Earlier today, Iowa talk radio host and Ted Cruz endorser Steve Deace unloaded on Cruz’s critics in an interview with American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios following the Texas Republican senator’s victory in the Iowa caucuses.
Deace was particularly angry about Mike Huckabee’s “absolutely heinous” and “despicable” attacks on Cruz’s faith, but he also spent time going after Donald Trump’s supporters, including Sarah Palin and Jerry Falwell Jr., claiming that the two Religious Right leaders overlooked all of Trump’s liberal stances and dirty tactics because of his tough anti-immigration rhetoric.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” Deace said of Trump’s prominent backers, alluding to rumors propagated Rep. Steve King, another prominent Iowa endorser of Cruz, that Trump’s more prominent supporters had financial motives to back the business mogul.
“He was essentially betraying us on every single issue,” Deace said of Trump, likening the billionaire to Ahab, the idolatrous king of Israel who was married to Jezebel. “I can’t even begin to tell you how intellectually dishonest Donald Trump was in Iowa the last couple of weeks of this campaign,” he continued. “He did everything but call Ted Cruz an illegal alien. I’ve never seen anything like it … There was nothing Donald Trump would not say, there was nothing Donald Trump would not do.”
Later in the broadcast, Deace compared Trump voters to cult followers who are embracing “nationalism” and “worship of the state” over their Christian faith.
“I have never seen a cult, and I’m including Obama, I have never seen a cult surrounding a candidate in my life like the one around Donald Trump,” he said. “You engage his followers on social media and they don’t want to know any truth and they’re proudly, belligerently ignorant about it. And I want to just say this to our fellow believers on your program this morning: Be wary of nationalism. Nationalism is a pagan philosophy and when it co-opts the church it always leads to tyranny.”
Earlier today, Sandy Rios and Steve Deace, two conservative talk show hosts who have endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, spoke on Rios’ morning radio show about their candidate’s victory in last night’s Iowa caucuses.
Deace said “the extreme amount of bitterness” from the Huckabee, Paul and Santorum campaigns “toxified the atmosphere,” charging that their supporters were “calling people liars and, ‘You’re sell-outs,’ and ‘You’re not real Christians.’”
“I don’t want to necessarily get metaphysical but there was real spiritual warfare happening,” Deace said.
“This was more than just a political victory last night, this was a spiritual one,” he said, “and there’s a reason why Sen. Cruz, one of the first things when he took to the stage last night was ‘to God be the glory.’ I’ve never seen a candidate or a campaign have to wade through so much misleading and false material as he did the last few weeks.”
Deace said that the media, including Fox News, “fired every single bullet” at Cruz and accused Branstad of issuing “a kill order against Ted Cruz over ethanol.”
But Deace reserved his greatest fury for Huckabee, taking issue with the 2008 caucus victor’s efforts to question Cruz’s faith because the Texas senator doesn’t tithe and once seemed to downplay his opposition to gay marriage at a New York fundraiser:
Mike Huckabee ran ads in Iowa that literally called Ted Cruz a fake Christian. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was heinous, it was despicable and he ought to be ashamed. I don’t know what else to say. He’s a 60-year-old man and a former pastor and it’s just shameful. I understand being disappointed, Sandy, but the people of this state made Mike Huckabee a very wealthy man, they made him a very successful man, multiple New York Times best-sellers, five years in a row he was on Fox every night, built himself and his family a really nice beachfront home down there in Florida. And how did he do it? Because over 40,000 Iowans went through this for Mike Huckabee eight years ago. Fox and the machine said he couldn’t win and he wasn’t any good, and they did what they thought was right then and life has been pretty good.
And I say this as someone that knows Mike and likes him, I’ve been about as disappointed with Mike Huckabee and his antics for the last few weeks as I’ve ever been with a believer in the civic arena. Particularly in a small state like ours, Sandy, that has been a very huge blessing to him and to toxify the atmosphere the way that he did down the stretch — we saw a lot of men, from Mike Huckabee to Rand Paul to Rick Santorum, really reveal through adversity that the attacks they made on Sen. Cruz, ‘He’s not ready,’ ‘He’s immature,’ ‘He’s not authentic,’ that maybe we see through a mirror darkly and we ought to be looking at our own reflection first before we use a political campaign to cast aspersions on the spirituality of a fellow believer like that.
