Who James Dobson feels would make a good US President certainly is an influence on my choice. Dobson and his group Focus on the Family are one of the biggest traditional family forces in the world. While I know that as a non-profit, Focus on the Family can’t endorse and promote a candidate, but I believe they can report candidates positions on family related issues. And James Dobson can of course maintain his personal preference. His preference and their information are a valued part of my decision. So what have they been saying?
As early as late 2006, Dobson was speaking to issue that Romney might have getting conservative Christian’s to endorse him.
A prominent and powerful evangelical Christian leader, James Dobson, said yesterday that the Mormon faith practiced by Governor Romney of Massachusetts could pose a serious obstacle if Mr. Romney makes a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
“I don’t believe that conservative Christians in large numbers will vote for a Mormon but that remains to be seen, I guess,” Mr. Dobson said on a syndicated radio program hosted by a conservative commentator, Laura Ingraham.
Mr. Dobson, the founder of the Colorado-based Focus on the Family, did not say why Christians would fail to support Mr. Romney. Mr. Dobson also acknowledged that the governor’s stands on social issues are similar to those of many religious conservatives.
But Dobson did acknowledge how close Mitt and religious conservatives were on social issues and by early 2007, after he met with Romney, he is beginning to warm up to him and cool down to a few other candidates, John McCain included.
Dobson, the influential leader of the Christian organization Focus on the Family, praised Romney on a radio program and said he may end up supporting him.
“I mean he’s very presidential and he’s got the right answers to many, many things,” Dobson told conservative commenator Laura Ingraham on her show. Dobson said he hasn’t decided whom to back, but that Romney “is still on the list.”
Dobson, whose voice carries tremendous weight among Christian conservatives, said this week that he could never support former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. And he has said before that he won’t back the other leading Republican, Arizona Senator John McCain. That leaves Romney as the only top-tier presidential candidate who could land Dobson’s endorsement — a potentially huge boost for him as he tries to win primary voters.
In late 2007 Mitt Romney delivered a now famous speech to the Republican National Convention. I’ve included the YouTube here, but I’m on dialup, so I’m just taking it on faith that it will play for you.
Following Mitt’s speech Dr. Dobson delivered a few glowing words of praise for Mitt Romney and his view on faith in politics.
Colorado Springs, Colo. — Focus on the Family Action founder and chairman James C. Dobson, Ph.D., issued the following statement today in response to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s speech on “Faith in America”:
“Gov. Romney’s speech was a magnificent reminder of the role religious faith must play in government and public policy. His delivery was passionate and his message was inspirational. Whether it will answer all the questions and concerns of Evangelical Christian voters is yet to be determined, but the governor is to be commended for articulating the importance of our religious heritage as it relates to today.
“Many in the media have been busily crafting the obituaries of ‘values voters’ in recent months. David Kirkpatrick of The New York Times, along with Tom Brokaw, Frank Rich and other liberal journalists, have been predicting a dramatic ‘Evangelical crackup’. They are dead wrong. Religion has already played a major role in this election cycle, and will continue to be evident through’08. The sanctity of human life, the institution of marriage and the care and nurturing of children will be important issues to people of faith as they choose a new generation of leaders. You can take it to the bank.
“Again, Gov. Romney’s speech served as a reminder that religion has always played a significant role in electoral politics. Candidates who disregard the spiritual heritage of this great nation and its viability today will do so at their peril.”
Yet, even though following that speech he had words of praise for Gov. Romney, it wasn’t an official endorsement for him. But I’d rather be in his position than in those of the competition. A few days ago this hit the news
Last week, the political arm of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family released an online video voter guide to help Christians sort through the “pro-family” records of the presidential candidates. The guide offers largely negative appraisals of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mike Huckabee, and a far more glowing description of Mitt Romney.
CitizenLink.com has the video voter guide available online for your perusal.
And today as the campaign clearly focuses in on McCain and Romney as the front running candidates, Dobson reiterates his lack of support for John McCain.
While John McCain has risen to the top of the heap among contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson remains adamant that he will not support McCain’s bid for the White House.
Dobson, one of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christians, declared more than a year ago that he wouldn’t support McCain under any circumstances, saying McCain didn’t support traditional marriage values.
A Dobson spokesman told the New York Times’ David Kirkpatrick Wednesday that he stood by that position, and as a matter of conscience could never vote for the Arizona Senator.
“Well, let me say that I am not in the office. I’m in the little condo so I can speak for myself and not for Focus on the Family,” Dobson said in rejecting McCain’s leadership.
He noted that legislation he’d just been discussing on the program, regarding an attempt by Democrat leaders in Congress to create obstacles for ministries such as Focus to reach constituents with action messages about pending legislation, is being supported by McCain, too.
“That came from McCain, and the McCain Feingold Bill kept us from telling the truth right before elections … and there are a lot of other things. He’s not in favor of traditional marriage, and I pray that we won’t get stuck with him,” Dobson said.
There is more than ample lack of support for his opposition, but will there ever be a Dobson statement of support for Mitt Romney? Perhaps, but I have fears that the Christian philosophical chasm may be too wide for Dr. Dobson to bridge with his support. I am a current Christian and an ex-Mormon, so I have a pretty good idea of the differences between Mormons and mainstream Christians. My opinion, from the family perspective, is that many mainstream Christian families could take a long hard look at the Mormon family model.
I value and respect James Dobson’s opinion on both John McCain and Mitt Romney, but I simply don’t have a problem simplifying what has already been stated by Dr. Dobson in so many many words. I support Mitt Romney for president.
*side note: this post is not really issue driven and as such I could see it looking like a negative piece on John McCain, but it is not the intention. CitizenLink.com as well as some of the other links will get you to facts on issues.