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. Bush's Favorite Things: Blanky, Bikey & Nappy

    You elected this closet right-wing nutjob, Virginia, now deal with it.

    November 19, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Bob (Illinois)

    This just illustrates the fact that Pat Robertson is an idiot!

    This also doesn't reflect positively on McDonnell, either.

    November 19, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Objective Thinking

    I don't recall CNN reporting on Obama "Refusing to Stand Up for Muslims" when he was accused of being Muslim.

    When people called Obama a Muslim, his only answer was to refute them and say he wasn't a Muslim. Not ONCE did he come out and say "So what if I WAS a Muslim? What's wrong with that?"

    Essentially, CNN is reporting on McDonnell for not standing up for Muslims, but they won't mention it when Obama failed to live up to that standard.

    November 19, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. cju

    Really, I think the same could be said for Christianity. It's not a religion, it's a political system bent on global domination. It all depends on which side of the fence you are sitting on Mr. Robertson.

    November 19, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. REG in AZ

    The Republicans are consistently being aggressive and grossly dishonest, even using bazaar and irresponsible statements, all without any conscience in their efforts to excite emotions and control public opinion. They demand total loyalty and unity from their representatives, coerced with threats and evidenced in their word-for-word repetition of their scripted messages. In it all they are belligerent and ‘in your face’ arrogant, which at best is disgusting. The American people should literally be offended by all of it yet many accept the subterfuge and simply use it to rationalize their predetermined positions. How very short some memories are (reference Bush-Cheney 2000-2008). What is really needed is responsible bipartisan fine-tuning of the proposals and efforts, and not poorly disguised self-focused obstructionist efforts to return to ‘more of the same’, the ‘same’ that cost us so much and would now again promise only more benefit for Special Interests and the select few, once more paid for by the majority. That is ridiculous!

    November 19, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. DG

    Shame on you McDonnell

    November 19, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Good job Virginia. Don't say you weren't warned about this religious nutjob.

    November 19, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Patrick - Indianapolis

    There is nothing good to say about Pat Robertson. He is scum and so help him when he dies he will be judged for the things he has done. The devil should reserve him a nice hot coal to sit on for eternity. You shouldn't use religion to push your own greedy agenda.

    November 19, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. vgal

    Did anyone really expect anything different from mcdonnell? he wrote a paper telling his beliefs – against women being anything other than his servant and baby mamas – and everyone said he had changed. Well, you people voted him in now live with the crazy.

    November 19, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Rayne Williams

    Of course he's not going to disavow remarks from someone who gives him lots of money, and who can whip up a lot of the 'base' into unthinking frenzies. That might actually show a backbone.

    November 19, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    AND, there is more to come..... Voters who will complain NOW and until the end of his term – who DID NOT vote to keep him out of office – should have NOTHING to say NOW!!!!

    His true nature is emerging and if you are RAISED in a certain way and THINK a certain and then change that personality just to get elected – it will NOT be long before your true nature is EXPOSED!!

    ronald McDonnell knows good and well he has the same views of Robertson if he cannot denounce him................. President Obama was BEAT UP over Rev. Wright – and still is TODAY according to PALIN – even after Obama admitted he DID NOT share his views!!!!

    I tried to get people to the polls but they felt this election was NOT important – maybe in 2010-2012, they will WAKE UP!!!

    November 19, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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