September 2010

Flashback: Paladino says Obama "worships himself"

Last night Carl Paladino, the conservative Tea Party-backed businessman, won the New York GOP's gubernatorial nod by a convincing margin.

Back in August, PFAW Blog reported on Carl Paladino smearing Barack Obama's Christian faith:

Right-wing leaders continue to feed into the increasingly-held belief that Obama is not a committed Christian, a view now held by one-fifth of Americans. From a Republican National Committeewoman to the RNC’s new media director and even Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party has not shied away from feeding into the massive misinformation campaign about Obama’s Christian faith. Glenn Beck, who earlier described the President’s religion as “it's not Muslim, it's not Christian,” claimed on Fox News Sunday that “people aren't recognizing his version of Christianity.”

Now, Carl Paladino, a Republican candidate for governor of New York, flat-out claims in an interview with Capital Tonight that Obama is dishonest about being a Christian, and is deceitful about his faith for political purposes:

Q: You do not believe that the President is a practicing Christian?

CP: No. Not in his heart. I think it’s part of the theater of Mr. Obama. I’m not quite, I’m not saying he’s anything else, but I think Mr. Obama is about himself. I think any religious beliefs that he advocates are part of the theatre to make himself look better to the American people.”

Q: “So, you’re not specifically saying that he is not a Christian. You just don’t believe him when he says he’s a practicing Christian?”

CP: “I don’t believe he… No, I think he worships himself. He’s a very condescending person.”


Paladino’s claim about Obama’s alleged narcissism is extremely close to the description of Obama as “uppity” from conservative figures such as Rush Limbaugh and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA). With Republican leaders pushing these smears, is it any wonder why one in three self-defined conservatives believe that Obama is not a Christian?

2010 Right Wing Candidates Weekly Update

With the Tea Party on the march, RightWingWatch will now feature weekly updates every Wednesday detailing the activities and controversies of the right-wing candidates running for US Senate this year.

Sharron Angle

Polls: Mason Dixon shows Reid leading 46-45%, and Ipsos has Reid up 46-44% (Politics Daily, 9/12; Reuters, 9/14).

Ad: Reid calls out Angle for controversial vote on domestic violence (CNN, 9/13).

Debate: Asserts that she withdrew from debate because she wants “an informed electorate” (Las Vegas Sun, 9/14).

Lawsuit: Las Vegas Review-Journal sues Angle for printing stories without the newspaper’s permission (AP, 9/14).

Palin: Hopes that Sarah Palin will rally the NV GOP base (Las Vegas Sun, 9/14)

Latinos: Angle’s problems finding Latino supporters (AP, 9/10).

GOP: Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval distances himself from Angle in interview (Las Vegas Sun, 9/10).

Ken Buck

Website: After primary, Buck’s website changes language on issue-pages regarding abortion, stem-cell research and immigration (Denver Post, 9/8).

Debate: Holds aggressive debate with Bennet in Grand Junction (ABC, 9/12), a second debate is scheduled for Friday.

Carly Fiorina

Economy: Refuses to support Small Business Lending bill, but says it has “many good aspects (AP, 9/14).

Poll: Trails Boxer by 2 percentage points, 46-44%, in latest Fox News poll (San Francisco Chronicle, 9/14).

Joe Miller

GOP: Mitch McConnell sends Miller a $5000 contribution, asks Sen. Murkowski to “move on,” NRSC pledges to spend $170,000 (Anchorage Daily News, 9/14; Fairbanks Daily News-Miner; 9/10).

Government: Miller criticized for views on federal government’s land ownership (The Mudflats, 9/13).

Christine O’Donnell

Victory: Upsets Congressman Mike Castle, 53-47% (Politico, 9/15).

Abstinence: Video from MTV shows O’Donnell, then head of Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth, speaking against masturbation (TPM, 9/14).

Rove: Trades barbs with Karl Rove (Washington Post, 9/15).

GOP: Castle unlike to endorse, campaign suggests that NRSC stays out of race (The Hill, 9/14).

Rand Paul

GOP: Calls out Republicans in Congress for failing to cut spending (AP, 9/12).

Ad: Claims that Health Care Reform “puts Washington bureaucrats in charge” in new ad, NRSC also on the air criticizing HCR (CBS News, 9/8; HuffPo, 9/14).

Palin: Fundraiser with Sarah Palin set for 9/16 (Courier-Journal, 9/13).

Dino Rossi

Poll: Murray leads Rossi 50-41% in new Elway poll (Seattle Times, 9/13)

Trial: Building Industry Association of Washington, a big Rossi backer, on trial for skimming finances for campaign purposes (Bellingham Herald, 9/14).

