May 3rd, 2010
12:19 PM ET
13 years ago

About face by Dobson in Kentucky endorsement

(CNN) – The founder of Focus on the Family, the influential socially conservative organization, is switching his endorsement in the divisive Republican Senate primary battle in Kentucky.

James Dobson Monday endorsed Rand Paul after originally backing Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson last week.

"Have you ever made an embarrassing mistake? I did just that last week. I was given misleading information about the candidacy of Dr. Rand Paul, who is running in the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate. Senior members of the GOP told me Dr. Paul is pro-choice and that he opposes many conservative perspectives, so I endorsed his opponent," Dobson said in a statement released Monday by the Paul campaign.

"But now I've received further information from OB/GYN's in Kentucky whom I trust, and from interviewing the candidate himself. I now know that he is avidly pro life. He believes that life begins at conception," added Paul.

Dobson is no longer the head of Focus on the Family and is making the endorsements as a private citizen.

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

Last month, Bunning endorsed Paul and former New York City mayor and 2008 GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani endorsed Grayson. The Grayson campaign announced Monday that Rep. Hal Rogers, who has represented southeast Kentucky for 30 years, backed Grayson. The district could be instrumental in the outcome of the May 18 primary.

In originally backing Grayson, Dobson said "Trey Grayson is the only candidate with the conviction to lead on the issues that matter to Kentucky families. 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."

Dobson, in switching his endorsement, added that Paul "opposes earmarking and supports Israel. He identifies with the Tea Party movement and believes in home schooling. Sounds like my kind of man."

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. The influential evangelical also endorsed former Sen. Dan Coats in the race for GOP Senate nomination in Indiana.

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

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • James Dobson • Kentucky • Rand Paul • Trey Grayson
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Dan in Noo Yawk

    Keep Fightin' Dat Culture War!!!

    May 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Ralph

    Who cares what this false prophet thinks or says.

    May 3, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. UP

    What about his stand on any other issue? Did you bother to check?
    We need to know much more about a candidate that his stand on one issue no matter how important. When everything else is buried under one-issue rhetoric we often miss some very off-putting things about a candidate.

    May 3, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Rob from MO

    Paul claims to be a libertarian yet he wants the government to force women to continue unwanted pregancies against their will. This is tyranny. How can a libertarian promote government intrusion into the most private parts of our lives? The guy is exposed as a typical republican totalitarian.

    May 3, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Praise the Lord and pass on the endorsements. Wait! The Lord may not want your endorsement, either!

    May 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. notfooledbydistractions

    Who really cares who the irrelevant wingnut Dobson supports?

    It's obvious he's just parrotting what he's told. Useless as always.

    May 3, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    The Kentucky voter should get rid of the republican party of No. They haven't done one thing to help get our economy back on it feet. All they care about is their party and the tea baggers not the majority of the people in Kentucky.

    May 3, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Mrs. Dobson

    Even I think he's an idiot.

    May 3, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    I thought he was infallible? Oh, that's another religious leader. The Creator is infallible; the eyes, ears & hearts of men are not. Sometimes "Holy Men" misinterpret God's message.

    May 3, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. brettrix

    the too`l from kentucky who says they don;'t know where Paul stands clearly doesn't want to find out...

    May 3, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Unbelievable!!

    So Dobson decides who he supports based on one issue which is NOT a political issue. Abortion is a personal issue and politicians should stay out of personal issues (too much gov't interference in my personal life). Besides, how many of these abortion opponents are men who have never been raped, pregnant, or forced to have sex against their will???? But they really keep the viagara, etc companies in business.

    May 3, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Dave

    Yeah, right! Dobson knows Paul is going to clobber Grayson so he didn't want egg on his face since his endorsement was not going to alter a dang thing. The people are tired of electing candidates that do not follow through on their oath to the Constitution and know Paul will abide by it as his father does.

    May 3, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. sam, LITTLETON.CO

    And Dobson, your only idea of life is a fetus? however, Dobson is ok with kill the child and the adult. you have no problem with that! Disgusting hypocrits!

    May 3, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Dave

    Shucks May 3rd, 2010 12:48 pm ET

    Alot of confusion even in who they endorse. What a bunch of moronic fools. The Republican party is pathetic.
    Both parties are quite pathetic, Shucks. The two party system is a scam.

    May 3, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Ben

    Shucks – "What a bunch of moronic fools. The Republican party is pathetic."

    No more so than the bunch of idiots we have running Washington now. You need to open your eyes and get a clue.

    May 3, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  16. Wendy

    Dobson has his PhD in education, NOT religion, NOT political science NOT sociology. The guy speaks of what he knows not! He is a sexist homophobe! Who cares who he "endorses" and why does CNN print it???

    May 3, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Len (Colorado)

    I believe most people are Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. Every family is not the same. When it comes to abortion, a women and her family should have a choice, especially, in cases of rape, incest and the possible death of the mother. They should have a choice and not be forced to have a child in those circumstances.

    Most right wing conservatives do not want big government, then do not tell a women she must have a child in those circumstances. Allow them to have a right to make a decision that is right for their family.

    May 3, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Fran

    Dobson would endorse a brick ... but only if it is a right-wing Christian brick.

    May 3, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. No Incumbents 2010

    The most interesting thing about this is that GOP leaders LIED to Dobson about Paul!!! This speaks volumes about what the big-government establishment Republicans are willing to do to maintain power and prevent a small-government conservative from winning. All Grayson can do is LIE about Paul. Like a typical career politician, TG will say anything just to get elected.

    May 3, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Sandy

    I use to listen to Dobson but have lost my respect for him over the years. Who is he to try influence politics. He can't have it both ways. This is why we need to have separation of religion and politics. It is one thing to believe in pro rights but the republicans don't want to take care of life after it is born. Republicans are for big business while the poor starve.

    May 3, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. jay in denver

    Focus on the Family calls itself a "socially conservative organization" rather than a church, but is still tax exempt. I say no representation without taxation. If FOF wants to endorse candidates, it must pay for the privilege of that free speech by paying taxes to support the country that allows those freedoms. Focus on the Family even has its own highway exit sign on Interstate 25 in Colorado Springs, but didn't pay any tax to help pay for the sign. You and I paid taxes on it. What's wrong with this picture?

    May 3, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. RH

    A fertilised zygote is no more a person than an acorn is an oak tree. This is no mere belief, it is a fact. The religious are free to believe otherwise in defiance of the fact of the matter, but they must NOT be free to impose such a wholly unfounded belief on others who do not share it. Keep religion out of politics.

    May 3, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    As Dobson proudly shows, it takes a high-calibur hypocrit to be a supporter of any of today's faux-conservative (i.e. neo-conservative) [R] candidates. It is the party of reactionary redneck rubes - not sure when this behavior began to be an acceptable substuitute for real conservatism.

    I hope Dobson sticks his head as far up as it'll go into the hindquarters of his favorite candidate. Maybe he can replenish his brain matter with what he finds up there.

    May 3, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. R. Williams

    This would actually mean something if Dobson was known for more than discrimination. His Focus On The Family never dealt with things that really matter to families like health care, jobs and education, preferring to worry about gay marriage. So his endorsement means very little to this Kentuckian.

    May 3, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. Robert

    I do not like James Dobson. Do not care what he thinks.. Wish he would shut up and mind his business....

    May 3, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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