Perkins: No. We invite conservatives that we work with.
Q: So you don't view him as a conservative?
Perkins: Well, when we get around to the presidential, if he is considered a contender at that point, we will issue invitations to everybody. We've had Rudy Giuliani, we've had John McCain. But that's not where we are focused this year. We want to give room for giving platform to the conservatives that we work with in Congress.
Q: So would you say the beating heart of the conservative movement right now is in Congress?
Perkins: No, I would disagree. The strength of the conservative movement is in the states. We are not on defense on the state level. We are on the offense. We passed, in the last three years, 200 pieces of pro-life legislation. We are strengthening marriage. We are doing some good things in the red states across the country. So that's exciting. I am a little biased because I was state legislator, and I am more inclined toward the states. I have worked with governors. (Louisiana Gov.) Bobby Jindal is a friend of mine. And I have been a legislator. Legislators don't have to do a whole lot, except they talk a lot. They do shape policy. But you can walk away from that.
It's the governors, it's the executives who actually have to implement things and make things happen and take care of real needs and infrastructure. It's hands-on. I think a proving ground for leaders. I think we would be a lot better off right now in America if we had a former governor in the White House instead of a senator. This is nothing against my friends here in Washington, but I will have to look hard when I've got a good conservative governor running for president, because their executive skills have been proven.
Q: The Family Research Council went up with a Christian radio ad in Virginia this week on behalf of Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican gubernatorial candidate. Democrats have relentlessly attacked him as a right wing social crusader, and it appears to be hurting him in the polls among women. Is it politically dangerous today to be a staunch cultural conservative running for office in a swing state?
Only if you are unwilling to talk about those issues. If you are willing to stand on your record, the fact that you have passed laws that have protected women against unscrupulous abortionists, then yeah, absolutely you can run on it. If you are not going to run on them and talk about them and just let liberals define you on those issues, then you should not.
Q: So you don't think Cuccinelli is talking enough about cultural issues?
Perkins: No, I don't. He has got a great record. He has defended women against criminal behavior of abortionists. He supported and defended the clinic regulation act, which is the kind of stuff that keeps the Kermit Gosnells of the world in check. There is nothing to be apologetic for about that.
Q: Who makes you more anxious, President Obama or Hillary Clinton?
Perkins: President Obama. In the wake of Obama, the prospect of a Hillary presidency would be very concerning. If we were able to turn the clock back, I actually think we would have seen a more moderate government -- certainly not to my liking, but much more moderate than what Barack Obama has done. But he has moved the line so much that I think that even a Hillary presidency would be radically to the left of center. Just because he has moved the bar.