Rick Perry

Rick Perry's Gay-Baiting Ad Lauded by Anti-Gay Leaders

Rick Perry’s desperate ad attacking openly gay service members and criticizing President Obama’s purported “war on religion” has quickly become one of the most disliked videos on YouTube, but it has found a few unsurprising fans: anti-gay zealots in the Religious Right. The ad even divided Perry’s own campaign staff with one pollster calling it “nuts”:

But vilifying gay soldiers and stoking fears about the administration’s supposed hostility to religion is common currency in the Religious Right.

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer said that the ad’s hostile reception on YouTube proves that Perry is a good candidate for Christian conservative voters: “Perry’s ad had triggered an astonishing 637,738 dislikes to just 19,792 likes by 10:53 Eastern time this morning, clearly stamping him as the candidate the vengeful, hate-filled, vitriolic homosexual lobby wants to destroy,” Fischer wrote today. “If you’re looking for your values candidate, conservatives, you may have just found him.” On his radio show last week, Fischer even said that AFA founder and chairman emeritus Don Wildmon, who led The Response prayer rally with Perry, called the ad “the best political ad he’s ever seen.”

Wildmon’s son Tim, the current head of the AFA, agreed with Todd Starnes of Fox News that the ad might help Perry consolidate support among conservative voters and propel Perry to the top of the polls. Starnes predicted “that we are going to see a bump in the poll numbers as the result of this ad, they may not give this ad credit but if you see a rise in the numbers I think it is because of this ad,” saying that it “articulated” how evangelical Christians in America feel:

The Family Research Council even promoted the ad to members and dismissed concerns that it would backfire on the Texas governor, whom they claim is in touch with “everyday Americans”:

Rick Perry's latest ad was intended for Iowa, but thanks to the national media, it's airing on every network in America. A number of pundits are panning the spot for its bold social conservative themes, which they insist will hurt the Texas Governor's chances. "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian," Gov. Perry says, "but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school." The ad is called "Strong," and that's the kind of message it sends on issues like religious freedom. "As President, I'll end Obama's war on religion. And I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage." True, Gov. Perry probably wouldn't win the media's vote with that kind of platform--but he does stand to benefit with everyday Americans who are tired of seeing their values in the line of fire under this administration.

GOP Candidates Line Up to Attend Huckabee's Anti-Choice Premier

Lately, Mike Huckabee has been making the rounds on right-wing radio promoting a new anti-choice documentary he produced with Citizens United called "The Gift of Life" which profiles anti-choice activists as well as those who were "saved from the abortionist":

Huckabee is scheduled to premier the film in Iowa next week and he invited the candidates seeking the Republican nomination to join him for the event where each would be given five minutes to address the audience and flaunt their anti-choice credentials ... and so far, four candidates have accepted the invitation:

Four of the Republican presidential candidates have committed to be at a pro-life forum in Des Moines, Iowa hosted by Mike Huckabee on December 14 to join more than 1,000 pro-life advocates for the unveiling of the new pro-life film Gift of Life.

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will come together for the event along with local pro-life Iowans as “The Gift of Life” will make its debut that night. The documentary was produced by Citizens United, the company made famous by a U.S. Supreme Court case that opened the door for unlimited spending on election ads by corporations.

Three other GOP presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman, have also been invited to the event and they, along with the attending candidates, have been invited to address the audience on pro-life issues before the screening.

Also taking part will be Family Leader President Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa Right To Life Executive Director Jenifer Bowen, Citizens United President David Bossie, and “Mickelson In The Morning” radio host Jan Mickelson, said Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for Citizens United. The event takes place at the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines.

In New Ad, Perry Attacks Gays, “Obama’s War on Religion"

Rick Perry is out with a new TV spot that uses a seasonal “War on Christmas” theme to attack gays serving openly in the military and accuse President Obama of waging a “war on religion.”

Just last week, Perry released an ad assuring us that he’s “not ashamed of his faith” even though, he claims, “some liberals say that faith is a sign of weakness.” Oddly, we had never assumed that Perry was at all ashamed of his faith.

