November 19th, 2009
06:03 PM ET
13 years ago

McDonnell won’t disavow Robertson’s Islam remarks

CEDAR CREEK, Texas (CNN) - Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell on Wednesday would not disavow Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson’s recent claim that Islam is not a religion, but “a violent political system.”

McDonnell, though, stressed that he reached out to Muslims and visited mosques in Virginia throughout the governor’s race and will continue to do so when he takes office in January.

Muslim groups have called on McDonnell to condemn the remark because Robertson is a longtime political benefactor of the Republican, who won a blowout victory in this year’s closely-watched gubernatorial election.

McDonnell attended law school at CBN University (now Regent University), founded by Robertson, and has accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the televangelist along with appearing on his show, “The 700 Club.”

“I’ve got probably 15,000 donors to the campaign and I can’t stand and defend or support every comment that any donor might make,” McDonnell said in response to a question from CNN at the Republican Governors Association annual meeting near Austin. “I think people are entitled under the First Amendment to express whatever opinions that they may have, but I can only say that as governor of Virginia, I intend to have an inclusive administration where we bring people across the political and religious system to help us govern.”

Robertson made the comments on his show on November 9 after the shooting rampage at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas. The suspected gunman, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, is a Muslim who was critical of U.S. military activity in Iraq and Afghanistan

“Islam is a violent, I was going to say religion, but it's not a religion. It's a political system,” Robertson said. “It's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination. That is the ultimate aim.”

When asked if he believes Islam is “a violent political system,” McDonnell said no, but he did not condemn Robertson.

“I think that there are people in various religions that do some violent things and they should be judged according to their acts,” he explained. “But I have believed that there are people of all the great religions, that can be enormously helpful in our multicultural Virginia to help them to benefit us in the state.”

Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Extra • Pat Robertson
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. southerncousin

    I don't understand the gist of this? Exactly why should he disavow himself from Roberston? Is this some sort of attempt by the libertards to make a conservative governor and a conservative talk show host look bad? Would they not be better off finding out why Charlie Rangel is still chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee or why all of the Democratic congressman keep going to the Carribean for "educational" junkets, paid for by either the taxpayer, or corporations they are supposed to be regulating? CNN should look in to these things perhaps. I know it won't because it would upset the liberals and you could be banned from the White House, like Fox News. That is going real well isn't it.

    November 19, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Jason

    And we wonder why the hate us? Christians are so wrapped up in their own ego's, they forget they colonized Africans on the pretext of christianity (give Africans the Bible and then steal their land). Christianity has commited more hateful crimes than all other religions combined. There is no difference between someone like Pat Robertson and Osama Bin Laden. They are both cut from the same cloth

    November 19, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    another GOP hypocrite right-winger nutcase.... this is NOT a christian world, you moron...

    November 19, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. Ted

    Just standard issue hypocrisy. What did you expect?

    November 19, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Tram

    Robertson's an idiot. He's always been an idiot. Why should an idiotic statement by him be a surprise?

    Islam is much more than a religion. It's also a way of life, part of the government, it's much more ingrained in some aspects of life than Americans would consider because we separate Church and State.

    Oh, and one other thing, Robertson, not all members of the Islamic faith are wanting to fly airplanes into tall skyscrapers just like all members of your sect of Christianity is as idiotic as you are.

    November 19, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. Connie, Indiana

    here we go...if McDonnell believes the statement is wrong, what is wrong with saying so.. I think he is sitting on the fence, you don't slap the hand that feeds you. This country is going to erupt in a civil war, because of this and the tea-baggers agenda..Not one on the republican side will say a word to denounce this nonsense..this will continue to fester and then it will blow.

    November 19, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. too bad the republiklans lack ideas

    Virginians are getting what they deserve; a hard-right wing NUT who thumbs his nose down at women and women's right and everything & everyone he deems un-American!!!

    November 19, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Lynne

    So McDonnell won't explain why Palin never campaigned for him and now won't condem the accusation made against 1.2 billion Muslims in the world. Sounds like an indecisive person who is afraid to take a stand against the conservative "watchdogs" now in control of the Republican Party.

