April 26th, 2010
12:14 PM ET
4 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. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Dobson makes a private donation also known as "money laundrying" which the last time I heard is illegal.

    April 26, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Hey, nice pic of a sweaty d-bag. Social conservativism is at the very root of the societal divide we're enjoying right now. Sure, it's been brought to a head by economic problems and some superficial concern and anger over government spending, but the underlying driving force behind it all is social conservativism. For example, the reality is that people who utter the words "this is a christian nation," don't like our government because government stands in the way of them making that errant claim the truth (it applies to many issues, just choosing this one as convenient). See, government is the reason you actually have rights. Sure, they may be "god-given" and "innate" and "inalienable" and all those other tasty ideological adjectives we apply to them. In the real, practical world, government is what gives you rights by standing between you and those who would take them from you because you're different or disagree with the majority or are otherwise a member of the unpopular minority. Social conservatives have been inconsolably irate for DECADES because the Constitution has consistently been interpreted to disallow them from actually turning the US into THEIR "christian nation" (or insert some other pet phrase of the "family values" crowd). Why? BECAUSE WE'RE NOT. As a result, they inherently distrust (and are angry at) "government" because government won't allow them to force everyone else to live according to their belief system. That's why you have crazy people out there like Pat Robertson claiming that Christians are the ones being oppressed: they view not being allowed to codify their religious dogma and resulting moral codes into our secular laws as a form of oppression. Well, it's not...it's stopping oppression. This is why the extreme right is angry and it is PRECISELY why they are making every effort to move others more right and consolidate and purify. Their next step is fascism (sorry to all you morons calling Obama a fascist, but fascism is an extreme RIGHT wing behavior). They've already started with their little oath about party loyalty, which was page two in Hitler and the Bosheviks' play books...right after page one and the Big Lie.

    April 26, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. jojo

    A religious leader should never get involved in politics IMO, sorry but when a christian does that they compromise their faith. The goal of every Pastor should be to win as many people but playing politics has nothing to do with their calling.

    April 26, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. hongshen Lu

    James Dobson does not understand gospel. He is an Arminian.

    Those "evangelical teachers" don't truly believe salvation by faith alone. They believe salvation by work.

    Grayson is a mush mouth politician. Dobson too. They are more of the same.

    Vote Grayson out.

    April 26, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Kathy

    If he were an actor, singer or other celebrity none of you would complain about him exercizing his right as an American to endorse someone.......as long as the candidate was a democrat, that is!

    April 26, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Shucks

    Do they not realize that endorsements by these religious zealots are only for the religious zealots themselves? People who don't think we should be a country that is run by churches really don't care who these people endorse. Those that vote just following religious lines when it comes to there elected politicians really have to be some of the unhappiest people on the planet. I feel sorry that these religious millionaires go after some of the poorest and most easily influenced people on Earth. They are an extremely easy target to take advantage of and they know it.

    April 26, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Dave W

    Great, another bible thumper; that's all we need!

    April 26, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Why can't Republicans in KY get along?

    April 26, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Dave

    Well Dobson just made it official......he serves the corporate masters, too. Rand Paul is the only candidate that makes any sense at all for senate.

    April 26, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Hendrik

    These people are morons. The masses of believers (really the masses of uninformed fools) fall for this nonsense all the time. I am so glad that I did not read the books written by this fool when someone tried to shove them down my throat.

    Most evangelicals are sorry excuses for human beings. Join me in hell you clowns.

    April 26, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    The endorsement of James Dobson should be more than enough reason for the average sane person to vote for the other guy, no matter who it may be.

    But more importantly, remember in NOvember, Vote NO to the party of NO.

    April 26, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. John/MN

    Jefe, I agree that the government should not legislate morality. But in a real sense, the government and its laws do that every day. Criminal law is based on a sense of morality... what is good for society. What you have missed is that the laws in our country are based on Judeo-Christian tenets, and that is what gives you (and me) the right to speak as we would like, uncensored.

    What would our laws look like if they were based on the Koran, (take a look at freedom of speech in Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.) or what if the laws were based on Confusionism, Buddha, etc. (Ever hear of Google).

