Rick Perry

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/20/13

  • LiveAction bizarrely claims that Steven Crowder's Ashley Judd rape joke at CPAC "never happened." 
  • Matt Barber blasts Pastor Rob Bell's "apostasy" for supporting marriage equality.
  • Bryan Fischer says "same-sex 'marriage' fails to satisfy even the companionship purpose for this most sacred of relationships."
  • Keep in mind that no matter how crazy Glenn Beck gets, Sen. Rand Paul will continue to regularly appear on his program.
  • And so will Gov. Rick Perry.

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/27/13

  • 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.”
  • An Ohio public school teacher who was fired for preaching Creationism in the classroom has taken his case to the state Supreme Court.
  • Anti-choice activists claim Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards is a racist for commending Richard Nixon for signing the law which created the Title X Family Planning Program. 
  • Quote of the day comes from ex-gay therapist Christopher Doyle: “We have found that 99 percent of our clients who experience homosexual feelings have very sensitive temperaments... This is what I believe to be the foundation for the development of [same-sex attraction] – a sensitive nature.”

Texas Board of Education Chair Suggests Schools Teach 'Another Side to the Theory of Evolution'

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 CSCOPE website] last night, I couldn’t see anything that might be seen as another side to the theory of evolution. Every link, every lesson, everything, you know, was taught as ‘this is how the origin of life happened, this is what the fossil record proves,’ and all that’s fine, but that’s only one side.

As we’ve pointed out before, a biology textbook that includes creationism as a “balance” to evolution would be no different than a geology textbook that includes the views of the Flat Earth Society.

Rick Perry Hopes the Boy Scouts Won't Cave to the 'Aggressive, Almost Cruel Intolerance' of the Left

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 sex, it's about building character.  And the Boy Scouts is not the proper intersection for a debate over sexual preference.  It is with this very aggressive, almost cruel intolerance by the far left that is making it so.  So I really urge the Boy Scouts of America leadership not to succumb to this and I happen to believe that it is every scout's, and certainly my Eagle Scout duty to speak out before scouting breaks the hearts of so many who love it.

Those just very, very aggressive, intolerant individuals on the left are what is driving this agenda and the Boy Scout leadership, I hope, will really listen and think about what the long-term impact of this is going to be.

This is about popular culture shifting in America.  The values that the Boy Scouts are based upon are not values that shift ... and Americans will be ill-served when one of the great institutions that it has in this country starts following pop culture rather than the clear, strong values that have served this country for over a century in the Boy Scouts.

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/29/13

  • 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.”
  • Lindsey Graham continues to be the biggest troll in the Senate. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/17/13

  • 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 Throckmorton: Was the National Rifle Association started to drive out the KKK?

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/12/12

Rick Scarborough Says Religious Right Prayer Rally Ended Crippling Drought

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 while speaking to pseudo-historian David Barton, credited The Response with leading to “record rainfalls” months later and a speedy recovery.

Let me just say this, a lot of folk were aware that Texas had the worst drought in our history two years ago into last year, Governor Rick Perry called a statewide season of prayer and fasting and more than 30,000 people showed up personally at Reliant Stadium in downtown Houston where our football team plays. He led that complete day in prayer and fasting for God to break the drought, a lot of people criticized him in the press. But what a few people failed to take note of is a drought everyone said would take Texans years to get over, we began getting rain, it actually rained a bit that very day, but a few months later it began to rain, we had seasons where we had record rainfalls for a period of time and even now we are having rain. I attribute the breaking of that drought and the renewal of our resources as a state to the godly leadership of a governor who was not ashamed to humble himself before the world and become a part of leading our state in prayer.



A lot of folk criticized the calling of that prayer event and they missed the understanding that God didn’t answer the breaking of the drought that day but within six months our lakes were back up to normal, our farmers were harvesting hey, cattle crops were saved, the fires across the state subsided. I am privileged to live in a state that is covered by a governor like Governor Rick Perry.



I had mentioned while you were waiting for you to get on the call about the impact of our Response at Reliant Stadium and how the press was willing to mock the calling of the prayer and fasting but had failed to document that what everyone thought would take years to replenish our lakes and streams almost happened in three months. It began raining, this year our farmers had a record year of harvesting their hey and I take all of that back to a courageous call of a governor of a state to the people to pray and fast, and the fact that you led in that day which I was certainly in the audience and participating in.

Rick Perry: 'Christian Warriors' must use 'Spiritual Warfare' against 'Satanic' Separation of Church and State

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 driven by those who are not truthful, Satan runs across the world with his doubt and with his untruths and what have you and one of the untruths out there is driven—is that people of faith should not be involved in the public arena.”

