Like God-o-Meter said last week, one of the potential running mates who John McCain invited to his Arizona ranch over the weekend is not like the others. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mitt Romney both have major support among Christian Right leaders (even if Romney lost the evangelical rank and file to Mike Huckabee during the primaries). Florida Governor Charlie Crist, meanwhile, does not.
It’s not that Crist inspires little enthusiasm among conservative Christian leaders–it’s that he inspires outright opposition. David Brody picked up the phone and got three prominent social conservatives on record (plus two more on background) as officially opposed to Crist.
Family Research Council Action senior vice president Connie Mackey outlined the danger of McCain picking Crist:
While he claims to be pro-life he has not been an advocate…We would not be supportive of his candidacy for Vice-President…I think it would not help him. McCain needs to continue to try and energize the base. I think that would certainly not energize the base and I think I could go one step further and say it would de-energize the base.
And here’s Texas-based activist Kelly Shackelford, who runs a Texas group associated with Focus on the Family:
That would certainly put the last nail in the coffin for social and Christian conservatives, but it won’t happen. Sen. McCain has been fairly clear that he will pick a solid conservative. The big question to me is the CA marriage ruling. When will he hit the softball resting over the plate? It is a gift and, so far, he has not taken advantage of it. It combines two beliefs he has- marriage is a man and a woman AND judges should not be activists- and he could speak sincerely and with conviction. Silence. It’s baffling so far.
What’s fascinating to God-o-Meter is that the Christian Right’s complaints about McCain keep mounting, long after he made nice with Jerry Falwell and vowed to heal relations with the movement. In the last month alone, McCain’s silence on the California marriage decision, public divorce from preachers Hagee and Parsley, and his apparent consideration of Crist for the number 2 spot have seemed to squander lots of the good will that McCain’s Christian Right outreach effort had managed to build up over the previous few months.