Richard Land gave a wide-ranging interview to Newsweek in which he discussed the Religious Right’s current disarray and the possibility that they will leave the Republican Party if Rudy Giuliani becomes the nominee:
NEWSWEEK: So we wanted to ask you, first of all, about the third party idea and whether it’s serious. A number of people are suggesting it is just a threat.
Land: My intuition [is that] this is not a bluff. If Giuliani is the nominee, there will be a third party. There are things that Giuliani could do to help mitigate the damage … This is not a bluff.
While Land sees it as inevitable that many of his ideological allies will bolt the GOP if this happens, he does not appear to be among them, saying that he “won’t do anything to help formulate a third party.”
Land also had an interesting view on why Mike Huckabee isn’t gaining more traction among the Right:
We met with Gov. Huckabee recently, and he said, “Well, why don’t they vote for me right now? They’ve got me. Why do they need a third-party candidate?”
Land : Well, I think if anybody other than Giuliani is the nominee, there won’t be a third party.
NEWSWEEK : But his point is that you are not helping him to beat Giuliani.
Land : Well, that’s not my job. That’s Governor Huckabee’s job. I just encourage people to vote their values and their beliefs and their convictions, and when I am asked why Huckabee isn’t doing better, I can only answer that that’s up to the voters.
Land obviously doesn’t think this standard applies to Fred Thompson, since he has spent months gushing over Thompson and defending him at every opportunity in an effort to help him win over “values voters.”
Newsweek then asked Land what Giuliani might be able to do to possibly win them over, to which Land set out a series of anti-choice benchmarks, among them a pledge to “only appoint strict constructionists” to the federal courts. When Newsweek pointed out that Giuliani has, in fact, done that repeatedly, Land was not impressed and responded by comparing support for reproductive choice to the KKK:
NEWSWEEK : When Rudy says “I will appoint strict constructionist judges,” you are not hearing that?
Land: I hear it. I hear it.
NEWSWEEK: Well, you don’t hear Hillary saying that.
Land: [Land turns to question a Newsweek reporter] Could you vote for a Klansman?
[Reporter responds] No.
You’ve answered my question.