10/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Top McCain Strategist Meets With Gay Republicans

In what represents a marked shift from the Republican campaign rhetoric of 2004 - where some George W. Bush advisors stoked anti-gay sentiment in an attempt to drive social conservatives to the polls - Steve Schmidt, senior campaign strategist for the McCain campaign, stopped by a Log Cabin Republican luncheon Thursday to welcome the group to the convention.

"I just wanted to take a second to come by and pay my respect and the campaign's respect to your organization and to your group," said Schmidt, who many view as the new architect of the Republican Party. "Your organization is an important one in the fabric of our party."

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