This separation of church and state, which has been driven by the secularists to remove those people of faith from the public arena, there is nothing farther from the truth. When you think about our founding fathers, they created this country, our Constitution, the foundation of America upon Judeo-Christian values, biblical values and this narrative that has been going on, particularly since the ’60s, that somehow or another there’s this steel wall, this iron curtain or whatever you want to call it between the church and people of faith and this separation of church and state is just false on its face. We have a biblical responsibility to be involved in the public arena proclaiming God’s truth. You know, are we going to get up and say ‘you are going to vote for X’? No, but we’re going to talk about Christian values. When you think about the issue of life and protecting life, it’s so important that we as Christians put legislation into place, that we elect women that defend life. The idea that we should be sent to the sidelines I would suggest to you is very driven by those who are not truthful, Satan runs across the world with his doubt and with his untruths and what have you and one of the untruths out there is driven—is that people of faith should not be involved in the public arena.

Perry said that America is undergoing “spiritual warfare” and Religious Right activists who “truly are Christian warriors, Christian soldiers” need to stand up to “activist courts” and “President Obama and his cronies” whom he said are making “efforts to remove any trace of religion from American life.” He called on listeners to use such spiritual warfare against the “growing tide of secularism and atheism” that “preach[es] tolerance and diversity while they engage in oppression and bullying tactics.”

You think about what has gone here in the last few days around the world and never has there been a time that I think we need more spiritual courage, that we need more moral fiber if you will. The American family is under seize, traditional values are somehow exclusionary, a simple prayer in our public schools is the basis for these secular attacks; you think about this spiritual warfare that’s going on and [inaudible] going strong as President Obama and his cronies in Washington continue their efforts to remove any trace of religion from American life. It falls on us, we truly are Christian warriors, Christian soldiers, and for us as Americans to stand our ground and to firmly send a message to Washington that our nation is about more than just some secular laws. Activist courts, we see them chipping away from our values and remove so much that is very special and unique about the United States. I don’t want to get too far off course here but when you think about what’s going on in the Middle East and the president stood up in Cairo in 09 and either incredible naïve or very unschooled in the ways of these radical Islamists, and four American lives were lost in Libya. It is our founding fathers knew and understood the importance of the role of our Creator in public discourse and they didn’t shy away from referencing Him, using the values he brought and the message of his son Jesus Christ to build the system that we as a society have e enjoyed for more than 200 years. Securing that system, rebuilding our nation is what these 40 Days to Save America is really all about. It’s about saving our nation, it’s about preserving the values that make us special, about rejecting the concept that freedom of religion means freedom from religion, about turning away from this growing tide of secularism and atheism, the way they preach tolerance and diversity while they engage in oppression and bullying tactics.

Perry: 'King' Obama Leading a 'Clear Attack on People of Faith'

During the presidential campaign, Rick Perry was one of the first candidates to embrace the theme that Obama is waging a “war on religion,” a message that was quickly embraced by Mitt Romney. As Perry ponders another run for the presidency, he told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on today’s Washington Watch Weekly that he believes President Obama thinks he was elected “King” and is leading a “clear attack on people of faith”. How? Perry cited the contraception mandate, the Department of Justice’s stance in the Hosanna Tabor case, where the administration argued that religious groups are not categorically exempt from the Americans with Disability Act, and his own gut instinct.

Yes, Perry said he instinctually feels that the Obama administration is putting together a campaign of “intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election,” even though the rule on church electioneering came about in 1954 and there is no evidence that the administration is actively investigating churches for breaking the rule.

Perkins: You were out on the campaign trail quite a bit early on in the Republican primary, your message obviously on jobs, the economy, which Texas has been leading in the nation in the creation of jobs, but you also touched on the issue of religious liberty and religious freedom. Do you see a growing hostility in America in the wake of this administration towards religious—

Perry: Led by this administration, when you think about the clear messages that they send, whether it’s by fiat—and that’s one of my great concerns about this president, we didn’t elect a King Mr. Obama, we elected a president, we expect the rule of law to be maintained in this country, go to Congress, pass legislation—he’s pushing these programs through whether it’s a clear attack on the Catholic Church and their opposition to contraception, those are purely wars against religion. When you think about the ministerial exception that he went to the Supreme Court to try to overturn, you know thank God he lost 9-0, even his liberal judges wouldn’t go that far, so clear attack on people of faith. My instinct is, I don’t have clear evidence, but my instinct is through other agencies there is this intimidation factor to our places of worship that you best not be in job of anything that we decide is political. For instance, clear intimidation to churches using IRS as a tool to keep anyone from making any statements about a political election.

David Barton says Gov. Perry is Raising Millions to Promote Anti-Obama Film

The guest on today's edition of "WallBuilders Live" was Gerald Molen, the producer of the new anti-Obama film "2016: Obama's America," which is based on the book "The Roots of Obama's Rage" by Dinesh D'Souza.

Molen was on the program to discuss a recent incident in which a scheduled speech he was to deliver to some high school students was supposedly canceled because of his conservative views, but after the interview, David Barton and Rick Green talked about how excited they were about his forthcoming film, with Barton revealing that Texas Governor Rick Perry was so enamored with it that he has "agreed to raise millions to put this thing in theaters":

Green: Well this new project he's doing - you know we had Dinesh on when he wrote the book "The Roots of Obama's Rage." I love Dinesh D'Souza, I think he's the C.S. Lewis of our day, just a great guy. But to make this a movie now that's going to reach far more people that's actually going to be in theaters even.

