Pat Robertson Endorsement Sparks Backlash

By: Tom Squitieri

When the Rev. Pat Robertson endorsed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the presidency, he created a schism among evangelical Republicans – one that may cost the GOP the White House next year.

Since Robertson, the founder of the influential 700 Club, stood with Giuliani at a joint press conference on Nov. 7, a major backlash has been under way in the evangelical community over the endorsement.

“It is my pleasure to announce my support for America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, a proven leader who is not afraid of what lies ahead and who will cast a hopeful vision for all Americans,” Robertson said during the news conference in Washington, D.C.

Robertson, himself a former presidential candidate who ran on a staunchly pro-family platform in 1988, has bewildered Christian conservatives by backing Giuliani, a staunch supporter of abortion and gay rights.

“This is the final straw. It is just bizarre,” Steve Scheffler, head of the Iowa Christian Alliance, told Newsmax. Scheffler’s organization split from Robertson’s Christian Coalition just over a year ago.

“It’s going to hurt him,” Scheffler says. “For years and years he talked about what issues are important. This makes a mockery of it all. It is a complete betrayal to our movement. It’s a disgrace.”

Scheffler, who worked on Robertson’s 1988 presidential campaign in Iowa, says he and many others in the evangelical movement feel betrayed.

Read the rest here

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Huckabee campaign downplays missed endorsements

Cedar Rapids, Ia. – Mike Huckabee’s state chairman voiced criticism today about two recent endorsements their Republican presidential campaign didn’t receive.

“I’m discouraged but not surprised,” Bob Vander Plaats said to a group of about 100 in downtown Cedar Rapids. “Our evangelical leaders are playing their hands … to get them a seat at the table.”

Vander Plaats was referencing televangelist Pat Robertson’s recent endorsement of Rudi Giuliani, who has been criticized by religious leaders for being twice divorced and soft on the issue of abortion. Giuliani has a comfortable lead among Republican contenders in national polls.

Vander Plaats also was befuddled by Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback’s endorsement of Arizona Sen. John McCain. Brownback dropped out of the presidential race last month and had been competing with Huckabee for the religious vote in Iowa.

“It just doesn’t make any sense … he hurt himself if he ever plans to mount another campaign,” Vander Platts said.

On Wednesday, Huckabee was publicly indifferent to Brownback’s announcement.

“If I have to choose between him and his supporters, I’ll take his supporters,” he said following an event in Cedar Falls.

Huckabee was greeted this morning with a standing ovation at his last of four events in Iowa in the past two days.

Campaign staff apparently weren’t expecting the large group of people this morning, as they had to bring in more chairs. Some in the audience were left standing, which was also the case at an evening event in Vinton on Wednesday.

Does Mike Huckabee think Pat Robertson is Intoxicated?

How frustrating is this readers: Evangelicals like Pat Robertson endorsing the (one of two actually) Democrat posing as a Republican Guiliani, because he’s the frontrunner (though he doesn’t come right out and say it) but puts his principles and values on the shelf by not endorsing Huckabee.

Hey Pat Robertson – SHAME ON U!

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Posted by: Jonathan Garthwaite at 10:20 AM Matt just reported the Pat Robertson/Giuliani endorsement which reminds me…

In October, Religion & Ethics asked Mike Huckabee why religious conservative hadn’t rallied around (read: endorsed) his campaign.

A: I think that in some ways the Christian conservative movement has maybe gotten off the track. I think that some of them, frankly, are more intoxicated with power than principle, and I know that’s a pretty outrageous if not rather bold statement to make, but I think it’s the truth. Some have become so acquainted now with power and have been so close to it that they forget that the purpose for which they got involved in politics was not to be close to power; it was to speak the truth to power. It was to hold those in power, to hold their feet to the fire over issues they said got them involved and motivated. Now I hear some of the so-called Christian leaders say, “Well, we love Huckabee. He really agrees with us, and he’s one of us in terms of views. But, you know, we’re looking for somebody that we’re confident is going to win.” Well, two things. First, a lot of these people if they would get behind me I’d be winning right now, and I think I will ultimately without them. But secondly, if they really are principled, it’s not about who might win, it’s about who stands with us. And, frankly, it’s a little disturbing, if not frightening, that some have forgotten the essence of what Jesus taught, and that is if you gain the whole world but lose your soul what does it profit you? And, frankly, some who would say, “Well, the presidency is so important.” You know, well, so what? The presidency is not as important as are your values and as are your deep principles from the heart. And I worry about people who have come to this sort of “it’s about winning.” No. It’s about standing for your convictions. And if it’s not about that, then I’m afraid that many people got involved for all the wrong reasons.

Mr. Robertson, your response?