The latest announcement in the Ted Cruz presidential campaign’s ongoing rollout of endorsements from right-wing leaders is a group of more than 50 “Catholic influencers” led by Robert George, the intellectual muscle for the Religious Right, and Ken Cuccinelli, former attorney general of Virginia and failed gubernatorial candidate. The campaign announced the endorsement of Robert George yesterday; some others on the list have also been announced previously.
Not surprisingly, the list of Catholics for Cruz is heavy on culture warriors who have been fighting to criminalize abortion and resist legal equality for LGBT people and same-sex couples. Although Cruz is not Catholic, he made a reference to the Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis, saying “we have an opportunity to protect the most vulnerable and safeguard the truth revealed through Scripture and the tradition of millennia.”
One eyebrow-raising name on the list is Anne Schlafly Cori, president of Missouri Eagle Forum and daughter of Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who endorsed Donald Trump last week.
Also on the list:
- U.S. Reps. Steve King, Paul Gosar and Tim Huelskamp;
- globe-trotting anti-gay activist Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, and right-wing lawyer John Eastman, chairman of NOM;
- anti-marriage-equality activist Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation;
- columnist John Zmirak, who has repeatedly warned that Christians in America are facing a Holocaust like Jews in Nazi Germany or a genocide like the Tutsis in Rwanda or the Armenians;
- right-wing activists Richard Viguerie and Brent Bozell;
- Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, Tea Party activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas;
- Jack Fowler, publisher of National Review, which has tried to rally anti-Trump sentiment in the conservative movement;
- Terry Schilling, executive director of the American Principles Project, which was founded by Robert George; and
- Bobby Schindler of the Terri Shiavo Life and Hope Network.