Barton: Well, I was just with Governor Perry and Governor Perry has agreed to raise millions to put this thing in theaters. He is committed to this thing in a big way ...

Green: To getting the truth out there for people to really know ...

Barton: He said it's phenomenal ... because they called him and asked him to help and he said "is it okay if I see the movie first before I agree to raise [money]?" And so he saw it and, man he is all over this thing.

'The Response' Returns to Hold One Last Prayer Rally Before the Election in Kansas City

Just before Rick Perry announced his ill-fated presidential campaign, he organized a prayer rally in Houston’s Reliant Stadium, The Response, to save America from spiritual collapse while building Perry’s conservative credentials, too. Everyone from top Religious Right leaders to radical, Oprah-fearing dominionists gathered for the prayer rally to laud Perry, convert Jews and other non-Christians to Christianity, and lament America’s supposed cultural decay.

Now, The Response is going to hold a prayer rally on October 27, right before the election, in Kansas City, Missouri:

Rick Perry, 'God's Choice' for President, Ends Campaign

With reports today that Rick Perry is exiting the presidential race, we thought it was fitting to look back on the efforts to draft Perry into the race and anoint his candidacy. Right Wing Watch closely followed Perry’s claim that he was working to return America to God, whom he claimed sent storms to keep him in Texas and was using the economic crisis to bring America to “bring us back to those biblical principles.”

Last July, Religious Right leaders gathered in Texas to push Perry into the presidential race, hoping the Texas Governor would be the more conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. One month later Perry hosted a prayer rally, The Response, which featured Religious Right leaders like James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Jim Garlow, Don Wildmon, Penny Nance, David Barton, and John Hagee, along with New Apostolic Reformation figures such as Mike Bickle, Alice Patterson, Doug Stringer, Cindy Jacobs, and John Benefiel.

Everything was falling into place for Perry, who announced his bid one week after The Response, and Religious Right activists were already talking up Perry’s supernatural gifts. Pat Robertson said that Perry successfully “founded his administration on the Bible,” Jerry Falwell Jr. thought he was the second coming of Ronald Reagan, Tom Schlueter called Perry an answer to his prayer that “one of our political leaders will rise up” to bring the nation back to God and Lou Engle even said that God so approved Perry’s presidential campaign that the day he announced his candidacy God sent rain to Texas to alleviate the state’s drought:

Even ‘prophet’ Cindy Jacobs got in the mix, saying that Perry’s The Response finally broke the curse of Native American cannibals:

Perry’s campaign also bolstered claims that God was telling him to run for president.

While campaigning in South Carolina, Anita Perry compared her husband to Gideon and said that like with Gideon’s fleece, God was telling Perry to run for president. “God was already speaking to me” but and “other people too,” but Perry only understood the message until he “threw that fleece out there twice to make sure it came back with what he needed to do.”

Perry himself even told Janet Mefferd that “God sends messages through a lot of ways and through a lot of messengers,” who were all telling him to run for president:

This entire, organic buildup of people who’ve basically said for whatever reason we’re not comfortable with the host of people who have come forward who say they want to be the next president of the United States and we look at your record, and we look at you and we want you to this. It’s been an incredible outpouring. I can tell you, that has given me the calmness in my soul that God sends messages through a lot of ways and through a lot of messengers, and I am very calm that the direction that I’m heading is good.

But alas, even though God was purportedly calling on Perry to run for president, Religious Right leaders have abandoned him for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and all Perry could manage were 5th and 6th place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, and one hell of a bad debate performance.

GOP Presidentials Line Up to Kiss Ralph Reed's...Ring

Remember that “game-changing” endorsement of Rick Santorum by a group of evangelical leaders desperate to deny the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney?  As Brian reports, there wasn’t really that much of a consensus in Texas.  And it certainly didn’t make it to South Carolina, where Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate.  All had their fans in the crowd, and Gingrich seemed to have more, or at least more vocal, backers, than Santorum.

“We are here today because we say unapologetically and unequivocally that there cannot be true freedom without faith in almighty God,” announced the disgraced-and-rebounding Reed, who led the Christian Coalition to prominence in the 1990s and launched the Faith & Freedom coalition in 2009 as a voter turnout machine for conservative evangelicals.  He claims that he is going to register 2 million new voters on his way to compiling a database of 27 million voters who will be contacted over and over up and through Election Day.  “If you thought we turned out in 2010, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” he warned Democratic leaders.  Reed said “in 2012 we’re going to stand up and be counted and we’re going to say that people with faith in God aren’t what’s wrong with America, they’re what’s right with America and we need more of them engaged and more of them involved.” 

The audience may not have been united on a candidate, but the candidates were unanimous in their avowed devotion to the Religious Right’s anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda, and their promises to fight “secularism” and the Obama administration’s alleged love affair with European-style “socialism” and its supposed “war on religion.” Also on the list: promises to repeal “Obamacare,” appoint right-wing justices to the Supreme Court, and shrink government.  Reed promised that a Republican Congress and president would “dramatically slash” the corporate tax rate and take the capital gains tax to zero.

