Are you familiar with the name Dennis Baxley? He’s a former Florida legislator who took over the Florida Christian Coalition in 2008, a position he held until last summer when he resigned to promote Republican Senate hopeful Marco Rubio’s campaign. Back in 2008, Baxley made news for saying that Barack Obama’s “Muslim roots and training” were “pretty scary” to everyday Christians.
Well, he’s decided to make his try and get his old seat back in the state legislature:
Former Florida Christian Coalition leader Dennis Baxley confirmed he is running for re-election to the state House.
Baxley, a conservative Republican from Ocala, served in the state House from 2000-2008 and as the executive director of the Christian Coalition until May.
The funeral director raised eyebrows prior to the presidential election when he told The Miami Herald how he and other Christians perceived then-candidate Barack Obama: “He’s pretty scary to us.”
Baxley is running for his old District 24 seat because incumbent Rep. Kurt Kelly has jumped into the race against incumbent U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a liberal Democrat who defeated a four-term incumbent Republican in his election to Congress last year.
For the record, Baxley did more than raise eyebrows when he said Obama was scary … mainly because he said a lot more than that:
Here’s what Dennis Baxley, a former state legislator from Ocala and the executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, one of the most prominent groups on the religious right, said during an interview with the Miami Herald about Obama’s outreach to the Christian community:
“He’s pretty scary to us,” he said. “I think his Muslim roots and training — while they try to minimize it — it’s there.”
Asked what he meant, Baxley pointed to Obama’s childhood stint in Indonesia and his Muslim relatives.
“That concerns me particularly in the period of history we are living in, when there’s an active movement by radical Muslims to occupy us,” Baxley said of Obama’s background. “That whole way of life is all about submission. It concerns me that someone rooted in those beginnings, how it might have affected their outlook. That’s what scary for me.”
Baxley on Obama’s trip to Europe: “I think you can tell from his appeal and how a lot of the media emphasized how loved he is in other places. I’m very concerned that our own American values rooted in Christian principles be protected. It’s fine with me if he wants to run for chancellor of Germany or chief of the European union, but not for president of the United States. I’m concerned about someone who has those global priorities. I just want someone who will take those responsibilities of preserving American values and American culture and not try to make us citizens of the world.”
On Obama’s description of himself as a devout Christian: “I don’t want to pass judgment. I take him at face value. I do look at his story and where he’s been, and the influence of the Rev. Wright-type of Christianity, and I’m not sure that’s what I relate to…He wants to tax the rich more and redistribute wealth to other people — where I come from that’s socialism. Karl Marx was not a Christian.”
Asked if he speaks in public about Obama’s “Muslim roots”: “I really don’t talk about candidates. I talk about issues. My greatest challenge is not Obama, it’s apathy. I’m trying to get values voters to rise out of their apathy and participate…I can’t speak for anyone else but I’m probably typical of all of the people who are suspect of those Muslim roots. We all know what early intervention with children is all about, and I am really wondering what the influence was on him from his father’s background and being in a Muslim country. I’m not cooking up some plot about Muslims trying to inject a leader into our country but I am wondering how it influences his thinking.”
Correction: Originally, I stated that Baxley was running for Congress, when he is actually running for a seat in the state legislature. I’ve updated the post to correct that mistake.