2014 Red, White & Blue Gala

American Principles Project’s 2nd Annual ‘Red, White and Blue’ Gala in Washington, D.C. on February 5th, 2014

APP’s 2nd annual Gala featured US Senator Rand Paul as the keynote speaker and Erick Erickson as the Master of Cerimonies.  Check below for videos, news media and other coverage from the event.

Rand Paul Speaks at the APP Gala

Senator Rand Paul’s keynote address at the 2nd annual APP ‘Red, White and Blue’ Gala. Featuring an introduction by APP’s Chairman Sean Fieler and the Master of Ceremonies Erick Erickson.  Playlist also includes other videos from the Gala.

APP: Human Dignity at the Heart of Public Policy

The American Principles Project debuted a new video at APP’s 2nd annual ‘Red, White and Blue’ Gala last night, which discusses APP’s mission and purpose and highlights numerous memorable news clips featuring the APP staff.


click the image to view our photo gallery from the gala



In the News

The Gala was extensively covered in the national media, including CNN, Politico, and the Washington Times.  Below are some quotes from the coverage:


Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told a crowd of social conservatives Wednesday that fighting within the GOP is for the best.

“Where are we? People say ‘don’t fight, you just have to go along to get along,’” Paul said. “We should fight. We should struggle for what we believe in and try to move the party forward.”

He added, “We have to decide are we going to go bold, are we going to go big, or are we going become Democrat-lite.”

Following his own advice, Paul took shots at certain unnamed Republicans, knocking them for not focusing enough on cutting spending, while touting his own credentials.

Paul’s remarks came at a gala for the American Principles Project, a unique Republican group that bridges the ideas of social conservatives and libertarians, a group Paul identifies with.


In the speech sponsored by the American Principles Project, a deeply conservative organization with a special focus on social issues, Paul offered up jokes and wry commentary. But he also sought to bridge the oft-perceived gap between libertarians and strict social conservatives.

“‘Libertarian’ …doesn’t mean ‘libertine,’” he said. “To many of us libertarian means freedom and liberty. But we also see that freedom needs tradition.”

He added: “I don’t see libertarianism as, you can do whatever you want. There is a role for government, there’s a role for family, there’s a role for marriage, there’s a role for the protection of life.”

Paul stressed that the value of marriage is economic, as well as “moral” and “religious,” and that those virtues can be communicated through families and communities as well as through the government.

The organization, however, is in party mode Wednesday. Their second annual Red, White & Blue Gala gets underway at dusk in a historic hotel a few blocks north of the White House; guests have been encouraged to wear “cocktail attire” in those colors. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Redstate.com founder Erick Erickson and Mr. Cannon are the point men of the evening, and they are prepared to “outline the political landscape for 2014,” organizers say.

For many, the word that comes to mind when they hear the name Rand Paul is likely “libertarian.” While he gladly embraces the label, Paul brands himself as more a pragmatist than purist, and he’s seeking a way to bring libertarians and social conservatives—long warring cousins on the right—together.

Paul’s efforts were on display Wednesday night at a gala for the American Principles Project, a conservative group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and aims to promote religious liberty. The group’s board includes Maggie Gallagher, one of the foremost advocates against same-sex marriage and Robert P. George, the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. APP is led by Francis P. Cannon, a conservative activist who authored a rebuttal report last year to calls within the Republican Party to de-emphasize social issues.


Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told an American Principles Project audiencein Washington on Wednesday that “libertarian” need not mean “libertine,”  Politico reported.

Paul called for the libertarian and social conservative wings of the GOP to find mutual ground.

Speaking as a libertarian to a socially conservative gala, Paul said, “To many of us libertarian means freedom and liberty. But we also see that freedom needs tradition.”

Libertarianism does not mean “do whatever you want,” said Paul. There was a place for government, family, marriage, and the protection of life, he told the audience.

His talked of “moral” and “religious” virtues that are imparted by family and community.
He also called for the place of Christian forgiveness in reforming the criminal justice system, particularly regarding mandatory sentencing for drug-related felonies, and for the rehabilitation of non-violent drug offenders.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) argued for libertarianism, saying it is compatible with Christianity and will help Republicans win elections and attract minorities, at the gala for The American Principles Project, a socially conservative group founded by Robert P. George.

“There are some issues that can move the party forward, and some of those issues I would call libertarian issues,” Paul declared. He admitted that “to some that’s a bad word, but to others I think it’s a word that may expand the party.”

Paul argued that these issues do not have to come at the expense of social issues, such as life and marriage. “Libertarian and liberty doesn’t mean libertine,” he argued. The Senator referred to Don Devine’s book America’s Way Back, explaining that liberty and tradition go hand in hand.

Life Site News

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2014 – In a wide-ranging speech Wednesday night, probable 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, highlighted the importance of marriage, life, and the family to America’s future.

In front of nearly 300 attendees at the American Principles Project’s 2014 Gala, Paul delivered what may have been his biggest applause line when he quoted his speech at the 2013 March for Life, where he asked, “Can a civilization long endure that doesn’t respect life?”

Paul spent several minutes of his nearly twenty-two minute speech discussing how social and cultural issues work best in fusion with liberty.

“There’s a role for family, there’s a role for marriage, there’s a role for the protection of life,” said Paul. “But while there is a role for government, there’s also a role for those of you not in government. In fact, a role as big or bigger.”

“You want to promote family, you need to talk about it, in your communities, with your kids. You want to promote marriage, you need to talk about it, with your kids and in your communities. I can’t make kids get married, but the thing is I think marriage is important, not only for social, and religious, and moral reasons, but it’s incredibly important for economic reasons,” Paul said.

Rand Paul had been talking for 20 minutes, strumming all the familiar chords. He was the gala keynoter for the annual American Principles Project, a 5-year-old social conservative group best known recently for running TV ads against Liz Cheney. (The ads, funded by APP’s political arm, attacked Cheney’s advocacy for “government benefits for gay couples.”) Paul had criticized the New York Times, defended the now-lapsed cuts of sequestration, and warned that a “Republican-lite” party was doomed to lose. Standard stuff.

So he started challenging the crowd. “As Christians, we believe in forgiveness,” said Paul. “I think the criminal justice system should have some element of forgiveness.” There are, sure, human terrors who need to be locked up. “But there are also people who make youthful mistakes who I believe deserve a second chance. In my state, you never vote again if you’re convicted of a felony. But a felony could be growing marijuana plants in college. Friend of mine’s brother did 30 years ago. He has an MBA. But he can’t vote, can’t own a gun, and he’s a house-painter with an MBA, because he has to check a box saying he’s a convicted felon.”

Paul’s audience, consisting of social conservatives, congressional candidates, and radio hosts, listened or nodded along.

“These are ideas not many Republicans have talked about before,” Paul said. “I think if we talk about these ideas, we take them to the minority community, often the African-American and sometimes the Hispanic community—3 out of 4 people in prison are black and brown! But if you look at surveys on who uses drugs, whites and blacks and Hispanic use at about the same rate. You don’t have as good an attorney if you don’t have money. Some of the prosecution has tended to go where it’s easier to prosecute people.”

The crowd stayed with him.

“I think these are things we should look at. I’m not talking about legalization. I’m talking about making the criminal justice system fair and giving people a second chance if they served their time,” Paul said.

That line earned a long burst of applause. Paul was in no danger of losing this crowd.

View the original invitation page here.