FoF head Dobson backs Santorum, citing ‘knowledge of international politics’

James Dobson, founder of Colorado Springs-based evangelical Christian empire Focus on the Family, today endorsed Rick Santorum for president. The move comes a week after prominent conservative leaders met in Texas to choose one candidate to rally around in the so-far deeply fractious Republican primary. As a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and as a presidential candidate, Santorum has made stands on social issues his calling card, touting his opposition to gay rights, abortion and even contraception. Yet Dobson in his announcement cited Santorum’s expertise on foreign affairs as the main factor driving the endorsement.

“While there are other GOP candidates who are worthy of our support, Sen. Santorum is the man of the hour,” Dobson said in a statement released Thursday, according to the Washington Post. “His knowledge of international politics, especially Israel and the turmoil in the Middle East, is highly relevant to the dangerous world in which we live. This is why I am endorsing former Senator Rick Santorum for president of the United States, and urge my countrymen to join us in this campaign.”

Santorum, like most Christian-right American leaders, is a staunch defender of Israel and the sad history of its hardline approach to the question of Palestinian citizenship rights and statehood. He also adopts the corollary position on Middle East affairs that Iran is an enemy state to be opposed aggressively by the United States.

On the stump recently in Greenville, South Carolina, Santorum said he would launch military attacks on Iran to halt its nuclear program but said that the Israel-Palestine conflict, a leading issue in foreign affairs around the world for half a century, is effectively an Israeli domestic issue and that no state had the right to interfere on behalf of either side.

“These people are there in the state of Israel and it’s up to Israel to decide” their fate, he said of the Palestinians in response to questions from Ali Younes of al Arabiya News. Younes noted that during the conversation Santorum never once referred to Palestinians using the word “Palestinians,” seeming to adopt the Newt Gingrich line that “the Palestinians are an invented people.”

The Texas conclave of conservative leaders last week apparently failed to produce the kind of unity participants had hoped for, reportedly reflecting a long-running split in the Republican party exacerbated by this year’s primary field. Participants split roughly half and half on whether to support Newt Gingrich, who touts his record as fiscal conservative, and Santorum, the race’s staunchest social conservative.

Dobson’s opposition to Gingrich, whom he believes lacks moral standing, will be bolstered today by the views of the second of Gingrich’s three wives, Marianne. In an interview set to run tonight, she told ABC News that Gingrich cheated on her for years and pleaded with her to accept an “open marriage” before casting her aside when she was struggling with illness, as he did his first wife.

Gingrich defended himself against such charges this year by saying he was giving too much to the country to devote himself properly to the kind of family values he champions in his political life.

“There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” he said.

Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.

Got a tip? Story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.



About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic
jtomasic@coloradoindependent.com | 720-432-2128 |

Leave a Response

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>