The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capehart recently tried to interview the Republican presidential candidates. Unfortunately, the grand old party members weren’t having it, which leads Capehart to one startlingly true conclusion: they’re wimps.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is fearless. He has faced down al-Qaeda, the Mafia and the National Rifle Association. But when it comes to facing homosexuals, he’s a wimp. So are former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. They’re all victims of a Pink Panic that calls into question their ability to lead this fractured nation.

What freaked them out? A request from me to discuss gay issues. This is part of a disturbing pattern by the GOP candidates, highlighted this month by Post reporter Perry Bacon Jr., of shunning debates with people who might pose uncomfortable but pertinent questions. With the exception of Huckabee, the major-name Republicans skipped Tavis Smiley’s “All-American Presidential Forum,” geared to the black community, last Thursday at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Only McCain accepted an invitation this month to participate in a Univision television debate for Hispanic voters. The event was eventually canceled. And the Republicans have given the same silent treatment to gay men and lesbians.

Of course the spineless Republicans won’t talk to Capehart: he’s gay and black – he’s conservative kryptonite!

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