MSNBC political commentator Chris Hayes has declined an invitation to speak on a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference Up with Chris Hayes this year, citing what he considers “bigotry” against conservative LGBT group GOProud.
The host of ‘Up with Chris Hayes‘ made his response to CPAC his ‘Story of the Week’ on Saturday morning, stressing that while he does not have a lot in common with GOProud, he does not agree with the American Conservative Union’s decision to prevent the group from sponsoring CPAC.
“GOProud is not really the point,” he said. “The point is the principle, which is, it’s not OK to ban organizations for reasons of pure bigotry.”
GOProud was a sponsor of CPAC in 2010 and 2011, but in 2012, the group was prohibited from sponsoring the conference. That has not changed since, GOProud’s Jimmy LaSalvia told The Huffington Post.
Aside from the GOProud issue, Hayes said he would have enjoyed participating in the conference.
“My initial reaction was, ‘Of course I’ll go!’ Hayes said on his show. “As someone who attempts to convene discussions across various ideological boundaries, I have a special appreciation for CPAC’s willingness to invite someone with my politics to speak to the attendees. And as someone who regularly invites conservatives to sit at our table with a bunch of liberals, leftists and progressives, it seems only sporting (and karmically appropriate) for me to accept.”
Hayes was asked to participate in the “CSI Washington, D.C.: November 2012 Autopsy” panel, along with former U.S. Representative Ann Marie Buerkle, The American Spectator Senior Editor John Fund and The Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst Michael Barone. Century Strategies Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Ralph Reed, Jr., was invited to moderate the panel.
It may surprise some to know that Hayes was even invited to be on a panel at CPAC 2013. Al Cardenas, ACU head, told The Washington Examiner that the conference sometimes invites the occasional liberal. “We thought that folks would be more informed if we get their perspective as well,” he said.
Following his announcement, Hayes has been removed from CPAC the schedule.