April 26th, 2010
12:14 PM ET
10 years ago

Influential evangelical backs Grayson in Kentucky

James Dobson Monday endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson for Senate.

James Dobson Monday endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson for Senate.

(CNN) - The founder of the socially conservative Focus on the Family organization is weighing in on the divisive Republican Senate primary battle in Kentucky.

James Dobson Monday endorsed Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who's fighting Rand Paul for their party's nomination.

"Trey Grayson is the only candidate with the conviction to lead on the issues that matter to Kentucky families," Dobson says in a statement released by the Grayson campaign. "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."

The release notes that Dobson, who no longer heads Focus on the Family, is making the endorsement as a private individual.

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

Bunning endorsed Paul two weeks ago. Last week, former New York City mayor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani endorsed Grayson.

Dobson's backing of Grayson follows his endorsement last week of former Sen. Dan Coats in Indiana. Coats, who is running for the GOP nomination for the right to try and reclaim his old Senate seat, is also considered the favorite of establishment Republicans in the primary battle in Indiana.

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.

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

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • James Dobson • Kentucky • Trey Grayson
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    When it comes to this Church and State needs to be seperated .

    April 26, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Keep the religous zealots out of politics.

    April 26, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. kd

    can't FOTF lose their tax-exempt status with these kind of endorsements?

    April 26, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Terri Geis

    Did you read this he is doing this as a PRIVATE citizen. He no longer heads Focus on the Family.

    April 26, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. Jefe

    As a disclaimer, I'm personally anti-abortion, and straight. That being said, here's my stance:

    If you think the government should legislate morality, please leave the United States of America. This nation is not for you. No religion, should EVER be allowed to spit on the Constitution of the United States.

    This is a nation which gives you the right to practice your religion as you see fit, and it is also a nation which guarantees everyone's right to freedom of choice. Please, funamentalists, quit disrespecting all of the men and women who have fought for our freedom, and please quit spitting in the faces of the citizens of the United States of America. There are theocracies out there. If you want it so bad, please move to one. I hear there is a strong one just east of Iraq.

    April 26, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Steve (the real one)

    1. Dobson is making an endorsement as a PRIVATE citizen
    2. FOTF is NOT a church
    3. Seperation of church and state is not constitutional
    4. "Religous Zealots" has EVERY right to enter into politics, Ever heard of the 1st amendment?

    April 26, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Trey Grayson is a former democrat who really isn't a social conservative or fiscal conservative for that matter. He will say anything or do anything to get elected. He is controlled by the establishment. Anyone endorsing him is responsible for the mess our country is in, period. See Dick Cheney!

    April 26, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Tired Ant

    As a conservative libertarian who greatly desires to see this nation's fiscal house put in order as the founders intended, I believe it's time for Dobson and other social conservatives go take a long vacation.

    Bible-thumping snake handlers simply do not possess the proper set of tools to fix the financial problems we find ourselves in. Only adherence to the framers' words in the constitution will right our financial ship, and Rand Paul is the only logical choice regarding this matter.

    April 26, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. get real

    When will we figure out that government and religion don't mix. I don't care if someone is a Christian extremist or a Muslim extremist, I don't want you making decisions for me and my family. I will choose which religious institution I use as a moral guide. One's religious point of view should not be imposed on all of us through our government. Plain and simple.

    April 26, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    Separation of church and state.

    Do these words not mean anything to the elected officials any longer? THIS is one of the key foundation blocks of America, and they're stomping on it until it's mangled out of existence.

    April 26, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. Terry From West Texas

    I grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church in Fort Worth in the fifties. That congregation was filled with people who were not well educated but whose hearts were solid gold. Looking back on it today, I would trust my wallet and my teenaged daughter to most of that congregation in a crisis. I am confident that when I returned ten years later my wallet would still have the same $500 in it and my daughter would be married to a good Christian boy who worked hard to support his wife and two fine kids.

    That guy could really preach. The very walls shook with fear when he condemned the sinners and angels, I swear, actually hummed in the background when he spoke of our heavenly destination.

    The minister, we later discovered, embezzled a fortune from the church during the 15 years he stood at the pulpit. The "parsonage" turned out to be his private property, though the church had made the house payment for 15 years. Same with the fine furniture the church purchased. Same with the new roof they put on a month before he retired.

