February 9th, 2008
07:38 AM ET
9 years ago

Huckabee 'taken aback' by Dobson endorsement


Watch Huckabee's comments on Dobson Friday.

(CNN) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told reporters Friday he learned influential Christian conservative James Dobson had endorsed his presidential campaign when he received an e-mail citing news reports of the nod. The former Baptist minister said he had recently asked Dobson for his backing – but that the Focus on the Family founder had kept his plans to himself.

Dobson is a vocal and long-standing critic of GOP frontrunner Sen. John McCain. Last month, he lauded Huckabee's win in the Iowa caucuses as evidence of the continued strength of the evangelical movement.

Huckabee said he appreciated the endorsement saying Dobson's "still got a lot of credibility with people across the country, and is looked to as the remaining mega-giant within evangelical circles, and so I think it's a very significant endorsement."

- CNN's Wes Little

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Rex

    Back when I was a naive Republican, I used to listen to Dobson and I admit, I liked him. For the past 10 years or so, I've come to dispise his political rhetoric.
    The man is a neocon fascist that ought to really focus on the family and stay out of politics.

    February 9, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. 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 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Richard

    Go Mike Go!

    February 9, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Linda Carpenter, Phoenix, Arizona

    Oh for the days when one's religion was not a factor in their politics. Oh for a day when Americans see people like James Dobson for what they are-close minded, reactionary , war mongering , people hating – I can never call them Christians for nothing they do would be what Jesus would want people to do.

    It is sad and frightening that a man who says he will rewrite the Constitution to fit his God's rules can garner any support. This is America! The separation of church and state has allowed us to thrive and survive –
    we are not to be ruled by reactionaries!

    I wish Dobson would worry about all of the poor and suffering in this nation and around the world and keep himself out of politics. He does a disservice to all
    people with his narrow minded, money grubbing, hyocritical , power hungry life.

    February 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Willy

    Mike Huckabee in 2008! The only canidate out of the 4 that is not a liberal.

    February 9, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. hananiel

    I think people underestimate the conservative vote in general. I think most people in the US and even immigrants – Hispanics , Asians tend to be conservative in their views. So far the vote has been fractured on the republican side. The media never considered Huckabee as viable, but now differences between him and Sen. Mc Cain, will become sharper and people will start moving to Huckabee in droves. Now whether or not that makes him the nominee is questionable, but what America will see is the strength of the conservative movement. It just might make Huckabee the nominee and by then the dust would have settled on both Iraq and the economy and pave the way for the 44th president of the United States- President Mike Huckabee.

    February 9, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. Left of the Right

    "One of our own" Dobson said about Huckabee during his endorsement.

    How about ALL Americans being "your own".

    It's the sort of savage bigotry that is anti-american, anti-freedom and anti-patriotic. That sort of divisive rhetroic has done more damage to the US than the terrorists.

    God Save The USA

    February 9, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. Dems for Jesus

    Dobson's rhetoric is the launching pad for bigotted inflitration and religious extremism. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of him, you know, strong-arm dictator...It's a whole lot easier have some overt operatives (like Dems in the White House) do the job and then get it over with.

    ....to paraphrase Pat Robertson.

    February 9, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  9. Alex

    Does anyone still care who Dobson endorses? I mean, he's not really considered a kingmaker or anything.

    February 9, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. jamie

    It's an endorsement by a dinosaur.

    February 9, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Tom Wittmann

    All what Huckabee is trying to achieve is to ensure that McCain will offer him the VP position (and possibly the commitment not to run 2012 and support Huckabee then, even if the latter is a long shot), stressing that this would signify the support
    of (nearly all) very conservatives.

    Even if such would be a good move, McCain nevertheless would be well advised to scale down his woeing of such conservatives, as this helps the democrats by repealing independents and cross-over Democrats (as well as Colin Powell ??!)


    February 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Sue, Greensboro, NC

    I would not be so proud of the support from that corner. This faction has done more to divide the political arena than any group, cult or other organization in history.

