May 3rd, 2010
12:19 PM ET
5 years ago

About face by Dobson in Kentucky endorsement

(CNN) – The founder of Focus on the Family, the influential socially conservative organization, is switching his endorsement in the divisive Republican Senate primary battle in Kentucky.

James Dobson Monday endorsed Rand Paul after originally backing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson last week.

"Have you ever made an embarrassing mistake? I did just that last week. I was given misleading information about the candidacy of Dr. Rand Paul, who is running in the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate. Senior members of the GOP told me Dr. Paul is pro-choice and that he opposes many conservative perspectives, so I endorsed his opponent," Dobson said in a statement released Monday by the Paul campaign.

"But now I've received further information from OB/GYN's in Kentucky whom I trust, and from interviewing the candidate himself. I now know that he is avidly pro life. He believes that life begins at conception," added Paul.

Dobson is no longer the head of Focus on the Family and is making the endorsements as a private citizen.

Grayson and Paul, a physician and the son of 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 picked up a major endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Most recent polls indicate that Paul leads Grayson in the GOP primary matchup. Three other lesser-known Republican candidates are also in the race.

Last month, Bunning endorsed Paul and former New York City mayor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani endorsed Grayson. The Grayson campaign announced Monday that Rep. Hal Rogers, who has represented southeast Kentucky for 30 years, backed Grayson. The district could be instrumental in the outcome of the May 18 primary.

In originally backing Grayson, Dobson said "Trey Grayson is the only candidate with the conviction to lead on the issues that matter to Kentucky families. 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."

Dobson, in switching his endorsement, added that Paul "opposes earmarking and supports Israel. He identifies with the Tea Party movement and believes in home schooling. Sounds like my kind of man."

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. The influential evangelical also endorsed former Sen. Dan Coats in the race for GOP Senate nomination in Indiana.

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

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • James Dobson • Kentucky • Rand Paul • Trey Grayson
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    And we care what Dobson thinks because. . . . . . . . . . ?

    May 3, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Laverne

    This is a perfect example of an idiot. This goes to show how people don't do their homework and research in the first place, but rather go by what people are telling you. Shame on your Mr. Dodson, you should keep your mouth shut anyways!

    May 3, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Thomas

    This is fitting blowback for the Grayson Campaign!

    He campaign has been one of lies and smears.

    May 3, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Because a candidate's stance on a single hot-button social issue is the most important thing to consider when deciding who will govern us in these interesting times. Right. Have a nice day!

    May 3, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Dennis

    Dobson himself is an embarrassing mistake. His mother should have aborted him. How he can tell everybody else how to live their lives, but shelter all the sick behavior of his buddies on C Street, is way beyond me. Another case of a religious zealot saying do as I say, not as I do. HYPRCRITE!

    May 3, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. LTOT

    That would be my lifelong wish, to be endorsed by James Dobson and Sarah Palin...NOT!!!

    May 3, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Rosslaw

    Hey, anybody can make a mistake. For instance, John McCain cleared up that confusion stemming from a mass halucination where people thought he used to refer to himself as a "maverick".

    May 3, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Michael from Ventura

    Dr. Dobson should have stuck with Family issues and stayed out of politics- he is an obvious idiot when it comes to these things.

    May 3, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. jbakaregit

    I did just that last week. I was given misleading information about the candidacy of Dr. Rand..."

    So you had to ask the higher ups in the GOP information about a candidate? Mr. Dobson, why didn't you do the research on the candidate yourself?

    The only reason this guy is doing this is b/c he wants to endorse the front-runner, since his candidate Grayson has fallen way behind.

    With that said, my endorsement for congressman is another Grayson who's a fighter for the people, gets up in the GOPers face when they lie & don't do right by the American people, and is a strong progressive who wants to audit the Fed. His name is Alan Grayson

    Alan Grayson for Congress 2010-

    May 3, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. mike

    The Real story here maybe that Dobson, and the likes, tend to endorse who they are told about, without looking into the candidates themselves. See " The Cave" by Plato

    May 3, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    The GOP is so used to telling lies that now they are even telling lies to each other. It also shows that even the so called leaders aren't capable of doing their own research. This is so typical of the GOP.

    In NOvember, Vote NO to the party of NO.

    May 3, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Typical conservative- speak without all the facts.
    Maybe someday he will read something for himself instead of "hearing" from others before opening his mouth.

    May 3, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. Mike

    As a young Christian listening to Focus I used to really respect Dr. Dobson. And in matters of family I still do, but the more he dabbles in politics the less I like his evolving role and kinda wish he would stick with family matters lest it diminish his role as a wise man.

    May 3, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Kentucky

    If Rand Paul believes that life begins at conception, and that a fertilized human egg is just as much a person as a 3 year old child, then will he fight to outlaw birth contol methods that destroy fertilized human eggs? Will Paul fight to outlaw IUD's and Birth Control Pills? Will he fight to close America's fertility clinics? In Kentucky we know that Paul dislikes Medicare, but we do not know just how pro-life he is. Will Paul oppose embryonic stem cell research that could lead to information that saves a 3 year old child's life? We just do not know much about Rand Paul's views.

    May 3, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Bill

    Does anyone really care what this zealot thinks? Perhaps only the far right fringe elements of the GOP; most notably, Pat Robertson and the American Center for Law and Justice.

    May 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. lexi

    and his decision to endorse a candidate is based on only one issue?
    Hmmmmmmmm.

    May 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Shucks

    Alot of confusion even in who they endorse. What a bunch of moronic fools. The Republican party is pathetic.

    May 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    But it's Dobson. His endorsement is irrelevant. Why does it matter?

    May 3, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. tim

    First–who cares about James Dobson ? A complete dimwit. Secondly–who would endorse someone they had NOT interviewed? As usual it's the blind leading the blind. Everything's fine in Kentucky.

    I'd vote for Super Saver and his Jockey for any position of importance.

    May 3, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. sharon

    sounds like they are totaly confussed................

    May 3, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    this miscue and failure to do proper vetting is ALMOST as bad as McCain's packing of that Alaskan dimwit as his running mate in the 2008 election....ALMOST

    May 3, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. Voice of Reason

    Sound confusing? It should. Dr. Dobson should stick to focusing on the family, and stay away from politics – He obviously has no idea what he's talking about. The rest of will do our homework and vote for whomever works best for us, thank you very much.

    May 3, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. juanbojab

    One of the first group in the united states to come out and be the most racist of all is the called "La Raza." this group main idea is to suppossibly have a common front of Hispanic, but mainly Mexican immigrants. Listen to them talk and their actions, we are racists.

    Mexico has no tolerance for immigrants legal or illegal and if you do what they mexican government does in this country, get into the politics of the states or the government, they will throw you out of the country n matter if you are there legally.

    Illigals in mexico have no right, the ones they claim we have to give the illegals in this country. What part of illegal is the one people are complaining about? I ask the country, do we have to stand and listen to a few dictate what we have to do in this country since our federal laws says an illegal person is not to be here? around 20 millions illegal, all here and all have a job or they would haveleft the country and our national unemployment is about 30 millions, it will help those without a job to get 20 millions out.

    May 3, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Sarcastic

    Social Conservatism is trying to make sure the groom stays proper while the house burns down.

    We don't have the time or the money or the reason to force religious issues through government anymore.

    May 3, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Conservative Democrat

    Someone has to explain to me how being against abortion (or even for it) makes someone competent to run a state.

    May 3, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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