    November 19, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  9. Brad - Ohio

    Pat Robertson's comments are typical of those who claim to be Christians but really live in the Old Testament world of "an eye for an eye." Robertson's brand of racist bigotry is totally opposite from what Christ taught his followers but, sadly, energizes some Americans who want to force their own radical views on others. The GOP's effort to fill their war chest with blood money will ultimately hurt us all.

    November 19, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    “I’ve got probably 15,000 donors to the campaign and I can’t stand and defend or support every comment that any donor might make,”

    All you cons remember this the next time you flood this board with statements stating President Obama should attack someone for saying something.

    I agree neither are responsible for the statements of others.

    November 19, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. Charles

    Ahh the typical "I didn't say i agree with him, but he did give me a lot of money so I better have his back" response. Pat Robertson should be ashamed of himself. Some "christian"

    November 19, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. Howard

    This is the first evidence that old Bob McDonnell who hid during the campaign so the new (kinder and gentler) Bob McDonnell could win votes, will in fact be the Bob McDonnell who gets sworn in as governor.

    Wolves sometimes don sheep's clothing, but leopards never change their spots.

    November 19, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. DJ in TX

    As much as I don't agree with McDonnell on a lot of things, he's OK on this one. Pat Robertson calls himself a Christian, but to blasts a religion like this doesn't seem the the Christian thing to do. What is a person said the same thing about Christianity? BTW – there are people who kill in the name of Christianity as well. Need an example – the guy who killed Dr. Tiller or the guy who went on the rampage at the Holocaust Musuem.................People who kill are wrong no matter what their religion is. I used to respect Pat back in the day, but now, instead of remaining a minister preaching the word of God, he is moving into the political arena.

    November 19, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. Ashex

    Pat Robertson has a long, long record of being a kook and some say a crook. Don't take what he says too seriously folks.

    November 19, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  15. Loyal Obama Supporter

    That's pretty funny coming from a member of the American Taliban. The right wing, republican extremists in this country are the ones that have declared a Christian jihad on the American People. The treasonous cowards are no different than the Taliban in Afghanistan/Pakistan. They must be destroyed at all costs.

    November 19, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. JohnM

    I think this gutless reaction tells everybody what they need to know about this weasel elect.

    November 19, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  17. Jack Fl

    One nut calling another nut a nut! Is the media trying to create a little sensationism over a few cracked nuts?

    November 19, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  18. haren

    With this type of behavior we are going to make 6,000000 Muslim population in to terrorist.

    November 19, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  19. dave

    Wow, the wolf shows the true colors. Play the moderate to get elected and then BAM the extreme right wing views come out. Did anyone think that his mind really changed since the thesis he wrote in college? The people of Virginia deserve what they got. Have a happy next couple of years in extreme right wing conservative land!

    November 19, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  20. Minnesotan

    Oh, those silly Republicans. They just LOVE to hate other people.

    November 19, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. russell

    Virginians are in for a lot of heartache with these racist republicans in office , they need to declare the republican part as terrorist , I've never in all my years of living have seen such bigotry ,openly and blatenly disrespectful toward another religion , I hope all muslims that are US citizens remember these kinds of remarks by the republicans come 2010 and 2012 elections ..................

    November 19, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. Mike Dallas

    “I think that there are people in various religions that do some violent things and they should be judged according to their acts,”

    "christian" cons gunning down a defenseless doctor in his church comes to mind...

    November 19, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. rta

    just look at sarah palin, she listened to witch doctors all expressing her faith in christianity. yet when she espouses hate based on her limited understanding of the country she professes to love and the world she lives in she can't do anything put up profiling as a truth.
    john mccain, i wonder if you are sorry you unleashed this pandora out of control paragon on to the rest of us. you should be

    November 19, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. Wil

    How hard is it to say "i don't agree with the statement and I condemn comments like that. They are not productive in today's world and respect Islam as a religion."

    November 19, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  25. Mary

    Why is anyone surprised? Isn't this the guy who wrote the paper about how working women are ruining Western Civilization, but he doesn't believe that anymore, i.e., that was youthful ignorance? Yeah, it was ignorant, and leopards don't change their stripes. He reminds me of Phyllis Schafly of Eagle Forum. It's okay for her to be free to do and be who she wants, and her gay son, but not for every other woman or gay person.

    November 19, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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