    As for your comments about fundamentals 'disrespecting all of the men and women who have fought for our freedom, and please quit spitting in the faces of the citizens of the United States of America.' I am confused how that relates to the political endorsement of a Republican candidate. I did not hear or see any disrespect in either the comment for endorsement, or in the reporting of the facts in this story, nor do I see how such an endorsement is 'spitting in anyone's' face.

    April 26, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. John independent from NY

    Here is the biggest problem with the Republican Party they have sold out to the Religion special interests. They have lost their direction of being a sensible fiscally conservative party. Thus they have lost most young people.

    April 26, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Lee, Ann Arbor Michigan

    Libs interpret the "separation of chuch and state" to suit their own needs and sell their evil ways...it was meant to keep Government from forcing on them the Church as it was in England.

    Dr. Dobson, as a private citizen, has every right to get involved in campaigns just as former secular leaders can and do. Look at George Soros....he is an athesist and gives millions to the liberal causes, but I don't see anybody complaining about him.

    April 26, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. BB

    Dobson is one of the biggest Hypocrits ever!
    This old, white, gray, pale, stale geezer needs to go away and stay out of people's lives!!!
    I am white, I am married, I am catholic, I am a proud Democratic Liberal I am pro-choice (what other women legally do is none of my business, nor is it anyone else's), I am pro-family, I have 2 wonderful kids and 4 wonderful grandchildren and I made sure my children knew the difference between right and wrong and what is right and what is wrong. Needless to say...they are also Democratic Liberals!
    Go away Dobson, Go away!!!

    April 26, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. OBS....

    I wonder how long it will be before some BRAVE POLITICIAN has the nerve to tell these bible thumping preachers to get out that fat church check book and start paying taxes like other good law abiding businesses do. The day of the church getting away with not paying taxes should have long ago passed away. Now if they feel they should be able to dictate to their people who to vote for and who not, the least they can do is start paying their fair share of the tax burdon they have long shurked away onto the rest of us.

    April 26, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. OBS....

    I wonder how long it will be before some BRAVE POLITICIAN has the nerve to tell these bible thumping preachers to get out that fat church check book and start paying taxes like other good law abiding businesses do. The day of the church getting away with not paying taxes should have long ago passed away. Now if they feel they should be able to dictate to their people who to vote for and who not, the least they can do is start paying their fair share of the tax burdon they have long shurked away onto the rest of us. When oh when is the church going to stand up and be square...???

    April 26, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Laverne

    The last person (McCain) Dobson publically endorsed lost big time!

    April 26, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. SLP

    If you think the government should legislate morality, please leave the United States of America

    Oh please! Democrats always scream about how government shouldn't legislate morality until it is a cause that they are passionate about. What the heck do you think that this healthcare bill is? It is forced charity. It is the government MAKING me give my hard earned money to other people. Isn't charity and giving to the poor a moral issue? I give because I want to, not because government mandates it. It isn't charity if it is something you are forced to do. If you are going to use an argument, don't be hypocritical about it. As for abortion, murder is against the law for both christians and nonchristians. So, technically, it is a societal issue, not a religious one. It just happens to be christians calling it what it is, murder.

    April 26, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Robert

    Yes, he's a private citizen, just like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Nevertheless they are all public figures.

    And I'm apt to not support anyone he endorses.

    This guy is a lunatic. As far as I'm concerned, he hasn't got a clue what this country is all about.

    April 26, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Tom Walls

    James Dobson is another big-government conservative who uses social issues as a club. As a free market libertarian, I usually find myself supporting whomever James Dobson doesn't support. There is no question that Rand Paul, although a little too socially conservative for my tastes, is the superior candidate in this race. Grayson is merely an establishment hack.

    April 26, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Dobson is a fool

    April 26, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Jim

    Dobson is a joke and needs to be told to shut-up.

    April 26, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. joel palmer

    This is a secular country and right wing moralists like Dobson are an affront to the rest of us who do not need to "fear god" to lead a good life. We do it because it's the right thing not because we fear some imaginary deity.

    April 26, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. moesmum

    Jefe, GREAT COMMENT! It is one of the very few sensible statements I have ever seen on here. You are absolutely correct. All of us should take heed and stop stepping all over individual's rights in the name of religion. Not everyone is religious. We all have the right of freedom to choose whatever we want. No one of us has the right to tell anyone what they should or should not do. So please, do as Jefe suggests. If you don't like freedom of choice, move out of the US.

    April 26, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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