Economy: Says that Obama’s $50 billion infrastructure plan “makes no sense whatsoever” (King 5, 9/6).

Marco Rubio

Religious Right: David Barton of WallBuilders to headline event with Rubio (Orlando Politics Press, 9/14).

Poll: Rubio leads by double-digits in new Fox News poll (Political Wire, 9/14).

GOP: State Party’s internal audit clears Rubio on abusing Party-issued credit card, Crist campaign cries foul (St. Petersburg Times, 9/13).

Social Security: Says he opposes privatization but supports Bush-proposed “personal retirement accounts” (ReidReport, 9/14).

Economy: Supports extending all of the Bush tax-cuts (Orlando Sentinel, 9/14).

Focus on the Family: Legally Married Couples Do Not Count As "Families"

A new book, "Counted Out: Same-Sex Relations and Americans' Definition of Family," reports that surveys taken over the last several years "showed a significant shift toward counting same-sex couples with children as family - from 54 percent of respondents in 2003 to 68 percent in 2010. "

Of course, the surveys also found that there is "a solid core resisting this trend who are more willing to include pets in their definition than same-sex partners" ... and I am guessing that Focus on the Family falls into that category:

"Same-sex marriage is a dangerous social experiment," said Glenn Stanton, director of family formation studies for Focus on the Family. "A lesbian couple who legally married in Massachusetts - are they family? We would say, 'Absolutely not.'"

Stanton said it was increasingly difficult to engage in serious debate on the definition question.

"We're moving in this headlong direction toward same-sex families without any intelligent discussion about whether it's actually good for the children and the adults," he said. "This whole issue has boiled down to, 'Are you a bigot or not?'"

You know, I keep wondering when we are going to see this new kinder and gentler Focus on the Family that Jim Daly keeps promising.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • In a surprise move, Richard Land does not approve of any GOP plans to ignore social issues.
  • A email list for right-wing journalists? I am outraged!  
  • Peter LaBarbera is not pleased with Sen. John Cornyn or the Log Cabin Republicans.
  • John Stemberger says his Florida Family Policy Council was hacked because of his support for Rifqa Bary.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Rob Scheck of Faith and Action, commenting on his meeting with Pastor Terry Jones:  "Throughout history, God raises up the most unlikely servants to do His work ...Pastor Jones is a sincere man of God–a shepherd of souls–and a humble servant-leader. He is most certainly not a charlatan out to get attention through cheap 'stunts' ... By taking the rare action of changing his mind on something of this magnitude, Pastor Jones deserves to now be taken seriously–by Muslims and everyone else."

We Rest Our Case: Bryan Fischer Tries to Defend His Bigoted Record

Today, People For the American Way issued a statement calling out all those conservative leaders who will attending the upcoming Values Voter Summit and sharing the stage with notorious bigot Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association and chronicled the myriad of outrageously offensive things Fischer has said about gays and Muslims and others.

Needless to say, Fischer is not particularly pleased with our statement and dedicated a portion of his radio program today to "defending" himself ... and in doing so, only helped to make our point even clearer.

Fischer took particular exception to our point that "any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America," by claiming that he did no such thing (but, of course, he did when he claimed that Muslim citizens were, simply by being virtue of being Muslim, guilty of treason against the US.)

Fischer's "defense" is that he simply wants to deny entry to all Muslims because we are doing them a favor since they could not possibly handle or tolerate our freedoms:

"Any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America."

That, as a matter of fact is not true. What I has said is that if Muslims are here and they have citizenship status, we shouldn't do anything to them. They have citizenship status, it might have been a mistake to give it to them, but they have it and we need to respect it because we uphold the rule of law.

What I was talking about is when you have Muslims who are applying for permanent residency, for permanent legal residency, or applying for citizenship, my recommendation is that instead of granting them citizenship, we help them return to their homeland, to their native country, we help repatriate them to their country of origin where they can have the freedom to be Muslims without having to chafe against our religious liberty and our freedom of speech and first-class citizenship status for wives and for women.

This has got to be awkward for them, it's got to be painful for them, it's got to be uncomfortable for them to see so many people enjoying the fruit of Christianity, its liberty and its freedom, its respect for the individual, its respect for the freedom of individuals to think and make decisions for themselves, its got to chew them up because it is so the polar opposite of what Islam is all about.

So I say we are doing them a favor by repatriating them to their homeland where an entire nation shares their values.

We also pointed out that Fischer demanded a ban on Muslims serving in the US military which he "defended" by saying that he was merely telling the truth about how all Muslims are required to kill Christians and Jews:

So if telling the truth about Muslim service-members is an insult, then truth is now the new insult, truth is now the new hate speech.