Openly attacking gay people seems to be something of a new strategy for Perry. Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the Obama administration would be using foreign aid to work toward LGBT rights around the world, noting that in many countries people are routinely beaten, jailed and even killed just for being gay. In response, Perry lashed out with a statement accusing the administration of “promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable.”
 

Romney and Perry Channel President Bush on the Supreme Court, Call for "Strict Constructionists"

“Strict constructionism,” whatever that means, was a hot topic at Saturday’s GOP presidential forum on Fox News. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry took pains to show that they would be very strict about their constructionism. Channeling George W. Bush, they heartily endorsed the rulings of Roberts and Alito and spoke out against judges who supposedly “legislate from the bench.”
 
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli kicked things off by asking Perry, “What does the term ‘strict constructionist’ mean to you and would that be the standard for your nominees to the Supreme Court?”
 
Perry, somewhat giddy, replied that “Alito and a Roberts are the type of the jurists, a strict constructionist, not a legislator in a robe.” “You know, we have about four of each of those on the Supreme Court,” he continued.
 
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt raised the possibility of multiple vacancies on the Supreme Court during the next presidential term, and asked Romney what it means to him to appoint a “strict constructionist.” Romney said that he looks “at the opinions of the last several years by justices like Roberts and Alito, Thomas, Scalia, and I say, these people are strict constructionists.”
 
Despite all the talk about “strict constructionists,” it was hard to know from their words what they actually meant by it. Mike Huckabee, the host, acknowledged as much when he asked Perry, “We’ve all talked about ‘strict constructionists.’ For the layman out there, just help them understand exactly what that means.”
 
Perry sputtered for a couple seconds, then fumbled with his lapel, knocking his mic loose, and pulled out a pocket constitution. Holding it out, upside down no less, Perry defined the term: “It’s right there… That’s the Constitution. Read it. Exactly what it says. That’s what we’re talking about. Don’t read anything into it. Don’t add to it.” Well, that explains it!
 
There’s actually a good reason for all the vague language around “strict constructionism.” When you look at the rulings of Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, “strict constructionism” has a very different meaning – being strict with everyday Americans while constructing new rights and privileges for powerful business interests, such as the right for corporations to be “people” and spend unlimited sums to influence elections.
 
It’s little wonder that Romney and Perry, like Bush, are sticking to vague buzzwords and catchphrases. Here are some clips of the candidates from Saturday alongside clips of Bush from 2004 and 2008:

 

Perry and Bachmann on Immigration: Shut Down the Border, Deport 11 Million People

The issues of border security and illegal immigration are incredibly complex and directly affect tens of millions of Americans – not to mention the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are estimated to be living in the United States. In other words, these are issues that call for some level of nuance.

Nuance, however, isn’t something that Governor Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann do: 

 When asked about border security by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Perry responded:
I have made the commitment that 12 months after being inaugurated as president, that border will be shut down, and it’ll be secure. 
We can only hope that Perry misspoke about shutting down the border with Mexico. Bachmann, however, was very clear in stating her determination to tear apart millions of families and devastate the economy by deporting all 11 million undocumented immigrants: 
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi: You have pledged to deport all 11 million illegal aliens. Homeland Security tells us that will cost $135 billion. Tell us, first, how you plan to pay for that and how you will execute that plan.
 
Bachmann: This is the thorniest, most difficult issue in dealing with illegal immigration. What about deportation? I believe that we should uphold the laws of the land which does include deportation. […]
 
Bondi: What is your plan for executing it?
 
Bachmann: It would be enforcement. Enforcement both at the border but also by the ICE agents. Right now, essentially, our ICE agents – those are the agents in the interior of the country who are tasked with enforcing the laws – they’re not enforcing them. We also have sanctuary cities where they don’t enforce the laws either on deportation. 