Rick Perry, whose once-mighty support has virtually evaporated in recent months, promised to set the audience on fire.  His rambling remarks – punctuated with fist-pumping exclamations like “God and country!” – were well received, but South Carolina doesn’t seem likely to resurrect his candidacy.

The Supreme Court

Several candidates and their backers talked about the importance of the next president’s ability to appoint Supreme Court justices.  Jay Sekulow, head of the Religious Right legal group American Center for Law & Justice, is one of Romney’s most prominent Religious Right backers.  Sekulow talked about counting to five when he prepares Supreme Court cases, and said he was confident that with a President Romney making appointments in the mold of Justices Roberts and Alito, “I’m not going to have to worry about my math skills.” Reed, who introduced Gingrich, cited Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito as the kind of justices he was looking forward to – and not someone like Sotomayor.  The Obama administration’s Justice Department also came in for sharp criticism, with Reed saying that Attorney General Eric Holder needs to “go back to where he came from.”

Pursuit of Happiness: The Gay Exception

One candidate after another cited the Declaration of Independence’s reference to the unalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”  -- and then went on to call for a constitutional amendment that would prevent any state from allowing same-sex couples to get married.  Romney said he would defend the Defense of Marriage Act and called for a constitutional amendment on marriage.  Santorum said government based on the principles of strong faith and strong families was needed to constrain bad behavior and immoral activity.  Perry dropped his voice to a dramatic whisper to assure gay people that “I love you regardless of what you’ve done. I hate your sin, but I love you.”

Threats to “Religious Liberty”

Many speakers argued that Christians in America are besieged by rampaging secularists.  Romney said President Obama had put America on a path to being “more and more of a secular nation.” Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) asserted, “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians – no doubt about it.” Rick Perry decried liberals in Congress and on the courts who he said wanted to “whitewash the public square of all spiritual references” and “sanitize from our history books our Judeo-Christian roots.”  “If I am president of the United States, I will not allow them to do it! I will welcome people of faith to the public arena!” said Perry.  “This is our country, ladies and gentlemen. This is our time. And it is time for people of faith to take this country back!”  Romney and Reed promised that 2012 would bring more than political victory; it will bring spiritual awakening and renewal to America.

Ron Paul’s Biblical Economics

Journalist Adele Stan has reported on Ron Paul’s ties to Christian Reconstructionists and their religious view of limited government. Paul cited the Bible to support his monetary policies, saying “The Bible says we’re supposed to have honest currency and we’re not supposed to print the money.”  He also cited Biblical stories from Isaiah and Elijah about the importance of the “remnant” – the small number of people who could be counted on to hear the word of God.  The portrayal of conservative Christians as the righteous remnant is a popular theme at Religious Right gatherings.

Romney v (Gingrich v Santorum)

The current story of the GOP primary seems to be whether Santorum or Gingrich can rally enough conservatives who distrust Romney to wrest the nomination away from him.  On one South Carolina radio station, Gingrich and Santorum ads ran back to back on Monday, each making the “electability” case.  Santorum and Gingrich both attacked Romney’s ability to challenge “Obamacare,” and each used their remarks to argue that they could best carry the banner of unapologetic conservatism.   Santorum bragged that he opposed the Wall Street bailouts while Romney, Gingrich, and Perry supported them.  He claimed that he was the only one whose economic plan was grounded in building strong families.  Gingrich pledged that he would challenge Obama to seven 3-hour Lincoln-Douglas-style debates, even offering to let Obama use a teleprompter (those jokes never go out of style at GOP gatherings), saying, “I think I can tell the truth without notes better than he can lie with a teleprompter.”  Gingrich’s brashness was mirrored in the comments of Rep. Trent Franks, who once called President Obama an “enemy of humanity,” told the Faith & Freedom crowd that in a debate with President Obama, Gingrich “will eat Mr. Obama’s cookies and all accoutrements thereto.”

Appropriating a Sanitized MLK

Several speakers noted that the Faith & Freedom rally and GOP debate were taking place on Martin Luther King Day.  Romney expressed admiration for King, who he referred to as “a great man.”  But King’s Poor People’s Campaign and demand for government help in finding people jobs would not have won any praise from Romney or others at this event.  Neither would Jesus’ teaching that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.  Building on the backlash against Gingrich and Perry’s criticism of Romney’s record as a “vulture capitalist,” Romney denounced “class warfare” and charged that Obama wants to create an “entitlement society.”  Obama, he said, wants to replace ambition with envy, and “poison the American spirit by replacing a sense of unity with a sense of class warfare.”  According to Romney, believing “one nation under God” means not noticing economic inequality. Others took the same line. Santorum, who says it’s un-American to even talk about a “middle class,” said Obama “wants to rule us” and thinks he can win by “dividing America up.”  He said that Obama is destroying the incentive to create wealth.

