dobson2.jpgGod-o-Meter wrestled over whether to file this post under Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee and settled on the latter for two reasons. First, it couldn’t pass up the rare opportunity to lower the rating of the sole candidate to score a theocratic “10” and stay there for weeks. Second, and more importantly, a stealth Romney endorsement from James Dobson’s Focus on the Family is just as newsworthy for what it deprives Huckabee as for what it provides Mitt. TIME has the story:

Christian right leaders are abuzz today because a new online candidate guide that has been posted by Focus on the Family Action, the political arm of Jim Dobson’s conservative Christian empire. The webpage offers edited excerpts of recent webcasts with the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, explaining where the candidates stand on “pro-family issues.”
…The video on Mike Huckabee, who is the overwhelming favorite among the nation’s evangelical voters, is surprisingly harsh. After praising Huckabee’s social views, both Perkins and Tom Minnery, a policy expert at Focus on the Family, hammer the former Arkansas governor for his foreign policy views. Minnery suggests that Huckabee does not understand the cause for which American troops are dying in Iraq. Then Perkins suggests that Huckabee lacks the fiscal and national security credentials needed for a conservative presidential candidate. “The conservatives have been successful in electing candidates, and presidents in particular, when they have had a candidate that can address not only the social issues, [but] the fiscal issues and the defense issues,” says Perkins. “[Huckabee] has got to reach out to the fiscal conservatives and the security conservatives.” Ouch.
So what about Romney? He comes up roses. “He has staked out positions on all three of the areas that we have discussed,” says Perkins. “I think he continues to be solidly conservative.” Then Minnery defends Romney from criticism that he is too polished and smooth. “Mitt Romney has acknowledged that Mormonism is not a Christian faith,” Minnery adds. “But on the social issues we are so similar.”
Mat Staver, a Huckabee supporter and legal advisor to churches, says the videos go right up to the line that walls off issue advocacy from a candidate endorsement. “I think it does endorse Romney,” said Staver, the dean of the Liberty University School of Law. “The presentation on Huckabee was lacking objectivity and context.”


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