 

Perry Challenges The Judiciary's "Offensive" Decisions

Texas Gov. Rick Perry during Mike Huckabee's presidential candidate forum demanded that Supreme Court justices have term limits because of decisions he finds "offensive" regarding organized prayer and the placement of the Ten Commandments on government grounds. He said that Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito are his models for the courts because they were "strict constructionists." When asked what strict constructionism means in layman's terms, he pulled out the Constitution, holding it upside down, and argued that the current Justices have strayed from it by using the Commerce Clause. As explained in a recent People For the American Way Foundation report, the Commerce Clause has been "the most important constitutional instrument for social progress in our history."

Watch:

Perry's Latest Ad: "I'm Not Ashamed to Talk About My Faith"

Rick Perry wants it known that he is not ashamed to talk about his faith ... and so he's released a new ad letting everyone know exactly that:

When you run for president, you get a bunch of questions about your faith. People want to know what drives you--how you make decisions.

Now some liberals say that faith is a sign of weakness. Well, they're wrong.

I think we all need God's help. America's greatest leaders have been people of strong faith, of strong values. That makes for a strong America.

I'm Rick Perry. I'm not ashamed to talk about my faith. And I approve of this message.

Gee, really?  Who ever would have guessed that after the massive public prayer rally he organized?

Anita Perry Tries, And Fails, To Explain Disastrous Debates

The day after Governor Rick Perry’s devastating debate flub on Wednesday’s CNBC debate, when he forgot one of the three government agencies he had pledged to cut, Texas First Lady Anita Perry appeared on American Family Radio to do damage control. She stressed that the CNBC debate was only his sixth and claimed that the debates were unfair to Perry because “there were people on that stage that have been on the national debate stage for six years, some have been running for president for six years, some have run for president before” and “of the eight candidates on the stage, four of the candidates on the stage had run for president before.” Actually, of the candidates, only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have run for president before.

Anita Perry went on to say that Perry was busy working as governor and fundraising for his campaign, hindering his debate performance. While she cited Texas’ legislative session, the last day the governor can sign or veto bills was actually in June, giving the governor more than four months to prepare for the debate last week.

Of course, maybe Perry would have had more experience debating if he didn’t choose to skip all of the debates against his Democratic opponent in last year’s gubernatorial race. But apparently raising $17 million, and remembering his anniversary, is more important than crafting and learning his own sweeping policy proposals.

Watch:

I look at this man who performed his sixth national debate last night—sixth—there were people on that stage that have been on the national debate stage for six years, some have been running for president for six years, some have run for president before. Out of the eight candidates there, four of the candidates on the stage had run for president before. So we got into this twelve weeks ago, Rick is a sitting governor of Texas, we had a legislative session, he had a veto period, he raised almost $17 million across America in forty-seven days so that he can be a serious contender. So when I’m looking last night at the stage and I see this man who forgot a word, which is very, very, human, I must say, to forget a word when you’re trying to perform on the national stage, I mean I don’t know how they all don’t do it except, you know, they got more under their belt. But I will say this about him, he may have forgotten a word last night on stage, but he remembered our anniversary last week.

Gary Bauer Tries To Defend Perry With Compilation Video Of Stammering Obama

Last week, Gov. Rick Perry made presidential debate history and national news when he struggled for nearly a minute to list the names of the three federal agencies that he would immediately eliminate if elected president before eventually admitting that he couldn't remember the third one and giving up.

Today, Gary Bauer's Campaign For Working Families has come rushing to Perrys' defense with a video called "53 Seconds That Should End A Presidency" that features various clips of President Obama hesitating, stumbling over his words, and misspeaking ... as if that is somehow even remotely the same thing:

Frankly, you'd think that Bauer, of all people, would be particularly disinclined to mock public gaffes in this manner given that the highlight of his own presidential campaign was when he fell off the stage while trying to flip a pancake:

Is Newt Gingrich The Religious Right Candidate By Default?

