Fred Karger, the only Republican
presidential candidate who supports gay marriage, has been invited to
speak at the party's upcoming California convention.
The invite comes a day after the openly
gay candidate said his party had given him “the cold shoulder.”
“I'm thrilled, and I'm glad they came
around to let me participate,” he told the San Francisco
Karger said organizers of the September
16-18 event had ignored his attempts to be included but came around
after publication of a Chronicle story highlighting the
Pointing to a 2 percent showing in
several recent polls, Karger insisted he was a legitimate candidate.
But Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director
of gay GOP group GOProud, suggested otherwise in comments to the
“Fred Karger is not a credible
candidate,” LaSalvia said. “I would love for there to be an
openly gay, credible candidate for president who was out there making
a case for why they would be better than Barack Obama.”
“Unfortunately, Fred Karger is
playing a stunt, and his stunt has run its course. His whole schtick
is … running around the country with a rainbow flag, saying 'I'm
the gay guy,'” he added. “But he hasn't made a case about why he
should be President of the United States.”
State GOP Communications Director Mark
Standriff extended an olive branch within an hour of publication of
the Chronicle story.
“Fred has always been welcome at the
CRP – in fact, we've been working to finalize an event for him at
our convention, based on a request from his camp. We're looking
forward to seeing him in L.A. next month.”
Karger is currently campaigning in
early caucus state New Hampshire.