You want to rip each other’s spleens out over the issues? Hey, that’s why they play the games, and it’s good preparation for what you’ll face from the Democrats. But I thought that was just absolutely heinous. If you want to know why Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum and Rand Paul got a combined six percent last night among them? It’s because Iowans just really turned on them for the way they behaved.
Yesterday, the Ted Cruz campaign posted audio from its January 26 "prayer team" call. The Dallas Morning News reports that the calls are facilitated by Bonnie Miller, but the moderator of the program did not announce herself.
The host kicked things off by claiming that the campaign is part of a conflict between Heaven and Hell, insisting that Satan “is always on the look out to distract any one of us who prays for our nation and for Ted and for this presidential campaign.”
Satan, she continued, is also “rejoicing over our communication problems,” claiming that technicians were working to defy the Devil by improving the campaign's communication systems.
As we’ve noted earlier, Cruz’s campaign has relentlessly pushed the message that he is part of a spiritual war to save America.
Before winning the Iowa caucuses, Sen. Ted Cruz won a straw poll of Religious Right leaders who were determined to coalesce behind a single candidate before voting went underway. Since then, hardly a week has gone by without the Cruz campaign announcing the support of a new right-wing leader, on top of the campaign’s frequent suggestions that the Texas Republican has divine support for his presidential bid.
It seems that no figure is too extreme to be embraced by Cruz, including those who would wish to see the government putting their adversaries to death.
Last Fall, Cruz appeared in Iowa alongside a pastor who has called for the government to use the death penalty to punish homosexuality. Not stung from the criticism he received for courting the radical pastor, Kevin Swanson, Cruz he later released a statement touting the support of an anti-abortion extremist, Troy Newman, who has said that a just government would punish abortion providers with death. Again facing criticism, Cruz doubled down and appointed Newman co-chair of his “pro-life coalition.”
As it turned out, Newman was just one of the first of many extremists whose support has been touted by Cruz’s campaign.
Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group, helped coalesce Religious Right support behind Cruz and campaigned with the senator in Iowa. Cruz apparently sees it as helpful to campaign alongside Perkins, who has defended Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill and claimed that gay rights advocates are pawns of the Devil.
Perkins joined Cruz on the trail in Iowa along with Glenn Beck, the conspiracy theory radio host; David Barton, the right-wing pseudo-historian who heads one of the leading pro-Cruz super PACs and who, like Beck, has declared Cruz to be God’s answer to his prayers; reality TV star Phil Robertson, notorious for making bigoted remarks; James Dobson, the anti-gay radio personality who founded Focus on the Family; Rep. Steve King, the congressman known for his anti-gay and anti-immigrant tirades; Bob Vander Plaats, the Iowa political organizer who describes homosexuality as a “public health risk” similar to smoking; and far-right radio broadcaster Steve Deace.
Other endorsers touted by the Cruz campaign have included North Carolina activists who have referred to gay people as Satan’s minions; a North Carolina pastor who has likened gay people to “maggots” and linked them to Ebola; an Oklahoma preacher who warns that homosexuality is part of a demonic communist conspiracy to bring down America; a Virginia radio host who has blamed gays for everything from terrorism to train derailments; and a Virginia lawmaker who has sponsored an assortment of bizarre anti-gay bills.
Most recently, Cruz welcomed the endorsement of Mike Bickle, the leader of a church that many have criticized for using cult-like practices, who has referred to Oprah Winfrey as a harbinger of the Antichrist, called gay rights as a Satanic plot that will usher in the End Times, and explained that Adolf Hitler was raised up by God to be a “hunter” of Jews.
Cruz’s decision to tout such radical activists — not to mention his own extreme policy positions, such as promising to defy the Supreme Court on marriage equality and abortion rights — is no accident, as he is basing his campaign strategy on the hope that he can motivate tens of millions of conservative evangelicals to go to the polls.
With Cruz now seemingly working his way into front-runner status, we fully expect to see him pick up more, and even more radical, Religious Right endorsements as the GOP primary heats up.
Last night, Ted Cruz came out on top of the Iowa caucuses by building a base of conservative evangelical supporters.