All I have said about Muslims in the military is that their god commands them to kill us and it does not make sense to me that we would allow people to enlist in the body that is designed to protect our security and enable us to sleep peacefully in our beds at night, we should not invite into our military - the very organization that is supposed to protect us - invite into our military those who have a solemn and sacred obligation to kill us and kill their fellow soldiers.

Finally, Fischer explains that he doesn't "hate" gays or Muslims - he just hates the horrible, empty, disease-filled lives they lead:

 I am pro-gay; I am anti-homosexuality. I am pro-Muslim; I am anti-Islam. 

I am for homosexuals because I want them to be delivered from the bondage and the death sentence of homosexual conduct. So I am against homosexual behavior, I am against homosexual expression, I am against homosexual conduct because I want to see the people that are trapped in that lifestyle, I want to see them set free.

And the same is true when it comes to Islam: I am for Muslims; I am against-Islam. And, as I mentioned before, the primary victims of Islam are Muslims. I mean, it's got to break your heart when you visualize the life that these people lead in Muslim-dominated countries.

There is darkness, there is tyranny, there is repression, there is hatred, there is a complete absence of freedom, a complete absence of liberty, women are second-class citizens, they're considered as property, as chattel who can be beaten by their husbands according to Allah, according to the Holy Quran, according to the Prophet.

I mean the poverty, and the disease, and the emptiness and the sterility of life in a Muslim-dominated land, it ought to break our hearts. And that is why I am against Islam because I see what it does to people, I see what it does to cultures, I see what it does to entire nations when it is allowed to take root and flourish.

So I am pro-Muslims, but anti-Islam. I am pro-homosexual, I am anti-homosexuality. 

Let me point out again that this is Fischer defense against charges of being an anti-gay and anti-Muslim bigot.

So let us ask again why conservative leaders like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Bob McDonnell, Newt Gingrich, and Michele Bachmann are so willing to share a stage with this man and attend an event being co-sponsored by the American Family Association, the group that has given Fischer a national platform?

Dick Armey Sees The Light On Social Issues?

Most of the posts I have written in the past about Dick Armey have revolved around his attacks on the social conservatives in the movement, starting back in 2006 when he blasted the Religious Right for trying to make things like the Ten Commandments and Terry Schiavo issues on which the GOP was expected to take a stand, with Armey lashing out at "[James] Dobson and his gang of thugs," calling them demagogues and "real nasty bullies" and saying that "being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid."

Needless to say, the attack did not sit well with the Religious Right, which lashed back at Armey and set off a fued that continued for years ... until President Obama was elected and then the Tea Party leaders like Armey and social conservative leaders like Tony Perkins decided that they should all try to work together. But that truce tended to focus mostly on letting social conservatives sign on to Tea Party activism, and not with Tea Party leaders adopting the issues that social conservatives care about. 

Given this history, you'll have to forgive my amazement at the fact that Dick Armey is now suddenly touting the importance of abortion at an issue for Tea Party candidates:

When asked Monday at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters about the possibility of a truce on social issues going into the presidential campaign, Mr. Armey said, “A truce? No. These are issues of the heart. People are not going to turn their hearts and minds away from things that they have so heartfelt.”

Armey, who served as House majority leader, added, “the fact of the matter is there is sort of a question of first things first priorities. If we lose this nation, if it falls into insolvency, then all of these issues pretty well fall by the wayside too, don’t they. So i think there is a setting of priorities.”

He specifically referred to the abortion issue. “Since President Obama has been elected, there has been extraordinarily high levels of funding for international abortions through what is called the Mexico City language. That fight hasn’t been had for a few years. Now that fight will be had with this majority," he said, referring to his stated expectation that Republicans will win control of the House, and perhaps the Senate. He added, “these issues are too important to be left behind and they won’t be left behind.”

Presumably, Armey is trying to reassure the Religious Right that they still have a place in the conservative movement in order to quell their fears that the GOP is ignoring their issues.

How Cindy Jacobs Shut Down Craigslist

Last week we noted that Cindy Jacobs had participated in The Call rally in Sacramento, CA where she repented for the scourge of girl-on-girl kissing and lesbianism which plague our society today.

But, as it turns out, the prayers and prophecies she delivered at the event played in role in shutting down Craigslist's adult services ads, as she explains in her latest Generals International update:

At one point there was a whole section on fighting human trafficking, sex trafficking, repenting of involvements in pornography and so forth and our friend Nancy Alcorn had her girls up who they had rescued from prostitution and so many things, some had actually been trafficked, been captured. And as we prayed there was a section where these girls were asked to go back, away from the platform, there was a cross, a big cross set up, and they kneeled down and began to pray and I gave them a prophecy and I said "could it be that even right now, as we speak, that that God, the just God, wants to give you a sign that he is going to break the back of sex trafficking."

