April 26th, 2010
12:14 PM ET
5 years ago

Influential evangelical backs Grayson in Kentucky

James Dobson Monday endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson for Senate.
James Dobson Monday endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson for Senate.

(CNN) – The founder of the socially conservative Focus on the Family organization is weighing in on the divisive Republican Senate primary battle in Kentucky.

James Dobson Monday endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who's fighting Rand Paul for their party's nomination.

"Trey Grayson is the only candidate with the conviction to lead on the issues that matter to Kentucky families," Dobson says in a statement released by the Grayson campaign. "His unwavering commitment to the sanctity of human life and the family resonates with me. I know that he will be a leader on these issues, not just another Senator who checks the box."

The release notes that Dobson, who no longer heads Focus on the Family, is making the endorsement as a private individual.

Grayson and Paul, a physician and the son of former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, are running to succeed Sen. Jim Bunning, the Republican lawmaker who announced last summer that he would not run for a third term. National GOP leaders rallied around Grayson at the time. But Paul, a favorite with conservatives and with many in the Tea Party movement, is running a strong campaign and has picked up a major endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Some recent polls indicate that Paul leads Grayson in the GOP primary matchup. Three other lesser known Republican candidates are also in the race.

Bunning endorsed Paul two weeks ago. Last week, former New York City mayor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani endorsed Grayson.

Dobson's backing of Grayson follows his endorsement last week of former Sen. Dan Coats in Indiana. Coats, who is running for the GOP nomination for the right to try and reclaim his old Senate seat, is also considered the favorite of establishment Republicans in the primary battle in Indiana.

In February, Dobson backed Rick Perry in the showdown between the Texas governor and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for their party's gubernatorial nomination. Perry easily won the primary election.

Kentucky's primary is May 18. State Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Don Mongiardo are the top two candidates battling for the Democratic Senate nomination.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • James Dobson • Kentucky • Trey Grayson
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. ldc

    Unfortunately, Dobson is just another party hack.

    April 26, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. notfooledbydistractions

    Dobsons endorsement may settle well with the retirees, but I imagine the majority of the voters could care less what this wingnut thinks. In fact, it probably works against grayson.

    April 26, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    What is it about the First Amendment text, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" that you don't get, all you religious right folks?

    Our country never has been and was never intended to be a theocracy.

    It's as simple as that!

    April 26, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. haren

    We need bigger veto proof democrats majority to take away tax exempt benefit for all church who poke their position in politics.

    April 26, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    James Dobson making an endorsement and saying it's a private one, with no connection to FOTF is like Bill Clinton making an endorsement and saying it has nothing to do with being a Democrat. When Dobson and his organization even hint at supporting a liberal is about the same time I get struck by lightning in a house I won from Ed McMahon.

    April 26, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  6. Texas Granny

    And, of course, "unwavering commitment to the sanctity of human life and the family" are the most important qualifications to be a Senator, right? How does this guy stack up on the more important issues?
    I am so tired of religious groups trying to legislate. If this keeps up, the U.S. will eventually be in the same situation as many of the countries we so like to look down on right now for their religious extremes.

    April 26, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Kentucky

    I hope that Rand Paul beats Grayson, because Grayson will be much harder for the Democrats to beat. Rand Paul's beliefs are even too conservative for Kentucky. Paul has said that Social Security and Medicare should have never been passed, and other crazy things that will help the Democrats beat him. Paul's message is sorry old people, widows and orphans, but you should never have received Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare benefits! Of course, Paul could win it all, because there are a lot of Tea Party members in Kentucky who will vote for Paul while holding signs that read "leave my Medicare and Social Security alone". Do not count the Democrats out in Kentucky. The Democrats have two strong candidates in their primary, and either one will be tough to beat.

    April 26, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Gary

    Whatever happened to seperation between church and state?

    April 26, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. William

    Well he is the face of evil for the world. There is no way you can behave the way he has in life and not be evil. He just hides it behind words like God and Jesus. Much like the rest of the nuts who believe in that crap.