After Rick Perry jumped into the presidential race, the Texas governor quickly took the lead among Republican voters nationwide and in surveys in critical states like Iowa and South Carolina. Analysts reasonably predicted that the nomination would come down to a choice between Perry and Mitt Romney as other candidates like Michele Bachmann fizzled and Tim Pawlenty dropped out. Perry, who announced his candidacy following his The Response prayer rally, courted and won plaudits from Religious Right luminaries including James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Richard Land, David Barton, Don Wildmon, David Lane, James Leninger and Jerry Falwell Jr.

However, a number of disastrous debate appearances, including a painful fifty-three second brain freeze, have derailed Perry’s candidacy as Herman Cain has risen in the polls. But Cain’s nonsensical and inconsistent responses to standard questions on abortion rights and marriage equality, along with his dysfunctional and mismanaged campaign, did little to endear him tp Religious Right leaders.

New polls now have Newt Gingrich surging to second place behind Romney nationally, and second to Cain in Iowa and South Carolina. Rick Perry’s support in Iowa and South Carolina, on the other hand, dropped to four and six percent, respectively.

During Gingrich’s calamitous rollout, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association outlined why “social conservatives and all those in the pro-family movement must have grave reservations about his candidacy”:

But actions have consequences, and his pattern of infidelity is only made worse by the fact that he divorced diseased wives to whom he had pledged himself "in sickness and in health...til death do us part."

John the Baptist famously rebuked a politician of his day for his problematic marital history, and Mr. Gingrich rightly comes in for similar censure.

Even Gingrich’s answer to Fischer, who asked Gingrich how he would “slow down the homosexual agenda,” didn’t seem to satisfy him.

But with Perry’s collapse, Bachmann and Santorum’s single digit polling and Cain’s daily gaffes, does Gingrich have a chance at becoming Romney’s chief opponent and the Religious Right’s candidate by default? He has certainly tried to endear himself to social conservatives by participating in the “One Nation Under God” event and pastor policy briefings, and pledging to wage an all-out war on the judiciary, a favorite Religious Right punching bag. Gingrich has wooed activists and groups like John Hagee, Joseph Farah, Janet Porter, Liberty University, Liberty Counsel, The Family Leader and the Minnesota Family Council, and helped funnel money to the American Family Association’s campaign to defeat Iowa Supreme Court justices who favored marriage equality.

The Washington Times today trumpeted the new conventional wisdom that Gingrich is a top contender, emphasizing his potential to gain support among social conservative voters who are cold to Romney. The Times quotes California pastor Jim Garlow, who reporter Ralph Hallow accurately notes is “credited with organizing the evangelicals in the drive to pass a same-sex marriage ban in California,” to show Gingrich’s support in the Religious Right.

What the Times reporter does not mention is the fact that Garlow is a top spiritual adviser to Newt Gingrich and heads Gingrich’s Renewing American Leadership (ReAL). Garlow tells the Times that conservative evangelical voters are far more forgiving of Gingrich’s serial adultery and multiple divorces than of Romney’s Mormon faith and flip flops:

Contrary to the beliefs of many in the party, voters on the Christian right have not written off Mr. Gingrich despite a personal history that includes multiple marriages and admitted infidelities.

“Evangelicals will definitely go for Newt if he is the nominee,” insisted Jim Garlow, credited with organizing the evangelicals in the drive to pass a same-sex marriage ban in California. “I used to hear them say, ‘He’s the smartest one in the room, but he has personal issues.’ I’ve seen an enormous shift in the past four or five months. They no longer talk about personal issues, but about intelligence and capability of being president.”

Mr. Garlow, senior pastor of the Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, said if the nomination fight came down to Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich, “I’m guessing 80 [percent] to 90 percent of the evangelical vote in America would go to Newt. Romney’s Mormonism may be a factor, but the reason I hear most is they don’t trust Romney on abortion, marriage, economics and health care.”

“I think, no question, evangelicals will go for Newt if it comes down to him and Romney,” said Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Director Steve Scheffler, credited with organizing support for Pat Robertson’s stunning second-place finish in the 1988 Iowa caucuses. “Evangelicals are concerned with personal conduct, but most will judge people on their present conduct, and they have concluded Newt’s present lifestyle is exemplary.”