In his eagerness to rally the Founding Fathers to his side, Romney mangled history in a way that called attention to the importance of MLK Day being more about learning and less about empty platitudes.  According to Romney, the Founders’ choice of words about the unalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence indicated that they meant to create an opportunity society.  “This would be a nation where people would pursue happiness according to their dreams,” said Romney. “We would not be limited by the circumstances of our birth, we would not be limited by our race or gender…”   Well, Mr. Romney, we’re closer to that ideal, thanks to the work of Martin Luther King and countless others, but the founders were quite willing to limit people’s opportunities based on race and gender.  And they weren’t the last.

While Santorum wins Religious Right Support, No Signs of 'Strong Consensus'

Did social conservative leaders come together and jointly endorse Rick Santorum at the Texas retreat over the weekend? That is the way Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and many in the media interpreted the meeting of leading Religious Right luminaries, where on the second ballot Santorum led Gingrich 70 to 49, and on the third ballot 85 to 29. Perkins claimed there was a “strong consensus” behind Santorum, who has won the backing of Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance, former National Organization for Marriage president Maggie Gallagher, American Values president Gary Bauer and the expected endorsement of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

But have Religious Right leaders really coalesced around Santorum?

Gingrich has locked in the support of prominent social conservative leaders: Concerned Women for America founder and chairman Beverly LaHaye; Council for National Policy founder and author Tim LaHaye; American Family Association founder and chairman Don Wildmon; Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver; California pastor and Proposition 8 organizer Jim Garlow; evangelical pollster George Barna; Restoration Project organizer David Lane and pastor and former congressman J.C. Watts.

Gingrich supporters have even claimed that the third ballot, which showed Santorum winning handling, occurred after many leaders left the meeting and that some Santorum boosters were involved with “ballot-box stuffing.” Bob Vander Plaats, an early Santorum endorser, told Bryan Fischer on Focal Point that the Texas gathering only showed “divided support” between Santorum and Gingrich, and Red State’s Erick Erickson, who attended the meeting, said that “it was divided with many thinking Gingrich is the only one who can win.”

The real loser of the meeting was Texas Governor Rick Perry, who won just three votes in the first ballot. Major Religious Right leaders gathered in Texas last summer where they urged Perry to run for president. Dobson, Perkins, Garlow, Nance and other Religious Right figures all appeared with Perry at his The Response prayer rally and after Perry announced his candidacy, he courted a group of social conservative activists including Perkins, Dobson, Garlow at the Texas ranch of mega-donor James Leininger. John Stemberger, the head of the Florida Family Policy Council who was a Perry campaign chairman, has now even switched his support from Perry to Santorum.

While it remains to be seen if social conservatives will really “coalesce” behind Santorum, it is clear that the Religious Right leadership that begged Perry to enter the race has now utterly abandoned him.

Rick Perry Drops By WallBuilders to Rail Against 'Socialist' Obama

Rick Perry today appeared on WallBuilders Live with right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton and his cohost Rick Green, where he spent most of the time railing against President Obama’s spending policies while also criticizing his proposed cuts to the Defense Department budget. According to Perry, “America is paying a huge price” for electing someone who “is a socialist or was trained by socialists”:

Perry: Here’s what I tell people, I said, listen, if you’re looking for the best debater, we got a great debater in the White House right now, America is paying a huge price because they were enamored with hope and change and this president, who I truly believe is a socialist or was trained by socialists, put America in peril. Put America in peril from an economic standpoint, put America in peril from a military-preparedness standpoint, put America in peril from the standpoint of foreign policy.

Barton and Green went on to say that not only have they worked with Governor Perry but also with Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, who recently appeared on WallBuilders Live, surely to inform them that Jesus opposed the minimum wage and the capital gains tax while pastors are under the threat of arrest because of hate crimes laws:

Green: Look, I know we’re talking about all the positives on Perry, I know a lot of our listeners, we got folks who support Newt and support Bachmann, and we support those guys too, they’re good folks.

Barton: I’ve already helped a whole bunch of these guys in the campaign, I have worked directly with several of them at their request and I’m happy to do that.

Green: Yeah sure, and they stand for all the right things. But we just got to be honest about Governor Perry’s record and what he did. When we went up there to Iowa and we both went and spoke at some caucuses there, it forced me to really sit down and think, why, if I got to pick somebody to vote for, how do I measure these guys? I started thinking for me it’s got to be that they both believe what I do, they got my values, but they can also be effective. So I think some people do discount him a little be when they shouldn’t and they’re going to be surprised, if he gets the momentum back—there’s some good candidates in the race, we’ll see what South Carolinians think.

Barton: We’ve always taken the position we’ll help people who have the right values, so even when I went to Iowa and spoke for Governor Perry at one of the caucuses, I was right beside Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus and we had a great time because I had just done some media interviews on behalf of Michele.

Green: That’s right, and I went out to Iowa in August for Michele for the straw poll, and we’ve both helped Newt and Santorum, so yeah there are good people running.

Barton: There are good people running and this is fine and we’re not taking positions, but we are pointing out positive things.