According to CNN, about 64 percent of caucus-goers identified as “born-again or evangelical Christians,” up from 57 percent in 2012. Evangelical Republicans put Cruz over the top: He won 28 percent of the vote overall, but was at 34 percent among evangelicals. Cruz came in third among non-evangelical voters, behind Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.
Throughout the presidential race, Cruz has been painting himself as not just the candidate of conservative Republicans and Tea Party members, but the candidate of Christians — or, at least, the Christians who share his particular brand of theology and politics. Cruz’s father and top campaign surrogate, Rafael Cruz, has said that his son has a divine anointing and likened him to Jesus, claiming that his campaign is all about sharing “the love of Jesus Christ” with “every person in America.” Glenn Beck, for his part, hailed the Texas senator as God’s answer to his prayers. To be successful, Cruz said, “we have to awaken and energize the Body of Christ.”
“Sorry, Ted, but an awakened and energized Body of Christ serves the Kingdom of God, not your political agenda,” Christian author Rachel Held Evans wrote in response to the senator’s bold claim.
Cruz and his father may portray his candidacy as a divine mission, but for the Religious Right, doing God’s will requires not just sufficient piety but the political power to get things done.
Sensing a chance to drive the GOP even further to the right, and to put the power of the White House behind their political agenda, the movement’s leadership has almost entirely rallied behind Cruz. And with good reason — he has vowed to implement their agenda with promises to defy the Supreme Court on gay marriage, consider engaging in anti-gay civil disobedience, sign sweeping anti-abortion legislation, go after Planned Parenthood, appoint ultraconservative justices to the bench and block threats to religious liberty of Christians, which he says are rampant in America. For good measure, he announced his candidacy at Liberty University, the institution founded by evangelical firebrand and conservative powerbroker Jerry Falwell.
Cruz assiduously courted both Iowa-based and national Religious Right leaders. In Iowa, Rep. Steve King, far-right radio host Steve Deace and activist Bob Vander Plaats, who helped steer Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to victory in the state in 2008 and 2012, respectively, all endorsed Cruz. He ended his Iowa campaign by stumping with the trio along with national figures including radio personality Glenn Beck, anti-gay hate group leader Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas.
Trump, in an effort to keep up, trotted out his own evangelical endorsements, including former Gov. Sarah Palin and Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., and launched a bizarre attack on Cruz’s faith, claiming that “not a lot of evangelicals come out of Cuba.”
But there has been little question that Cruz is the Religious Right’s candidate.
Cruz is betting that stature in the Religious Right will help him drive up evangelical turnout in the upcoming South Carolina primary and on Super Tuesday, colloquially known as the “SEC primary” because it is dominated by Southern states. He has insisted that winning evangelical support in the Republican primary will translate into success in the general election, claiming that Republican nominees have lost the last two contests because the party’s insufficiently conservative nominees failed to motivate the Religious Right base.
To inspire that base, the Texas senator is spouting toxic rhetoric about his ideological opponents and hyping purported threats to the religious liberty of American Christians, all while courting endorsements from the Religious Right’s most extreme wing.
At times, Cruz lifts his apocalyptic rhetoric about impending dangers to freedom straight from his most extreme supporters. Cruz borrowed Deace’s line about a gay-led “jihad” threatening religious liberty on the stump and has pushed bogus persecution stories concocted by Religious Right groups about Christians coming under assault.
Last Fall, Cruz appeared in Iowa alongside a pastor who has called for the government to use the death penalty to punish homosexuality. Days before the caucuses commenced, Cruz campaigned with Perkins, the head of an anti-LGBT hate group who helped coalesce Religious Right support behind his candidacy, and Robertson, the reality TV star who told Cruz supporters that they must “rid the earth” of gay marriage advocates because they are ushering in “evil” and “depravity.” Robertson said that voters should pick Cruz because he “loves James Madison,” before sharing a quote on the biblical origins of U.S. government that is falsely attributed to Madison.
When Cruz faced criticism from opponents like Huckabee who said that Cruz and his supporters weren’t serious about outlawing abortion, the senator’s campaign unveiled a “pro-life coalition” co-chaired by a radical activist who believes a just government would execute abortion providers .
What’s good for Cruz is bad for our increasingly diverse country. When Cruz portrays himself as the candidate of “the body of Christ” and claims God’s blessing — and embraces the most extreme wing of his party as he’s doing it — he signals not to just non-Christians but to Christians that don’t share his particular worldview that he’s not interested in working for them. But that is the very reason why Cruz is the candidate who the Religious Right has desperately been seeking: someone who will give them his undivided attention in a country where they are terrified of losing relevance.