Now that Gingrich is rising in the polls, will the Religious Right have to embrace him to stop Romney?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rick Santorum goes after Herman Cain on the issue of abortion and using quotes from various Religious Right leaders to drive home the point.
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  • The Rick Perry campaign has hit upon a novel possible solution to addressing the candidate's poor debate performances: skipping future debates.
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  • Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones is running for president.
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  • FRC's latest prayer target: "Pray that DOMA will be preserved! May the people elect a President and Congress next November who will pass, and may the states ratify a Federal Marriage Amendment that will protect the definition of natural marriage as found in the Bible."
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  • Bryan Fischer says "the left is profoundly anti-science," which is why they refuse to admit that gays can choose to become straight.
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  • Finally, Concerned Women for America has released talking points [PDF] opposing the Respect for Marriage Act.  Point one: "Despite its deliberately deceptive name, the 'Respect for Marriage Act' insidiously seeks to destroy the historical, traditional definition of marriage."

Right Wing Round-Up

Blackwell Ditches Bachmann For Perry

Back when Michele Bachmann was the GOP’s flavor of the month, three Religious Right leaders formed a Super PAC to bolster Bachmann’s fledgling campaign. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State, failed gubernatorial nominee and unsuccessful candidate to be chairman of the Republican National Committee, was to chair the pro-Bachmann Citizens for a Working America. In fact, the announcement came just days after Rick Perry entered the presidential race.

How times have changed. Today, Blackwell switched sides and is now endorsing Rick Perry:

Ken Blackwell, the former Republican Secretary of State of Ohio and one time candidate for Governor who lost against Democrat Ted Strickland in 2006, has endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for President.

“I am proud to endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president,” said Blackwell in a release from the Perry campaign. “Gov. Perry’s successful record of job creation shows that he has the skill, experience and ideas necessary to get our nation working again. His proven conservative values, and his proven executive experience are exactly what this country needs to reverse the failed policies of the Obama Administration.”

Blackwell’s endorsement comes just as Perry’s campaign is having a second roll-out following a major slip in the polls as a result of dreadful debate performances and other missteps. Bachmann’s poll numbers have also dropped significantly as Herman Cain, for now, has emerged as Mitt Romney’s closest rival. But with Cain flubbing and flip-flopping even straight-forward questions on abortion rights and gay rights and Bachmann’s campaign running low on support, staffers and funding, it may be time that establishment figures in the Religious Right rally behind Perry as their choice.

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • "The 700 Club" profiled Janet Porter's Heartbeat Bill on today's broadcast.
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  • Want to learn Chuck Norris' secret to spiritual success? You are in luck.
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  • Scott Lively writes another open letter to the gay community.
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  • Bryan Fischer declares that, with the release of his tax plan, Rick Perry "will win the Republican nomination and vanquish Barack Obama next November."
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  • Choice4Life announces that "eleven women from seven states will be recognized as heroes for saving the life of their rape conceived babies" at an awards ceremony next month.
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  • Finally, this is a real ad from the Herman Cain campaign:

Perkins Agrees With Jeffress That Voters Should Prefer Christian Leaders

Coverage of the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit this year was dominated by stories of Robert Jeffress’ criticism of the Mormon faith; Bryan Fischer’s unabashed bigotry; and the infighting that rose to the surface when Bill Bennett rebuked Jeffress and Mitt Romney, tepidly and not by name, denounced Fischer. The press coverage of the Religious Right conference was so completely focused on Jeffress and Fischer that the FRC even asked members to pray that the media will stop reporting on the story.

Today FRC president Tony Perkins used his radio alert today to defend Jeffress, who made it clear that Romney’s Mormon faith was a reason he endorsed his chief rival, Rick Perry. “His rational; all else being equal a Christian leader is to be preferred over a non-Christian,” Perkins said, “I whole heartedly agree.”