    That is the problem with fundamentalists – Jewish, Christian, or Muslim – the crookedest and stupidest people in the bunch are in the pulpit. The sweetest and the finest are sitting in the pews.

    April 26, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Michael from Ventura

    "If Dobbs be for it- who can be against it?"........ME! Whatever he says, do the opposite. These "Christian" politicians give my faith a bad name!

    April 26, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Independent_me

    What a fraud!

    You and the Republicans say that you cherish the sanctity of the unborn life... but don't give a hoot for the living!

    You fight to prevent abortions, then fight to prevent the born child from getting health care, and you fight to enable insurance companies to continue their discriminatory practices!

    You say you cherish the life of the unborn child, yet you fight to prevent its parents from receiving additional unemployment help from the government to feed that child during a time of economic distress...

    You say you love God, but you ridicule and fight against those who want to protect His earth!

    You say you love Christ, the Prince of Peace, but you march in favor of guns. (It is written: Those who live by the sword will die by the sword)

    You say you cherish the Bible, but you say nothing when your prominent voices promote hate and distort the message of Christ by saying that social justice is evil!

    You say you love this country, but you say nothing when people of your Party march to keep the poor from getting health care, and disrespect the President in the most unconscionable manner (Remember, it says in the Bible to respect those in authority because all authority was put in place by God??)

    When it comes right down to it – you disrespect the very God you claim to love and serve by standing with those who would serve the interests of the rich against that of the poor. (Remember, it is written: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven)

    You are leading many astray with your false doctrines.

    April 26, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Michael from Ventura

    Of course I meant Dobson! (Tow crazies in mind!)

    April 26, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Influential to the fringe nut jobs!

    April 26, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. Pragmatic

    Qualifications don't matter to Dobson: He would endorse a three-legged little green man from Mars – who didn't speak English and couldn't pass a literacy test .... as long as the little green man agreed with Dobson about "the Lord."

    See the sign "Don't Make Me Come Down There! signed God.

    April 26, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Al-NY,NY

    That fraud Dobson has no "evangelical" credentials whatsoever. He wrote books on how to raise kids. If I were a politician, all of these thumpers as well as Ghouliani, Failin Palin, and Darth Vadar would be the last people I would want touting my candidacy. The only ones listening are the sheep that follow their word as gospel and listen and worship at the alter of the Oxycotin Blimp and the other GOP shills

    April 26, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Dan

    Now there's areason to vot against Grayson!!

    April 26, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Jane (Minnesota)

    That would be enough of an endorsement for me NOT to vote for the candidate.

    April 26, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Uncle Peno, New Orleans

    Does FOTF have a special section for inbreeding in Appalachia?

    April 26, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. beth

    I'm a Christian, but I'm also aware of the fact that this country and it's government is about people of all faiths (or none), people with all different sexual preferences and people of all different ethnic, race, and social classes....there's good in all people and all are deserving of equal treatment. Maybe, these evangelical, fundamentalists should buy a couple of these states who would be happier if they succeeded from the union and start there own 'Country of People Just Like Me'. Not only would they would be happier, the rest of us wouldn't have to put up with their hatred and we may be able to pay down some of the national debt with the money from selling these states. Just a thought.

    April 26, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Dean

    a religious group has as much right to back a political candidate as a corporation or any other group has. Everyone backs the candidate whose beliefs, as much as possible, follows their own beliefs. This has nothing to do with separation of church and state.
    The liberal mind has trouble with facts and stretches things to fit their agenda. Like permitting abortions because of personal privacy issues.

    April 26, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. SNAPPA

    LOL, one bigot endorsing another. Will wonders never cease.

    April 26, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |

    What does religiosity have to do with politics?

    Any politician endorsed by people like Dobson is certainly a major putz.

    April 26, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Scott

    Yes, he is doing this as a private citizen because he no longer heads FOTF. So I am a bit confused. Why is this news?

    "Psychotic Preacher endorses Psychotic right-wing candidate"

    Isn't there some test like if a dog bites a man it is not news and if a man bites a dog it IS news? A dog bit a man, so what?

    April 26, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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