage” or suggested marriage was between a man and a woman, but the leading presidential hopefuls — including Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Texas’ Ted Cruz, and Florida’s Marco Rubio — completely avoided the subject.
Instead, they highlighted their opposition to abortion and argued that the Obama administration’s policies threaten Americans’ religious freedom.
Most notably, neither Reed himself, nor former senator Rick Santorum, who ran in 2012 as the champion of social conservatives, highlighted opposition to gay marriage in their remarks, although Santorum did allude to it, saying “children need mothers and fathers.”