Listen:

Do you have the freedom to choose between Christian and a non-Christian candidate? Hello, this is Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. Texas pastor Robert Jeffress created a firestorm when he declared at the Values Voter Summit he was voting for Rick Perry because he was a Christian. His rational; all else being equal a Christian leader is to be preferred over a non-Christian. I whole heartedly agree. So did the first justice of the Supreme Court John Jay who said it was in the "interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." Many so-called journalists have gone apoplectic claiming such a bigoted position violates article 6 of the Constitution, how absurd. The article reads, “Congress may not require religious tests for an office." The Constitution restricts what the government can require, not what individuals can consider. If voters can consider a candidate's party and that party's platform, they can consider a candidate’s religion and the tenets of that faith. We should prefer mature, qualified Christians for public office over those who reject the orthodox teachings of scripture.

This prompts the question: how would Tony Perkins feel about the competence of a Jewish leader over a Christian one? Perkins and the Religious Right always talk about their Judeo-Christian coalition and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is Jewish, addressed the Values Voter Summit and is seen as a rising star in GOP circles. So much for that.

And would it impact Perkins’ decision in the Republican primary? During the Jeffress spat, Perkins told CNN’s John King that he does not consider Mormons to be Christians: “Well, let me say this, John. I do not see Mormonism as the same as Christianity. Now, whether it’s defined as a cult, I don’t know. I would say it’s not Christianity the way evangelicals view Christianity. There’s a distinction. There’s no question there’s a theological distinction between Mormonism and Christianity.”

If Perkins thinks that Christians should be given preference over non-Christians, and that Mormons are not Christians, is there any difference between his view and Jeffress’ view on Romney’s candidacy?

Rick Perry Still Refuses To Denounce His Radical Allies

When Rick Perry announced that he would be holding a massive prayer rally in Houston this summer, conveniently timed to coincide with the launch of his presidential campaign, Right Wing Watch started chronicling the litany of extremists who were endorsing, organizing, bankrolling and speaking at the event. Prominent among these was Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer, the church that lent its organizational muscle to The Response, who emceed the latter portion of the rally. Bickle, we reported, had previously claimed that Oprah Winfrey is the harbinger of the Antichrist and that gay marriage is literally from “the depths of Hell.”

At The Response, Bickle gave a rousing speech about how “in the name of tolerance, even in the name of love, we are redefining love that’s not on God’s term.” He also attacked non-Christian faiths — no surprise, since The Response also included a speaker who called for attendees to pray for Jews to convert to Christianity and for God to send a Christian revival to Israel.

Joining Bickle at The Response was controversial pastor John Hagee, whose endorsement Perry openly courted. John McCain was forced to reject Hagee’s endorsement in 2008 after the pastor’s statements that God sent Adolf Hitler to be a “hunter” of Jews came to light.

Now, Bruce Wilson of Talk to Action has compiled a video of excerpts of past Bickle sermons making similar claims about Hitler’s supposedly providential role as a “hunter.” In the sermons, Bickle alleges that by refusing “the chance to respond to the fishermen” and “grace” of God, the Jews were given up to a hunter—Hitler. Wilson’s video also includes Bickle’s prediction that, according to his interpretation of Scripture, the Jews will be persecuted in the End Times. In fact, as we’ve reported, IHOP has frequently called for Jews to convert to Christianity in order to fulfill the Second Coming.

As Perry has been silent about Hagee and the many other radical supporters of The Response, it is no surprise that Perry’s campaign refuses to comment on Bickle.

Media Banned From Secretive Religious Right Event

Shortly after Rick Perry's prayer rally earlier this year, organizers of that event started promoting a Religious Right voter mobilization effort called "Champion The Vote," which seeks to "mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012."

It turned out that the Champion The Vote effort was a project of organization called United In Purpose, which is being funded by conservative millionaires for the purpose of mobilizing "40 million out of the estimated 60 million evangelicals in the United States to vote" over the next decade.