And so they cried out for freedom and they cried out and asked God to do that and right after that we received word that Craigslist was going to begin to censor some of the things that were coming over their list concerning pornography and adult content. And we just felt it was a huge victory.

Fischer: Major League Baseball Has Kept America Safe From Terrorism

Today, the AFA's Bryan Fischer has decided to take a break from hating Muslims and gays to explain how the singing of "God Bless America" at sporting events has kept America safe from terrorist attacks since 9/11: 

The singing of “God Bless America” has been a staple since 9/11 in virtually every major league baseball stadium, and, inspired by baseball’s example, is now a consistent part of pregame festivities at NFL games and NBA games, as well as college football and basketball games.

The significance here is that “God Bless America” is not just a collection of words, not just a song, not just a memorable melody. What is significant here is that “God Bless America” is a prayer.

When we sing this song, we are not just singing - we are praying. We are joining heart and voice together to ask God to bless America, to “stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above.”

Remarkably, we have established the practice of converting every major league stadium, every NFL stadium, and every NBA arena into a temporary cathedral in which hundreds of thousands of Americans every week pray to God and ask him to watch over this land.

I suggest that these prayers have been heard and they have been answered ... Since 9/11, multitudes of the American people have on a weekly and almost daily basis asked God to watch over our nation. I believe he has inclined his ear to our prayer.

If you want to know why America has been kept safe since 9/11, I believe we have professional baseball, football, and basketball owners to thank for giving Americans the opportunity to engage in consistent corporate intercession for the safety of this nation.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update

Although there are no announced Republican candidates for President, the race for 2012 is already underway with a number of candidates testing the waters. RightWingWatch will begin bringing you weekly updates on new speeches, events, controversies, and activities of potential 2012 contenders.

Haley Barbour

2012: Claims that his lobbyist experience will help him as President (US News & World Report, 9/14).

Civil-rights: Odd history from Barbour on Ole Miss integration (McClatchy, 9/9)

Mitch Daniels

2012: Meets with GOP fundraisers and “well-connected Republican figures” (Politico, 9/14).

Newt Gingrich

Obama: Claims that Obama represents “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview citing a D’Souza article in Forbes which says Obama’s agenda is to fulfill the dreams of his father, whom D’Souza calls a “philandering, inebriated African socialist” (WhoRunsGov, 9/12).

2010: Predicts GOP majority in House and Senate, Reid loss (CNSNews, 9/13).

Government: Floats government shutdown if GOP wins majorities (GOP12, 9/12).

Abortion: Gingrich adviser blames legal abortion for unemployment (RightWingWatch, 9/13).

Education: Scheduled to appear on Rev. Al Sharpton’s new show on education issues (Hollywood Reporter, 9/13).

Mike Huckabee

2010: Fundraises for Rob Portman and Steve Chabot in Ohio (Business Courier, 9/13).

2012: Set to address the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on economy, education, and health care (WLNS, 9/14).

Sarah Palin

2010: Holds fundraiser for Rand Paul in Louisville on Thursday (Kentucky Enquirer, 9/13); records robocalls for two Mama Grizzlies: Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire before primaries.

GOP: David Plouffe claims “Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck” lead the Republican Party. “All of these Republican candidates have to pledge allegiance to them, their intolerance and their backwards thinking” (New York Times, 9/13)

Right-wing: Says Statue of Liberty meant to be a “warning” to the US “not to go down the path of other countries that adopted socialist policies” (FireDogLake, 9/13).

Park51: Imam Rauf cites Palin for encouraging a “growing Islamophobia” (NY Daily News, 9/12).

George Pataki

New Hampshire: Tells Bedford audience that “government is intimately involved in creating the problems,” responsible for stoking the economic crisis (Union Leader, 9/13).

Health Care: Writes Op-Ed calling for repeal of Health Care Reform (USA Today, 9/13).

Tim Pawlenty

New Hampshire: Sends six staffers from leadership PAC to the Granite State (AP, 9/14)

Economy: Visits Shanghai World’s Fair, says of China: “They're not racing us to the bottom. They're racing us to the top” (Minnesota Post, 9/13).

Mitt Romney

2010: Fundraiser in the works for GA Senator Johnny Isakson (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/13).

Rick Santorum

2012: Calls for infusion of religion into politics, rejects JFK’s 1960 speech defending the separation of church and state (RightWingWatch, 9/13).

Obama: Claims the President is “condescending” to GOP leaders (GOP12, 9/13).