February 8th, 2008
08:10 AM ET
6 years ago

Huckabee nabs Dobson nod

With Romney out of the race, Dobson is officially backing Huckabee
With Romney out of the race, Dobson is officially backing Huckabee

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee’s underdog campaign got a shot in the arm Thursday night when he won the endorsement of Focus on the Family founder and evangelical icon James Dobson.

“Obviously, the governor faces an uphill struggle, given the delegates already committed to Sen. [John] McCain,” he said. “Nevertheless, I believe he is our best remaining choice for President of the United States.”

Dobson – who said he held his endorsement until Mitt Romney suspended his presidential bid – has been a public admirer of Huckabee, citing the former Arkansas governor’s win in the Iowa caucuses as evidence religious voters are still a force to be reckoned with in the political arena.

“The results of the Iowa caucuses reveal that conservative Christians remain a powerful force in American politics. That had to be a great shock to those on the far left,” Dobson said in a statement shortly after the Iowa vote.

He also took aim at "media elites" for dismissing the influence of Christian voters, and said Huckabee's win "was evidence of an energized and highly motivated conservative community."

Focus on the Family sends Dobson’s views to millions through his daily radio broadcast, and sends its voter guides to millions more, thanks to a massive database that rivals those of any presidential campaign.

Dobson had not officially endorsed any presidential candidate until his Thursday statement – but had issued several anti-endorsements over the past few months, explaining to his followers why he could not support potential Republican nominees Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and John McCain.

Dobson endorsed President Bush’s re-election in 2004.

Dobson, who is often visited by GOP officials at Focus on the Family’s vast Colorado Springs campus, emphasized the fact that he was speaking as a private citizen – a standard disclaimer he attaches to all his political pronouncements. He praised Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, for his stands on social issues, saying the former governor’s views on marriage, the role of religion and the “sanctity of human life… resonate deeply with me and many others.”

“That is why I will support Gov. Huckabee through the remaining primaries, and will vote for him in the general election if he should get the nomination,” he said.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Juan Venadito

    One irrelevant loser supporting another irrelevant loser. Huckabee has a better chance of wining a Nobel in physics than he does of winning the Republican nomination,

    February 8, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Joe V

    Many have counted Huckabee out from the beginning because he had little money. Because of his perseverance, he is not far behind from capturing the nomination now. Thank you James Dobson for giving Huckabee your endorsement. This means alot.

    Go Huckabee!

    February 8, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Greg, NY

    Too stupid to understand science? Try religion!

    Religion: Forcing beliefs on people since year 0000.

    February 8, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Jerry, NC

    I think Huckabee is of the man who has faith. He's showing the world that his religious faith will have an impact in this american election.

    February 8, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Angie, Charlotte NC

    Huckabee currently has 181 delegates compared to John McCain's 714.

    Yep Joe V, Huckabee has McCain right where he wants him. He's practically a shoo in! Ummm, ok!

    February 8, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. EUNICE, MARYLAND, U.S.A.

    May be now CNN will stop marginalizing him and do the right thing. I said all along that this guy can be President. Am not surprise that he did so well in the primaries so far. He has proved all his critics wrong.

    Thanks Dr. Dobson.

    GO HUCKABEE.

    February 8, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Mike in Austin

    Too bad folks like Dobson didn't get on the Romney train earlier in the process. We could have a real Presidential candidate for the Republican nomination. Instead, we get liberal McCain and backwoods Huckster.

    Ah well. I like Dobson. Hope he and others get it right next time.

    February 8, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    This guy is just funny.

    He would rather have the country in the hands of someone with virtually no experience at a time of war and great economical hardship than a former war hero who takes positions because he thinks they are right, not because lobbyists and special interest groups are trying to blackmail him into doing so.

    This recent conduct by single-issue fanaticals like Dobson, Limbaugh, Coulter has been deplorable. The crazy right is no better of worse than the crazy left and what they have in common is that we need NONE of them involved in the maintenance of this country. THEY are the problem in this country and NOT the solution. The sooner people figure that out the sooner we will get this country back on track.

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    February 8, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Chuck

    Boy he sure is late. Huckabee got pretty far without him and he is doing it now because he does not like McCain.

    February 8, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Dan G In Montana

    When people representing religion act to establish their religious views into politics and American law, its time to remove their tax-exempt status and treat them as they really are: political pressure groups acting against the rights of everyone else. America's survival requires that we take the First Amendment seriously and keep religion out of politics. Otherwise we will have the same kind of civil war and strife that infects Iraq.

    February 8, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. L Goodyear

    Obviously, there are some that underestimate of GOD. If He chooses Mike Huckabee to be our president, then it WILL happen. All you Christians out there...keep on Praying!!

    February 8, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. paulman

    This article makes it sound a bit like Focus on the Family sends out Dr. Dobson political views to millions of its audience, but then claims it as merely his opinion as a "private citizen". However, I am fairly sure that is NOT true. A separate entity, Focus on the Family Action, was set up quite awhile ago for lobbying and pro-family political issues such as this. Its funding is separate from Focus on the Family, the non-profit entity. However, while the funding is kept separate, it's quite another issue to separate its influence. It does bear the Focus on the Family (FotF) name, after all, and has been mentioned on the FotF broadcast before. So I think it's a messier distinction than some would like to think, but it is a distinction. I'm sure that FotF will not even mention that Dr. Dobson, as a private citizen, endorsed Mike Huckabee, because that would compromise its non-profit status. At least I hope they won't.

    February 8, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. David-Paul Niner

    Dobson hides behind his "Focus On the Family" persona. He holds a lot of views that are out-right anti-Christian. As he moves himself into the spotlight more people will research and discover what this man is truly about.

    February 8, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  14. Ken, Suitland MD

    "Dobson endorsed President Bush’s re-election in 2004."

    Enough said. This alone disqualifies anyone, including Dobson, from being taken seriously.

    Of course there is also this thing about the earth being 6000 years old.....

    February 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. paulman

    This article makes it sound a bit like Focus on the Family sends out Dr. Dobson political views to millions of its audience, but then claims it as merely his opinion as a "private citizen". However, I am fairly sure that is NOT true. A separate entity, Focus on the Family Action, was set up quite awhile ago for lobbying and pro-family political issues such as this. Its funding is separate from Focus on the Family, the non-profit entity. However, while the funding is kept separate, it's quite another issue to separate its influence.

    February 8, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  16. Joe-Wilmington, DE

    Congratulations Governor. Another endorsement from a right wing, evangelical extremist.

    February 9, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  17. Lifelong Arkansan

    I've lived in Arkansas my entire life and have had about all I can stand of Mike Huckabee in the national spot light. Will someone PLEASE come to Arkansas and do some real investigative reporting?!?!?!? Huckabee is a joke and did all sorts of sleazy things while governor then he'd act like a 5-year old when someone would call him on it. You might want to start with the computer hard drives he had destroyed when he left office.

    February 9, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. eric in florida

    One of the reasons the Pilgrims came here was to escape religious persecution. Our founding fathers specifically created a separation of church and state for a reason. Religious leaders who endorse candidates (regardless of the fact that he says he does it as a private citizen, who does he think he is fooling) should have their tax exempt status removed from their respective organizations.

    February 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |

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