George Will Hails ‘Rise of the Libertarian Strand’ of the GOP

Washington Post columnist George Will described this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) as more or less a coming out party for libertarian conservatives on today’s edition of ABC’s “This Week.” In a panel discussion with temporary co-host Martha Raddatz, Will skewered media reports of division and in-fighting at CPAC, instead suggesting that a healthy discussion was giving rise to a more libertarian minded Republican party.

The Daily Caller reports:

“Republicans have been arguing — social conservatives and libertarian free-market conservatives — since the 1950s, when the National Review was founded on the idea of the fusion of the two,” he continued. “It has worked before with Ronald Reagan. It can work again. What I did see at CPAC was the rise of the libertarian strand of Republicanism, which has an affected foreign policy that is a pullback from nation-building and other ambitions aboard that they never countenance from government at home, and a sense of ‘live and let live’ with subjects such as decriminalization of certain drugs and gay marriage.”

Will also doubled down on earlier comments he had made suggesting that opposition to gay mariage both in the GOP and in America generally is dying. In response to a question from Raddatz about Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s newly announced support for gay marriage, and whether it would signal a broader shift, Will made virtually the same comment.

“He will not be the last, because the demographic tide here is large, powerful and inexorable,” Will said. “As I said on this program before, opposition to gay marriage is literally dying. It’s an older demographic.”

Watch the segment below, courtesy of the Daily Caller: