It took awhile, but every one of the four leading Republican presidential hopefuls who skipped the “Values Voter Debate” in Florida have now agreed to attend the upcoming “Values Voter Summit” in Washington, DC being sponsored by the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Values, and others.
In early September, Mitt Romney agreed to attend and, a short while later, so did John McCain. Fred Thompson held off – at least until a message from James Dobson blasting him as unacceptable to the Religious Right made its way into the press, and then the Thompson campaign suddenly got the message and quickly agreed to attend as well.
Still, a few weeks went by with Rudy Giuliani being the only candidate refusing to attend – until again Dobson and his right-wing allies lashed out, announcing that they would consider abandoning the Republican Party if Giuliani gets the nomination, with Dobson taking to the pages of the New York Times to explain that “If neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate.”
And guess what happened?
Giuliani has now announced that he too will be attending the FRC/FOF event.
It is quite a testament to the influence of James Dobson that despite having publicly savaged McCain, Giuliani, and Thompson, these candidates are tripping over themselves to attend an event that is scheduled to culminate with a “Family, Faith and Freedom Gala Dinner Honoring Dr. James Dobson.”