Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2014

Who Are You Callin’ ‘Chikin?’

The Senate Republican Steering Committee ate it at a policy luncheon. Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter in support of it. Presidential candidate and Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones trekked to the Magnolia Mall in South Carolina to stand in solidarity with it.

Conservative “chikin” lovers came together Wednesday for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, a nationwide event started by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) after the controversy that’s enveloped the fast-food chain in recent weeks.

The Georgia-based company has received a slew of backlash after President and CEO Dan Cathy announced his company is “guilty as charged” for believing in “the biblical definition of the family unit” and doesn’t support same-sex marriage, leading Huckabee to launch Wednesday’s event.

“Senator DeMint is celebrating Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day to express support for their right to freedom of speech in standing up for traditional marriage,” Wesley Denton, communications director for Senate Republican Steering Committee Chairman Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), said in an email. “And because their chicken is delicious.”

Nunnelee sent a letter to Cathy signed by 16 colleagues — including Georgia Republican Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Lynn Westmoreland — to mark the event.

“We are bewildered by those who would take offense at your values and would block the expansion of your business into their communities,” the letter reads, referring to comments from the mayors of Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., questioning whether the chain should open locations in their cities. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray even coined the term “hate chicken” to refer to the chain’s wares.

“Elected officials that are now threatening to block new Chick-fil-A restaurants in their cities are acting in a manner that is un-American,” Nunnelee said in a release. “Demanding ideological conformity in order to be allowed to run your business is a dangerous precedent. It is like something that would happen in Soviet Russia.”

The ultimate Yahtzee! moment happened when former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) tweeted thusly: “@RickSantorum: Here at @citizensunited finishing our Chick-fil-A lunch. Ok leftists go crazy.”

Chick-fil-A: a conservative uniter.

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