While Religious Right leaders themselves might be fractured on who to support in the race, Republican candidates for president all seem to agree on who to pander to: David Barton.

Candidate Rick Perry to Speak at 'Apolitical' The Response: South Carolina

In the lead up to The Response in Houston back in August, organizers of the prayer rally and Rick Perry himself said the event had absolutely nothing to do with politics, even though the Texas Governor was actively preparing his presidential campaign at the time and announced his bid seven days after The Response.

Now, The Response is holding events in early Republican primary states, including one last month in Iowa and two prayer rallies in the next major GOP contests, South Carolina and Florida, and presidential candidate Rick Perry will be the special guest at the event in Greenville, which will take place just days before the primary vote:

Of course, having a presidential candidate who has made South Carolina the last stand of his campaign address the prayer event flies in the face of everything The Response organizers and Perry said about the “apolitical” nature of The Response. Perry’s office said in a statement publicizing The Response, which he headed along with the far-right American Family Association, that it was decidedly “apolitical”:

Gov. Rick Perry has proclaimed Saturday, Aug. 6th, as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for our Nation to seek God's guidance and wisdom in addressing the challenges that face our communities, states and nation. He has invited governors across the country to join him on Aug. 6th to participate in The Response, a non-denominational, apolitical, Christian prayer meeting hosted by the American Family Association at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Gov. Perry also urged fellow governors to issue similar proclamations encouraging their constituents to pray that day for unity and righteousness for our states, nation and mankind.

Don Wildmon, the founder of the AFA even claimed that “no political candidates will be speaking” at The Response, and organizer Doug Stringer, who called the September 11th attacks divine punishment, said he wouldn’t participate if it advanced anyone’s “political aspirations”:

"The Response is an open event. Anyone who wants to pray to Jesus for a nation in crisis is welcome to attend. Next, The Response is a prayer event, not a political event," Wildmon says. "No political candidates will be speaking. Finally our critics say The Response violates the separation of church and state. The event will be held at a public stadium which has no connection to a religious body."



“I didn’t want to officially be a part of The Response if there was any inkling that this would be anything political or that preaching pontificators would use this as an agenda for their individual denominations or political aspirations,” Stringer says. “But the governor said it’s going to stay pure. You can’t buy your way or influence your way to the platform.”

But Luis Cataldo of The Response and the International House of Prayer today told the Christian Post that he is bringing the prayer rally in primary states so the campaign can “reflect the values of the evangelical church”:

The Response Director Luis Cataldo acknowledged to The Christian Post that its schedule is intentionally aligned to that of the primaries. And The Response, he said, is definitely about influence.

“We are trying to influence the primary race in that the [current] moral climate, the legislation doesn’t reflect the values of the evangelical church,” Cataldo revealed.



“That was one of the things we most said at the beginning that we’re not political people, we’re praying people,” said Cataldo. But he added, “Prayer must be followed by action.”

Many of the original organizers of The Response had high hopes for Perry, with Lou Engle even saying that Perry’s presidential campaign announcement caused God to end the drought in Texas, but as his presidential bid has badly floundered, even Wildmon, the official host of The Response, has abandoned him.

Candidate Rick Perry to Speak at 'Apolitical' The Response: South Carolina

In the lead up to The Response in Houston back in August, organizers of the prayer rally and Rick Perry himself said the event had absolutely nothing to do with politics, even though the Texas Governor was actively preparing his presidential campaign at the time and announced his bid seven days after The Response.

Now, The Response is holding events in early Republican primary states, including one last month in Iowa and two prayer rallies in the next major GOP contests, South Carolina and Florida, and presidential candidate Rick Perry will be the special guest at the event in Greenville, which will take place just days before the primary vote:

Of course, having a presidential candidate who has made South Carolina the last stand of his campaign address the prayer event flies in the face of everything The Response organizers and Perry said about the “apolitical” nature of The Response. Perry’s office said in a statement publicizing The Response, which he headed along with the far-right American Family Association, that it was decidedly “apolitical”:

Gov. Rick Perry has proclaimed Saturday, Aug. 6th, as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for our Nation to seek God's guidance and wisdom in addressing the challenges that face our communities, states and nation. He has invited governors across the country to join him on Aug. 6th to participate in The Response, a non-denominational, apolitical, Christian prayer meeting hosted by the American Family Association at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Gov. Perry also urged fellow governors to issue similar proclamations encouraging their constituents to pray that day for unity and righteousness for our states, nation and mankind.

Don Wildmon, the founder of the AFA even claimed that “no political candidates will be speaking” at The Response, and organizer Doug Stringer, who called the September 11th attacks divine punishment, said he wouldn’t participate if it advanced anyone’s “political aspirations”:

"The Response is an open event. Anyone who wants to pray to Jesus for a nation in crisis is welcome to attend. Next, The Response is a prayer event, not a political event," Wildmon says. "No political candidates will be speaking. Finally our critics say The Response violates the separation of church and state. The event will be held at a public stadium which has no connection to a religious body."