As part of this effort, United In Purpose/Champion The Vote are producing an event called "One Nation Under God" where churches and Religious Right activists will gather to watch a three-hour DVD being provided United In Purpose and featuring David Barton, Newt Gingrich, James Dobson, and others talking about the importance of keeping America "one nation under God":

Over the weekend, all of the speakers gathered in Florida for a Florida Renewal Project event for pastors at which the filming for the DVD was presumably done ... and it seems that organizers did not want any attention because when a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel showed up at the event, he was tossed out of the hotel by security:

The media was advised that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s speech to a gathering of Florida pastors Friday would be closed to the public, but apparently the group behind the meeting didn’t even want media in the same hotel.

A couple weeks ago, Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry were announced as possible speakers at a two-day event in Orlando Thursday and Friday called the Florida Renewal Project. But this week no one wanted to talk about it, except to say it would be closed to the media and public.

Perry’s staff even denied he would attend. Gingrich’s staff confirmed his appearance but would not return phone calls to discuss it.

I went anyway this morning, to the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, to see if Gingrich would be willing to talk to me before or after his speech. When he arrived shortly before noon, I was the lone journalist on the scene, waiting in the hallway outside the meeting room. Gingrich and his staff agreed to talk to me later, at another hotel. After seeing that exchange, hotel officials approached me and, saying they were acting on behalf of event organizers, ordered me to leave the Rosen Centre property immediately, and escorted me to my car.

...

Then it turned out Perry had attended after all, sort of, Thursday night - by satellite link-up, according to tweets posted Thursday night by John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, which was a participant in the Florida Renewal Project.

That appearance, which included a speech and taking questions from the pastors, came just hours after the Texas governor’s campaign staff assured the Sentinel he would not attend.

Who organized the event though? No one would say for sure, though Stemberger acknowledged that the California-based organization United in Purpose, which had organized similar “Renewal Project” events in California and Iowa earlier this year, “was involved.”

The last time United In Purpose hosted one of these conferences, we caught Mike Huckabee telling the audience that Americans ought to be forced to listen to David Barton at gunpoint.  But when United In Purpose later broadcast the event, that exchange was entirely edited out

So while organizers are going to be releasing a DVD of this Florida event in the coming weeks, it seems that they want to be able to control what people actually see and don't want reporters around revealing what was really taking place.

Right Wing Leftovers

Rick Perry Grovels To Bill Donohue, Rejects Robert Jeffress' Anti-Catholicism

So when Robert Jeffress is running around telling anyone who will listen that Mormonism is a cult, Rick Perry just kind of shrugs his shoulders and says he is not going to tell Jeffress what he can and can't say.

But when Jeffress says that the Catholic faith is a counterfeit "Babylonian mystery religion" that represents "the genius of Satan" and ends up angering the Catholic League's resident squeaky wheel/blowhard Bill Donohue, well then Perry just can't apologize fast enough, as Dononhe reports that Perry called him personally last night to distance himself from Jeffress' anti-Catholicism:

Last night, I discussed the flap over Rev. Robert Jeffress with Chris Matthews on “Hardball." While I made it clear that the anti-Catholic comments made by Jeffress must be roundly condemned, I also stated that I was not blaming Gov. Rick Perry for what the pastor said. One of the reasons I said this was because I was assured by my friend, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, that Perry would never countenance any scurrilous remarks about the Catholic Church.

When I got home, I received a phone call from Gov. Perry. Catholic activist Deal Hudson, who has a history of forging good relationships between Catholics and evangelicals, intervened in this matter and arranged for the phone call. Perry and I spoke candidly about the Jeffress incident, and about religion, in general. He spoke sincerely: nothing that Jeffress said about Catholicism represents his views.

I very much appreciate Gov. Perry’s interest in getting this issue behind him in a responsible manner. He succeeded. Case closed.

