Dobson Won’t Back Thompson

Some have been musing about whether or not the Religious Right holds the power it once did in the Republican Party. It appears we may get an idea during this primary season:

“Isn’t Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won’t talk at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?” Dobson wrote.

“He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.’ And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!”

Dobson has also ruled out support for Rudy Giulani or John McCain, and has expressed concerns about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. Thus, it would seem none of the Big Four can count on Dobson’s support. I have no evidence of this, but it seems most likely at this point that Dobson, if he endorses anyone, will tap former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, who seems to be the only other candidate with any chance of winning the nomination, and whose social views tend to match up with Dobson’s fairly well.

It is worth noting that Fred Thompson has been well received by Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Religious and Ethics Liberty Commission, which could provide him with a boost. But with Jerry Falwell gone and Pat Robertson, well, Pat Robertson, James Dobson may well be the single most influential evangelical leader strongly involved in politics, and should any of the Big Four win the GOP nomination, it would suggest the influence of the Religious Right might be eroding.

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