“I didn’t want to officially be a part of The Response if there was any inkling that this would be anything political or that preaching pontificators would use this as an agenda for their individual denominations or political aspirations,” Stringer says. “But the governor said it’s going to stay pure. You can’t buy your way or influence your way to the platform.”

But Luis Cataldo of The Response and the International House of Prayer today told the Christian Post that he is bringing the prayer rally in primary states so the campaign can “reflect the values of the evangelical church”:

The Response Director Luis Cataldo acknowledged to The Christian Post that its schedule is intentionally aligned to that of the primaries. And The Response, he said, is definitely about influence.

“We are trying to influence the primary race in that the [current] moral climate, the legislation doesn’t reflect the values of the evangelical church,” Cataldo revealed.



“That was one of the things we most said at the beginning that we’re not political people, we’re praying people,” said Cataldo. But he added, “Prayer must be followed by action.”

Many of the original organizers of The Response had high hopes for Perry, with Lou Engle even saying that Perry’s presidential campaign announcement caused God to end the drought in Texas, but as his presidential bid has badly floundered, even Wildmon, the official host of The Response, has abandoned him.

Divided Religious Right Leaders may ask Presidential Candidates to Withdraw

Divided Religious Right Leaders may ask Presidential Candidates to Withdraw With Religious Right leaders set to meet in Texas about the GOP presidential primary, divisions within the movement may hinder efforts to put on a united front. Just as in 2008, when many social conservatives were divided and John McCain was able to win the Republican nomination, it looks like discord and delay will doom any chance that this meeting will be a game-changer.

Elizabeth Dias of TIME reports that Don Wildmon, the founder of the American Family Association who was an early supporter of Rick Perry but has since endorsed Newt Gingrich, told invited guests that they must be prepared to switch which candidate they support so as not to “not divide our strength.” Dias also reports that there “is a rumor among several invitees that the leaders may ask a candidate to withdraw” from the race:

Some 125 evangelical leaders and their spouses will gather this weekend at a Texas ranch to discuss the latest iteration of Operation What To Do About Mitt Romney. While organizers say it is not a meeting to stop the GOP front runner, the invitation is urgent: “This coming election could prove to be the most critical of our lifetime,” it reads. The real kicker: Event sponsor and former American Family Association chairman Don Wildmon has asked invitees if they would be “be willing to compromise and change your choice to one that the body as a whole supports in order to not divide our strength,” according to someone who has received the invitation. The implication? Time’s running out to anoint a consensus candidate for social conservatives.

Getting all the members of this group, let alone the voters of South Carolina, behind this proposition in the middle of January will likely require an act of God. Evangelical votes and donations are already splintered between Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. (Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, despite their second and third place finishes in New Hampshire, will not be under consideration at the ranch outside Houston this weekend.) There is a rumor among several invitees that the leaders may ask a candidate to withdraw, but entrenched loyalties will make it difficult to settle on one or possibly two contenders to take to the fall. Wildmon financed Perry’s “Response” prayer rally this summer, and event organizer Gary Bauer, a former Family Research Council president and a U.S.-presidential hopeful in 2000, endorsed Santorum at a South Carolina campaign event this past Sunday.

Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times found that Religious Right leaders are trying to make sure that they don’t come across as hostile to Mitt Romney as he inches closer to winning the nomination, noting that Romney’s evangelical supporters will be present:

Gary L. Bauer, president of American Values and one of the organizers, said Tuesday in an interview, “We’re not forming some alliance to stop somebody else that’s competing for the nomination,” adding, “the only person in that room the people want to stop is Barack Obama from having a second term.”

Mr. Bauer, it happens, will be supporting Mr. Santorum, whom he endorsed and campaigned with last week. But Mr. Bauer said the meeting would include advocates “for all of the candidates, including Romney.” Mr. Romney’s advocates are expected to be working the room aggressively.

For some insider knowledge, AFA spokesman and Perry-cheerleader Bryan Fischer urged his allies to all rally around the Texas governor despite his extraordinarily low place in the polls and beyond-terrible debate performances:

The only alternative to this scenario is if social conservatives are able to rally around Rick Perry. Newt Gingrich is fatally flawed and bleeding from too many self-inflicted wounds, including morphing into Michael Moore in his attacks on free enterprise. Rick Santorum, despite his unapologetic and vigorous social conservatism, does not have the infrastructure, the organization, or the money to run a nationwide campaign. He will not even be on the ballot in four or five states.

Only Rick Perry combines effective executive experience, a proven record of economic vitality, a consistently conservative set of social values, and the structure and fund-raising capacity to defeat Romney in the primary and Obama in the general. He or Santorum could blunt some of the Ron Paul mania and keep many conservatives from defecting to Paul. But Perry finished fifth in Iowa, was barely a blip in New Hampshire, and is polling at five percent in South Carolina.

Jeffress: Social Security Crisis, Medicare Crisis and Deficit are ‘God’s Judgment’ for Legal Abortion

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Robert Jeffress, a prominent endorser of Gov. Rick Perry, said in an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday that the Social Security crisis, the Medicare crisis and the mounting federal deficit are “God’s judgment” for legalized abortion.