    April 26, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Kris

    James Dobson is a scary man. I can not believe that people do not see him for exactly what he is. A hateful, hatemonger....He makes my skin crawl!

    April 26, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Bart in Omaha

    Why is this news? Rand Paul is endorsed by Regis Philbin – where's that coverage? Oh, right, no one cares what he thinks.

    April 26, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. jMunny

    These endorsements of Grayson's make me sick and are exactly the reason why me and my fellow American will vote for Paul and his like-minded counterparts. This is a battle of good vs. evil and the church picked the wrong side just as they have been perpetually doing. So sad.. yet so predictable.

    April 26, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. Independent One

    These people are the Pharisees and Sadducess of our time

    April 26, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Julianne

    Who said, "Render unto Caesar ..." Mr. Dobson? Religion is private and personal. If you want to legislate it then you belong in a theocracy which the US is not.

    April 26, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Pockets

    Another religious nut-bar

    April 26, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Nick , California

    What happened to separation of Church and State?? Is this why FOX news has priests on their station fighting for conservative views??!! People want to choose for themselves... its called FREEDOM!! I believe in God, but God doesn't need money or power or a country to call his or her own!! If we are all sinners how is it that one man can claim to be superior to another?? Money only gives you options in life.. you can't take it with you when your dead! Spend your time on this planet helping others.. don't spread the seed of fear and hate! To quote Yoda: (yes Yoda said some pretty deep stuff under all that nerd stuff) Fear leads to Anger and Anger leads to hatred and hatred leads to suffering!!

    April 26, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. johnnyhouse

    Who is Rand Paul?Is he an offshoot of Ron Paul? Or do you need a new proofreader. I never see a mistake in an ad after all of them finally get loaded.You have slowed the system down so slow now that an ant could pass it or have you sent me a bug to shut the right up?Awaiting moderation

    April 26, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Darryl Schmitz

    I used to regularly donate to Focus on the Family.
    Dr. Dobson's "endorsement" of Trey Grayson sends the message to me that Dr. Dobson is not as much interested in defending the Constitution as he is defending a right-wing power structure in Washington. I cannot condone the way he is willing to truncate the Constitution of the United States – the very document that guarantees his freedom to worship as he chooses – to support an extra-constitutional power structure that centralizes government power at the federal level.

    April 26, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. Texas Doc

    Its tragic how twisted people like Dobson and his supporters are against government intrusion into critical issues like health care and finance, but they insist that government intrude into your church, bedroom, or reproductive decisions. He and his ilk are the American Taliban and they ought to be destroyed because of their hatred for America and democracy.

    April 26, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Justin

    I live in Kentucky and will be supporting Rand Paul. The government should stay out of issues like these, personally Rand Paul or myself don't believe in abortion, but both know that it's not the government's place to govern these decisions. Anyone with a brain would realize that Paul is conservative, but in a completely different way than Grayson says he is.

    Rand Paul will dominate Grayson next month in the Primary

    April 26, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. BC659

    Wow! So far we are all in agreement - but can the Bible quoting zealots be far behind? Jefe, you really said it best when you wrote: "This is a nation which gives you the right to practice your religion as you see fit, and it is also a nation which guarantees everyone's right to freedom of choice."

    April 26, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Djinn

    Congratulation Grayson. You have the endorsement of the American Taliban. What is an American word for Jihad....two words: wingnut Repugnican.

    April 26, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. johnnyhouse

    This is also a nation that let Muslims with an ax to grind fly planes into the Trade Center and the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Can you get any more free with religious practice? I think this woke more people up than any one thing in history to the finer points of religious beliefs and the danger to world peace and the downright savagery of it.

    April 26, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. kayaker247

    these evangelical types are all a bunch of hypocrites. taking your money and preaching high morality. that said, they're almost as bad as politicians. I don't have much use for either but I certainly don't think they have any business being in bed together, no pun intended.

    April 26, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. johnnyhouse

    Many people are anti-abortion yet raise Holy Hell when they find they are keeping up millions of babies without a father or at least one anyone can find.

    April 26, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
1 2 3