The local Virginian Pilot is reporting (http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=136463&ran=28558&tref=po) that Pat Robertson is endorsing Rudy Giuliani for President. This is a noticeable break with James "Daddy" Dobson who has heretofore said "No Way, No How" to Giuliani It will be interesting to see if Dobson shifts his support to Giuliani since in my view, Dobson is more concerned with power and influence than any real Christian message (particularly since Dobson puts out so many flat out lies on many topics, ex-gay programs included). Here are story highlights:
Evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson endorsed Republican Rudy Giuliani for president Wednesday, citing the ex-New York City mayor’s leadership during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Robertson said Giuliani was “a proven leader who is not afraid of what lies ahead and who will cast a hopeful vision for all Americans.” Conspicuously absent from Robertson’s endorsement was any acknowledgement of Giuliani’s support for abortion and gay rights, which are anathema to evangelicals’ core political agenda.
For Giuliani, who is not an evangelical, Robertson’s endorsement brings tremendous political benefits, said Larry J. Sabato, who directs the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “What this does for Giuliani is to say to evangelical Christians that he may not be perfect – but he’s acceptable. And that is very important, because Giuliani cannot win the nomination without a decent slice of evangelicals,” Sabato said.
Apart from judicial appointments, Robertson’s endorsement avoided any mention of the social issues conservative Christians call family values. Instead, Robertson said protecting America from “the bloodlust of Islamic terrorists” was the top issue facing the nation. “Our second goal should be the control of massive government waste and crushing federal deficits,” he said.
The following is Andrew Sullivan's take on the endorsement with which I agree (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/11/robertson-and-g.html):
Since the Bush right insists that Robertson is completely irrelevant to the current GOP, I have no idea why they are fixated by his endorsement of Giuliani. For me, however, it seals the deal. Robertson blamed Americans for causing 9/11. He is a charlatan and a religious phony. He has enriched himself at the expense of millions of gullible Christians who did not understand that this man's sole principle is his own power and wealth. It doesn't surprise me that he sees eye to eye with Giuliani. They are very similar characters. But he does represent what may be becoming the consensus among Christianists: that the war on Islamic terrorism is the prime issue; and that the way to tackle it is by increasing military aggression, bombing or occupying Muslim countries, preserving Israel solely to hasten the Apocalypse, and entrenching torture as a pillar of American national security policy. The fusion of Giuliani's authoritarianism with Robertson's Christianism is indeed one future path for the GOP. It is enlightening to me to witness two very similar politicians sink their differences to forge that new, fascistic direction.
Here's one local comment on the story from a Pilot reader:
I do not know why anyone would ever want Pat Robertson's endorsement! Guiliani must not watch that show. I was baffled when I saw those two together on TV. I think Pat Robertson lost all credibility and respect a long time ago. It is painful to know that so many faithful people still look to Robertson for prayer and healing and send him money. It hurts, as a Christian. I know that the man is a meddling, gossiping fake. His faith is fake. He is full of hate and spite and deceit and greed and pride. He will smear anyone who threatens to expose his wrongdoing. Pat Robertson uses prayer and healing as a money-making tool and it makes me sick. I do not know who I will be voting for, but it will NOT be Guiliani, not now, no way.