No doubt there were a handful of people scattered among the audience at the Values Voter Summit who supported Alan Keyes for president, or were at least aware that he is a candidate, so it must have ruffled one or two feathers when the M.C. boasted several times that “all 9 major Republican candidates” were speaking. Third-time GOP presidential candidate Keyes, who has appeared at two debates which the frontrunners skipped, was not invited.
Most of Keyes’s erstwhile friends have been silent, but one man has spoken out: Gordon Klingenschmitt, a.k.a. “Chaps,” the discharged Navy chaplain who has gone on tour with Keyes on Rick Scarborough’s “70 Weeks to Save America,” claiming that he was prohibited him from praying in the name of Jesus (though in reality he was discharged for violating rules against wearing his uniform at political or partisan events). “Some of you know I’ve endorsed Ambassador Alan Keyes for president, because I believe he’s the most Christ-like candidate we have in the Republican primary,” Klingenschmitt writes.
Alan bears the political scars to prove his deep commitment to the cause of righteousness and freedom in America. Nobody can dispute his decades-long sacrifice of personal fortune and reputation to fight tirelessly beside pro-life protestors, pro-marriage families, Minutemen border guards, Ten-Commandments judges, tax-cut conservatives, strict Constitutionalists and, yes, chaplains who pray in Jesus’ name.
So why did the Family Research Council, or FRC, intentionally exclude Alan Keyes from their “open invitation to all candidates, even Democrats” event this weekend in Washington, D.C.? While giving the prime-time speaking slot to Mitt Romney, FRC not only excluded Alan Keyes from the speaker’s podium, even after repeated requests to include him, they didn’t even list him as a choice in their straw poll. …
Was Alan’s schedule already booked? No, he flew across the country from California to Washington ready to speak at FRC anytime this weekend.
Apparently, Klingenschmitt’s tenacity in promoting Keyes (and knocking the “gatekeepers” such as FRC, comparing them to the Pharisees) has already burned some bridges. He provides a copy of an e-mail from FRC’s Tom McClusky:
Please refrain from contacting me on any matter, now or in the future. I am a big fan of Mr. Keyes and am friends with people who have supported him and worked for him in the past. However I will no longer tolerate your baseless accusations against an organization I am proud to work for or your not so subtle digs at people I admire greatly.
Your actions reflect poorly on those you claim to represent.
Undaunted, Klingenschmitt apparently wants to play hardball, threatening to convince Keyes to make a third-party run:
While Alan Keyes remains (thus far) too loyal to the GOP to take my advice, I hereby advise him to lead an exodus with approximately one million Americans who voted for him in 2000, and seek the nomination of a third party.
Keyes has indeed been mentioned as a possible Constitution Party nominee.