TIME: Behind the scenes, Christian right leaders rally behind Rick Perry
July 5th, 2011
09:34 AM ET
3 years ago

TIME: Behind the scenes, Christian right leaders rally behind Rick Perry

(TIME) - In early June, TIME has learned, a group of prominent figures on the Christian Right held a conference call to discuss their dissatisfaction with the current GOP presidential field, and agreed that Rick Perry would be their preferred candidate if he entered the race. Among those on the call were Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council; David Barton, the Texas activist and go-to historian for the Christian Right; and John Hagee, the controversial San Antonio pastor whose endorsement John McCain rejected in 2008.

Religious conservatives have often played a substantial role in choosing past Republican nominees, but leaders on the Christian Right have been conspicuously quiet so far in this campaign season. Privately, however, they are enthusiastic about Perry and are encouraging the Texas governor to throw his ten-gallon hat into the ring.

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Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Christian beliefs say the devil will return as a false prophet during the end times. How can people who claim to embrace Christianity show such scorn and lack of empathy to our nation's weak and poor is blasphemous.

    July 5, 2011 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. berry

    "Separation of Church and State! Americans cannot let Evangelical Extremism,take our country down???? Hipocracy,bigotry,and racism,is all the southern Gop wants! Obama 2012.

    July 5, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. Equality 4 all

    Please run. A flashback gov. From the civil war era will be easy for Obama to beat.

    July 5, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    Good. Let the zealots get behind and endorse an unelectable Texas Republican..(remember GHWB, Duh Duh Duh-bya?) and watch him crash and burn if he gets the nomination

    July 5, 2011 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. s kel

    i see the hipicrital tea party deamons are ploting to get their leader rick" saten ,2 nation" perry to be pres.

    July 5, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. GI Joe

    NOOOOOOOOO! Not another ignorant beer-drinking, pistol-shooting, republican governor from Texas. It will take us decades to recover from the last one.

    July 5, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. GI Joe

    Texas is in a dought. If all the red-neck beer drinkers peed outside, they'd have floods.

    July 5, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. John

    How can any body vote for a man that wanted to take Is State and Secede from the union. Doesn't It make this man A trader of America. Surely that would make him not a Person that should run this fine Country. I want someone that would stand up for what America believe In and fight for and Die for. Now someone who have Proven He Is a RACIST, and doesn't believe all man are the same no matter what color his skin IS.

    July 5, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. Dave

    How is it that the religious right always seems to get behind the candidate with the IQ of a Butterball Turkey? Maybe it's because these drooling zealots function on the same level.

    July 5, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. GI Joe

    They want to legislate our morals. THEY LIE and tell us they will bring us jobs, then they ban abortions (legal), de-regulate (kill our environment), and give MORE tax cuts to corporations.

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO

    July 5, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    Perkins and Hagee's bigotry and weaknesses ( ie, Hagee's anti-Catholicism) are well-known, but Barton is a far more dangerous person, since he has been one of the guiding forces behind Glen Beck's psuedo-intellectualism. The re-arranging of facts to create narratives that are patently false, such as the idea that the US was created as a Christian nation (please check Enlightenment, Deism, and the Founding Fathers when you get the chance), in order to keep conservative Christians happy and to give the public ( which has trouble remembering the significance of 1776) the impression they are well-read, deep thinkers, is an exercise in brainwashing by people who detest free will. On top of that, they are supporting Perry, who has a recurring seccession problem: why is he even bothering to consider running for POTUS when its clear he thinks the Union is some kind of open marriage, where people can come and go as they please? Barton has been using a patchwork quilt of lies and moral laziness to give Conservative Christian an intellectual fig leaf to cover their inadequecies, and he needs to be called out and asked to explain his worthless propaganda (I will never call it history). When people don't bother to read history, people like Barton will come in, and under the the guise of education, tell you what makes a real American when it cannot be supported by the facts. Perry is too arrogant and egotistical to see he's being played.

    July 5, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Greg in Arkansas

    If he chooses to not follow Christ's teachings of "love thy enemy" ....the least he could do is "love thy friends" instead of trying to "judge" and destroy everyone he does not agree with.......using the Bible to get votes is WRONG...

    July 5, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Gideon

    People like these make me ashamed to call myself a Christian.

    We need to rise up and cast these demons out.

    July 5, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Bill from GA

    I like the way he complained about the Stimulus, refused to take any (not sure if he finally took any or not),. Wanted to secede from the USA. Then this year, when Texas gets their yearly wildfires, gets upset because he can't get Texas declared a national disaster area.

    Perry accused President Obama of neglecting Texas and slammed the administration for failing to declare it a disaster from the wildfire damage. Even though many federal agencies were already fighting the fires.

    I guess the Christian Right have no problem with hypocrites.

    July 5, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    TIME: Behind the scenes, Christian right leaders rally behind Rick Perry
    Does this means the rest of the country does NOT have to worry???
    The RIGHT is throwing EVERYTHING on the wall to see what sticks!
    Let me tell you right now – it WON'T be Rick!!!

    July 5, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. pn

    I don't really think Obama is doing a great job. Still, if the GOP picks a creationist nitwit I will be out campaigning for him.

    July 5, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Dan from Tx

    Not only have churches stolen trillions in revenue by avoiding being taxed on their product and property, they insist on meddling in our political affairs. TAX THEM ALREADY!!! Then use Jesus's money to heal the sick the way he would have wanted.

    July 5, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Nurse Lisa

    to Rudy in NYC –
    Christian beliefs say the devil will return as a false prophet during the end times. TRUE!

    How can people who claim to embrace Christianity show such scorn and lack of empathy to our nation's weak and poor is blasphemous. Their Christian talk, does not match their Christian walk. This doesn't mean all Christians agree only with the GOP (I don't)

    July 5, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    Americans may be growing bored with this far right religious family values bunch that are always preaching morality then you get a Sen Vitter that blows the whole thing up. We need someone in the WH that respects that America has ALL kind of religions and even non-belivers. Not one that trys to FORCE their belief on everyone and call those who are different sinners!! Ricky Perry fits the far right religious mode which is why Tony Perkins likes him so much. Doesn't matter I guess that he governs like CRAP!

    July 5, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Do we know where he stands on things like creationism... Oh, I mean intelligent design which doesn't matter because neither are predictive. The last time we had a governor of Texas as president, he fouled up the economy and made the country despised.

    July 5, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. carrotroot

    Perry for President? No Thanks. The last Texan we had ran the country into the ground, and this guy's policies are so similar to Dubya that he could almost be called his twin.

    July 5, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Jilli

    "Christian" leaders? One of the religious groups sponsoring this event is classified as a hate groupfor their views on gays and lesbians. Funny, I thought that "Christians" believe that we're ALL God's children, not just the ones they personally approve of.

    The approval of these groups give me one more solid reason for never voting for Rick Perry – my first reason...I live in Texas and have seen what type of governor he is. Of course, a trained monkey could be the governor of TX, GW Bush proved it.

    July 5, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |