Minnery Hopes McCain “Will Not Be That Dumb”

Focus on the Family’s Tom Minnery has been, not surprisingly, unimpressed with the Democratic Party’s religious outreach efforts, complaining primarily that they haven’t asked people like him to be involved and saying that the party “wants the voters, but not the values” of the so-called “Values Voters” he claims to represent.

So the fact that he voiced those same criticisms in an interview with Christianity Today did not comes as much of a shock. But it is interesting that, even at this late date, many on the Right still can’t seem to make up their minds regarding how they feel about John McCain, revealing once again that his choice of running-mate will make-or-break his campaign:

What objections do evangelicals raise about him as a candidate?

He’s inconsistent on the abortion issue, given his view of the stem-cell research side of it. He has caused great mischief for a lot of organizations including our own who try to do issue advertising to let people know how the politicians stand during the election. We can’t do that because of McCain-Feingold. Finally, the Supreme Court knocked that part of it out, but there’s an increasing number of regulations that we have to deal with, so we don’t appreciate that. I think that his joining the gang of 14 to take control over the Supreme Court justices was ineffective. Obviously we’d like a candidate that supports the Federal Marriage Amendment … It’s been difficult for [Dr. Dobson]. The selection of a vice president will be significant.

There are rumors that he could choose a pro-choice candidate.

I don’t think he will. I hope he will not be that dumb. He’s the candidate who’s trying to appeal to moderates and independents. He needs somebody on the ticket who would appeal to conservatives. It’ll be interesting if it’s Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney seems to be a genuine convert on the marriage issue, on the abortion issue, although there are a small number of evangelicals who really despise him. Mitt Romney’s statements from his own campaign against Ted Kennedy for U.S. Senate in which each vied to be more liberal, those things still reverberate.

Minnery was then asked whether Romney’s Mormon faith would be a liability with the Right, to which he responded that it probably wouldn’t be much of a problem because they realize that he “probably won’t turn his office in the White House into a Mormon temple.”  But then again, McCain’s “age is a factor” and they might be uncomfortable with the prospect of having a Mormon president down the line:

There’s a concern, sure. I think that would dampen some enthusiasm. I think evangelical voters are sophisticated enough to know that Mitt Romney did not seem to turn the state house in Boston into a Mormon temple and he probably won’t turn his office in the White House into a Mormon temple. Republicans tend to give the next nomination to the guy who’s waiting. Secondly, McCain’s age is a factor … although his mother’s in her 90s.