Citing a study by the fringe anti-choice group Movement for a Better America, Jeffress claims that legalized abortion is responsible for $35 trillion in lost GDP over the last 35 years.

Listen:

Jeffress: Since Roe v. Wade, we’ve had 40 million babies aborted, murdered. Do you realize that if those children, one study I cite in the books says, if those children had been allowed to live, if they had grown up and become productive citizens, it would have added $35 trillion to our Gross National Product in the last 35 years, and there would be no Social Security crisis or Medicare crisis because those people would be paying, productive citizens into the system.

You know, we’ve got even conservatives, Janet, in the Republican Party who are saying, “Oh, this is the year where we’re interested in the economy and not in social issues.” Listen, there is a connection between social issues and economic issues. You cannot wipe out 20 percent of your population, like we have done as a nation through abortion, without great economic repercussions, which I think are God’s judgment. I think the mounting deficit, the Social Security crisis, all those things are part of God’s judgment because we have murdered 20 percent of our population. 

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Rick Perry Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 12/11/2014, 6:33pm
Maureen McCarty @ HRC: Does TLC Know What Its Celebrities are Up to? Catherine Thompson @ TPM: Cheney Throws Bush Under The Bus On Torture Program. Scott Kaufman @ Raw Story: ‘Ex-gay’ group puts up Virginia billboard claiming twin studies ‘prove’ that ‘nobody is born gay.’ Anthony Costello @ Towleroad: Five North Carolina Church Members Indicted In Kidnapping, Assault Of Gay Church Goer. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Rick Perry: ‘Running for the presidency’s not an IQ test.’ MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 12/11/2014, 1:27pm
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is following in the footsteps of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and kicking off his possible presidential campaign next month with a stadium prayer rally organized by radical religious right activists. As Brian reported on Monday, the virulently anti-gay Christian nationalist American Family Association, influential Religious Right leader David Lane and Doug Stringer, a self-proclaimed “apostle” from Texas who has blamed America’s rejection of God for the September 11 attacks, are spearheading Jindal’s Baton Rouge rally. These activists are the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/10/2014, 6:35pm
Center For American Progress: We the People: Why Congress and U.S. States Must Pass Comprehensive LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections. Betsy Woodruff @ Slate: The Most-Read Conservative Media You’ve Never Heard Of. David Edwards @ Raw Story: Former Rep. Joe Walsh applauds torture: Rectal feeding is ‘job description’ of an ‘American hero.’ Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: School Athletic Officials Debunk Horror Stories About Transgender Student Athletes. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Republicans love local control, except when they don’t... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 11/03/2014, 2:18pm
FrontPageMag editor and increasingly unhinged anti-Obama yeller David Horowitz is hosting his annual “Restoration Weekend” for anti-Muslim activists at a beach resort in Florida this month. This year, Horowitz has recruited an impressive slate of Republican politicians, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine to partake in the event’s offerings of golf, spa treatments, and Muslim-bashing. Joining the GOP politicians at the Palm Beach weekend will be anti-Muslim activists including the ... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/30/2014, 10:42am
David Lane is an extremely influential but notoriously media-shy Religious Right activist who regularly organizes secretive events at which leading Republican politicians speak to pastors in key swing states in an effort to mobilize conservative Christian voters. He is also a full-blown Christian nationalist who believes that the Bible should serve as "the principal textbook" for public education and has warned that the United States would see car bombings all over the nation as a result of God's judgment because "homosexuals [were] praying at the inauguration" of... MORE >
Layne, Thursday 09/25/2014, 2:00pm
Attorney General Eric Holder, who today announced his plans to resign, has been a leader in addressing systems of racial discrimination and protecting the fundamental rights of every American to be treated equally under the law and participate in our democracy. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the Right loves to hate him. In February of this year, the American Family Association demanded Holder’s impeachment after he had the audacity to treat married same-sex couples like married opposite-sex couples with regard to a host of legal rights and recognitions. Shortly... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/23/2014, 1:20pm
  Every year since 2006, Republican leaders have joined some of the country’s most notorious anti-gay, anti-choice activists and fringe conspiracy theorists at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit.   This week’s summit will be no different, as potential GOP presidential contenders rub elbows with people who want to deny First Amendment protections to Muslims, defend laws criminalizing homosexuality, and think President Obama used the health care reform law to raise a private army of Brownshirts.   Don’t be surprised if... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/22/2014, 5:32pm
Jeremy Hooper @ GLAAD: Questions we'd like reporters to ask at the Values Voter Summit. Warren Throckmorton: Mars Hill Church Staff Worried That Real Marriage Campaign Would Benefit Mark Driscoll More Than Church. Tara Culp-Ressler @ Think Progress: Rick Perry Claims Texas’ New Abortion Restrictions Could Have Saved Joan Rivers’ Life. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Google latest to walk away from ALEC. David Edwards @ Raw Story: Fox News priest demands government ban Satanic masses ‘in the name of free speech.’ MORE >