Rafael Cruz, father and chief campaign surrogate of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, appeared on The Dove TV's "Focus Today" program last week, where he revealed that the "presence of the Holy Spirit" convinced his son to run for president.
As the elder Cruz explained, Ted and his family "spent six months in prayer" trying to decide if he should seek the presidency, which culminated in a two-hour prayer session at his church where his family and top advisers "spent two hours on our knees seeking God's will about this decision."
During that prayer session, Cruz's wife received "inspiration from God" and told Ted to "seek God's face, not God's hand" and, at that moment, the Holy Spirit descended upon everyone in the room and convinced Ted to run.
"It was as if there was a presence of the Holy Spirit in the room and we all were at awe," Cruz stated, "and Ted, all that came out of his mouth, he said, 'Here am I Lord, use me. Here am I Lord, I surrender to whatever Your will for my life is.' And it was at that time that he felt a peace about running for president of the United States."
Mike Huckabee suspended his campaign last night after winning the support of less than two percent of Iowa caucus-goers.
But even before he officially dropped out of the race, the former Arkansas governor and 2008 caucus winner had begun lashing out at the Religious Right leaders who had almost completely coalesced behind Ted Cruz.
After all, Huckabee had vowed to outlaw abortion with a sweeping presidential decree, promised to defy the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling before it criminalized Christianity and destroyed America, and literally turned Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ release from detention into a campaign rally, volunteering to go to jail on her behalf. The former Arkansas governor even pledged to boycott Doritos because the company released rainbow-colored chips benefiting an LGBT suicide prevention group and starred in a bizarre anti-gay film.
Nonetheless, Cruz captured most of the momentum on the Religious Right, offering similar promises to flout the Supreme Court on gay marriage and ban abortion, although Huckabee tried to attack him as a tithe-withholding phony.
But Huckabee’s loss won’t prevent him from leaving a legacy as a mean-spirited politician who tried to advance his political career by bashing gay people, mocking transgender youth and spouting apocalyptic rhetoric.
- Warren Throckmorton: David Barton Claims Professional Historians Don’t Use Original Documents and That’s Why They Attack His Work.
- Rosie Gray @ BuzzFeed: Ted Cruz’s Iowa Backers Blast The Attacks From Huckabee Allies.
- Emily Atkin @ Think Progress: Ted Cruz Promises To Create The Most Right-Wing Supreme Court In History.
- Rachel Percelay @ Media Matters: Meet The Activists Leading The Fight Against LGBT Equality In Jacksonville.
- Matt Ramos @ Broadly: Inside the Bizarre War Anti-Abortion Zealots Are Waging Against School Kids.
- Travis Gettys @ Raw Story: Sarah Palin explodes after ‘Today’ anchors force her to explain why she blamed Obama for son’s arrest.
- It sounds like things are not going so well over at Glenn Beck's media empire.
- You won't find this kind of hard-hitting news anywhere else! "BarbWire ahead of the Game in Reporting on Obama’s Breastfeeding Troops."
- Steven Andrew provides four reasons why Mike Huckabee "would be the greatest president since Lincoln."
- Rep. Steve King says that Donald Trump is buying his endorsements and Trump-endorser Sarah Palin thinks that King might be "huffing ethanol."
- Jerry Johnson, president and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, says that he wants the NRB "to be for the First Amendment, what NRA is for the Second Amendment."
- Finally, Donald Trump is now openly encouraging his crowds to "knock the crap" out of hecklers and promising to pay any legal fees.
Earlier today, Alex Jones spoke with InfoWars reporter Richard Reeves about the upcoming Iowa caucus, with Reeves saying he’d “love nothing better than to see Bernie Sanders take a victory here in Iowa.”
“I agree, he would be great to defeat,” Jones responded. “But I don’t want to be put in his forced labor camp. I don’t want to be ruled over by that piece of crap.”
Jones continued: “It’s so creepy to have a hardcore commie who wants to put me in a forced relocation camp like Mao Zedong.”
“If Bernie Sanders somehow were to become president, I suspect that you and I would become illegal immigrants somewhere,” Reeves added.
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