    February 9, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Marti San Diego, CA

    GIve it up Huck. This endorsement is nice, but won't change the eventual outcome. It's over.

    February 9, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Tangiew5


    February 9, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    I noticed that my blogs no longer get through CNN. What's up?

    February 9, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  16. Anthony Elmo

    I want to applaud all the Obama volunteers that spread out across DC last night in Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, and U St. to hand out flyers and speak with hundreds if not thousands of supporters. The energy was amazing! There were no Hillary supporters to be found. DC will go for Obama, as will Maryland and Virginia! Get out and vote! Yes we can!

    February 9, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  17. Virginia

    Dobson and the far right keeps trying to regain their hold on our national politics. Hopefully, our voters have seen what kind of disaster resulted from putting a 'so-called' born again christian in office. Never have we had more dispicable thugs running our country. From Bush and Rove, Rummy and Scooter and on down the line, this has been the most corrupt administration in history.

    February 9, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. LBerry

    Does this sound like separation of Church and State? An Evangelical TV stars endorsement on President sounds like a lobby in the making. What will the political payback be? Will he expect his choice for President to play favors after election? Money isn't the only thing in lobbying. TV star preachers can also collect a lot of money from poor unsuspecting "Believers."

    February 9, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Christian conservative James Dobson and his evangelical nut jobs in 'Focus on the Family' scare the beejeezus out of me. The evangelical, far right opinons gave Bush the support to get and stay in office. Considering how poorly he's handled the economy, health care, the war and just about everything he's touched. He's taken us from a budget surplus that he inherited from Clinton and given us a $10 trillion deficit that we'll be paying off for generations. His budget was $2 trillion in '02 and now he's proposing a $3 trillion budget. Don't talk to me about 'tax and spend' Democrats when the fiscal mismanagement on the right, as supported by whackos like Dobsen and the religious nuts, is slowly taking America into the toilet. The religious right is more concerned with abortions, flag burning and guns, when those of us with an IQ larger than our shoe size are concentrating on avoiding recession, ending the illegal war, fixing our economy, contolling our borders and getting the health care system fixed. I guess I can safely say that if the evangelicals support a candidate, then he's the LAST person I'd even consider voting for.

    February 9, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Bob

    As an evangelical Christian myself, I think Dobson and those like him who have pushed our faith into the political sphere have irreparably damaged its witness for a generation. When someone outside of Christianity (or inside it, for that matter) looks at the hateful and divisive things that have been done in its name for political "gain," how could anyone ever be more interested in finding out what Christianity is about.

    Dobson used to be "focused on the family." He is now clearly focused on power, and the Bible does have a lot to say on that matter (a thousand times more for instance, than regarding homosexuality, abortion, etc.).

    While I don't bear any particular ill will towards Huckabee (although a few things he has said concern me), I do hope this endorsement further marginalizes the voice of far-right political Christianity.

    February 9, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. John Allan

    Before Mitt Romney dropped out, Dobson had said he would vote for Romney. So this "endorsement" of Huckabee is a case of "he's the only conservative left", not that Dobson is enamored with Huckabee (he isn't or he would have endorsed him a lot earlier). This is a largely symbolic vote for Dobson since most people agree Huckabee doesn't have a legitimate chance to win.

    February 9, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Clifton

    "Taken aback?" If Dobson endorsed a candidate I can understand how badly they wish he would "take it back" as it is support by a divisive, discriminating and fear governed group that preys on people's weeknesses by focusing on irrelevant issues. We've seen this before! AMERICA WANTS CHANGE!!!

    February 9, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Mike in Cleveland

    To sum up the story:

    "Agent of intolerance supports non-believer in Evolution"

    Religion and Politics mix like Oil and Water – not good. Stop trying to enforce your religious views upon other people, keep it to yourselves.

    February 9, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Eric, Naperville, IL

    What part of "there shall be no religious test for office" do these idiots not understand?

    February 9, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Tom, Boston MA

    Nothing about whether you agree on anything with Dobson, HUckster? Hmmm

    February 9, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
1 2