Experts Fire First Shot At GOP Presidential Candidates Hours Before First Presidential Debate

WASHINGTON – Hours before the Republican presidential candidates gather for their first debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum today, progressive leaders held a daylong conference at the National Press Club, exposing how conservative ideas have failed America. Panels of experts gathered at the conference, sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future and The American Prospect, detailing how conservatives get the government, the economy, the family and the world wrong.

Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage kicked-off the conference this morning, arguing that Republican candidates are facing an unsolvable problem.

“Even the Gipper can’t pull this one out,” said Borosage. “Republican contenders for the presidential nomination are caught between a rock and a hard place. The vast majority of Americans have given up on George Bush, the sitting conservative president. But the die-hards who still support him are loyal Republican primary voters that no Republican candidate can afford to offend.”

The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol and The American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner are scheduled to debate if conservatives can be trusted to govern at the Failure of Conservatism conference at 1 p.m. ET. The debate, to be moderated by Time Magazine’s Karen Tumulty, will air live on C-SPAN3.

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**NOTE: An opinion piece by Borosage on tonight’s debate that ran in today’s Chicago Times is available here. Electronic video of the Failure of Conservatism conference will be available at www.ourfuture.org. To schedule an interview with any of the conference speakers, please contact Noreen Nielsen at nnielsen@ourfuture.org or 603-858-2607.**

CONFERENCE ON THE FAILURE OF CONSERVATISMThursday, May 3, 2007National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

9 a.m.Experts discuss how President Bush and conservatives get the world wrong.

10:30 a.m.Experts discuss how conservatives get government wrong.

11:15 a.m.Experts discuss how conservatives have failed the economy.

1 p.m.Leaders debate if conservatives can be trusted to govern.

2:15 p.m.Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, discusses the new progressive challenge.

2:30 p.m.Experts discuss whether the conservative era is over.

Conference participants include:

–Robert Borosage, co-dir., Campaign for America’s Future–Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio–Michelle Ciccarelli, lawyer, victims of Enron fraud–Tamara Draut, author and economic opportunity program dir., Demos–Thomas Frank, author and editor, The Baffler Magazine–E.J. Graff, resident scholar, Brandeis Univ. Women’s Studies Research Center–Stan Greenberg, pollster and CEO, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research–Jacob Hacker, author and Yale Univ. professor–John Judis, sr. editor, The New Republic–Robert Kuttner, founding co-editor, The American Prospect–Thea Lee, domestic policy dir. and chief international economist, AFL-CIO–Bill Lerach, leading securities lawyer–Harold Meyerson, columnist, Washington Post–Cecelia Muñoz, sr. vice pres., Natl. Council of La Raza–Rick Perlstein, sr. fellow, Campaign for America’s Future–Isaiah Poole, exec. editor, TomPaine.com–Beth Shulman, author and lawyer–Bill Spriggs, professor and chairman of the Economics Dept., Howard Univ.–Diane Straus Tucker, president and publisher, American Prospect