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Rick Perry Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/27/2013, 6:45pm
More Religious Right groups have signed up [PDF] for NOM’s “Marriage March.” It appears that Steve King is getting closer to locking up the GOP nomination for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat. Rick Perry will attend Concerned Women for America’s “Texas Faith and Family Rally.” Sarah Palin writes that “the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest” after we go into default…and then calls on politicians to “stop the hysterics.” The right-wing news outlet Human Events is ending its print... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/05/2013, 4:50pm
Barbara Cargill, whom Rick Perry picked to chair the State Board of Education, is upset that a curriculum used by several Texas schools called CSCOPE, which has been at the center of right-wing conspiracy theories, doesn’t teach students about alternative theories to evolution. As first reported by the Texas Freedom Network, Cargill said that publishers and CSCOPE should teach “another side to the theory of evolution.” Our intent, as far as theories with the [curriculum standards], was to teach all sides of scientific explanations…. But when I went on [to the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 02/05/2013, 3:05pm
Texas Governor Rick Perry stopped by "WallBuilders Live" today to voice his opposition to the upcoming vote by the Boy Scouts of America on possibly ending the organization's ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. Perry, the author of the book "On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For," was predictably opposed to any such change, calling on the organization not to "break the hearts" of those who love it by caving to the "cruel intolerance" of the left: What this gets down to Rick is that scouting is not about... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/29/2013, 6:30pm
Bryan Fischer warns that “homosexual pedophiles already seek to infiltrate scouting because it provides a target rich environment for their twisted desires. Abolishing the sexual orientation standard will turn every Boy Scout in America into vulnerable prey for the sexually deviant.”  Peter LaBarbera claims the BSA’s “proposal opens the door to the sexual and spiritual corruption of boys.” Rick Perry is one of the most unpopular governors in the U.S., which bodes well for his second presidential campaign. Lindsey Graham continues to be... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 01/17/2013, 6:33pm
PFAW: PFAWF Releases Reports on Outside Election Spending in 21 States, Organizes ‘Money Out/Voters In’ Events Across the U.S. Anjali Sareen @ Mediaite: Rick Perry Says Obama’s Actions On Gun Control ‘Disgust’ Him, Claims Prayer Is The Answer. Scott Keyes @ Think Progress: Republicans Brag They Won House Majority Because Of Gerrymandering. Sergio Munoz @ Media Matters: Drudge And Limbaugh Misrepresent What Obama And The Affordable Care Act Say About Doctors And Guns. Eric Lach @ TPM: NRA Warns Members That Confiscation Could Be Next. Warren... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/12/2012, 6:35pm
PFAW: Six Months Since Last Circuit Court Confirmation, PFAW Urges Senate Action on All Nominees. Jeremy Hooper: Bryan Fischer thinks he's entitled to his own facts; is wrong. Joe.My.God: Scott Lively Endorses Uganda's "Revised" Plan To Imprison Homosexuals For Life. Laura Bassett @ The Huffington Post: Rick Perry: Banning Abortion Is 'My Goal.' Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Bill O’Reilly: Why Aren’t Christian Leaders More Outraged Over The War On Christmas? Aviva Shen @ Think Progress: Lindsey Graham Compares Marriage Equality Debate... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/18/2012, 4:45pm
During his conference call with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough hailed Perry’s The Response prayer rally, which occurred in August of last year, for supposedly ending the state’s extreme drought that began in October, 2010. However, according to StateImpact Texas, "in 2011, Texas endured the worst single-year drought in its history" and while “the situation has improved recently, the drought is far from over — and the conditions that caused it aren’t going away anytime soon.” Scarborough, who made the claim before... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/18/2012, 4:15pm
Texas governor Rick Perry spoke today on a conference call with extremist pastor Rick Scarborough as part of his “40 Days to Save America” campaign to motivate and organize Religious Right voters. Perry said that the separation of church and state, which he dismissed as a myth, is being used to drive “people of faith from the public arena.” Perry said that he believes Satan is using the “untruth” of the separation of church and state to remove Christians from public life: “The idea that we should be sent to the sidelines I would suggest to you is very... MORE >