Evangelical leader says GOP race far from clinched
January 14th, 2012
06:06 PM ET
11 years ago

Evangelical leader says GOP race far from clinched

(CNN) - Bob Jones III, an influential evangelical leader and chancellor of the fundamentalist Christian Bob Jones University, said in an interview set to air Sunday that the race for the 2012 GOP nomination is by no means wrapped up.

"I don't think this thing has been anywhere close to being nailed down yet, and probably not until the voter actually goes into the booth and casts his vote. Everything is up for grabs, in my estimation," Jones told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

The full interview will air Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

Jones endorsed Mitt Romney in 2008 – a surprise move given the skeptical stance many conservative Christians bear toward Mormons. Jones said an endorsement this time around hadn't come because Romney hasn't asked.

"Well, in 2008, he was very solicitous of the evangelical vote," Jones said. "If he is that today, I am unaware of it. I certainly have had no contact with him, and so I don't know whether he feels he needs it or wants it, whether he considers it a plus or a minus for him. That was a different dynamic then."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Religion • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Ben Shearer

    I'd like the republicans who sloganeer about "failed European socialism" explain why The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Leichtenstein, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, and Denmark have higher (AAA) credit ratings than the US.

    January 14, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. william

    Good lord... I think some people would vote for Beavis and Butthead if they claimed to love Jesus. Deal with it people... we live in a nation full of Christians with a secular government, just as the Founders intended. We need to elect based on competence, intelligence, experience, and numerous other things besides religion.

    January 14, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. Lt. Ilia, V'ger (pre-Über-Being version2.1)

    V'ger says the CNN political unit must be analyzed.

    January 14, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  4. Indy

    He who spends the most on the attack, has the most to hide.

    January 14, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. justin opinion

    Jesus liked war. Santorum likes war.
    Jesus preached intolerance. Santorum preaches intolerance.
    Jesus gained supporters through a fear campaign. Santorum gains supporters through a fear campaign.

    He's a perfect match.

    January 14, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. willie floyd

    It's a shame that all of the Dr. Bobs have been so far right on social issues. It is really a wonderful Univ. in so many ways. I would guess that most of the students are from out of state. We are also very lucky to have Furman Univ. which is also an excellent school. Far more lenient in student freedoms.

    January 14, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Oh yeah - definitely tax exempt. NOT

    January 14, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Go Evangel Leaders!!!!!

    The GOP establishment is tell the Conservative Evangel Community that their core values won't win an election. So, you have to vote for a librel Governor that change his views to moderate to win an election. Romney will doom them in the end. An it will be the values that let them down.

    January 14, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. GOP = Greed Over People

    Oh for God's sake, the only drama left in GOP primary is who Romney will pick for his VP running mate.

    January 14, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. Ken

    Bob Jones University.

    Is that Ivy League????

    January 14, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. Henry Miller

    The most effective way to ensure Obama gets four more years to complete his ruin of the American economy is for these religious nuts to screw things up.

    January 14, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. diridi

    Enough of this Religion in Politics, and Cash in Politics...o.k,

    January 14, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. Sam Barber

    "...in my estimation."
    Coming from a "University" chancellor whose campus is surrounded by steep walls with barbed wire, students who date allowed to sit no closer than 18" apart and then in chaperoned parlors, and a climate that encourages students to harass and even beat gay students, his opinion means nothing outside his barbed-wire walls.

    January 14, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. Ed Zachary

    Of course it's a different dynamic this time around. Romney realizes that an endorsement by Bob Jones may be helpful in winning the nomination, but is the kiss of death in the general election. Most Christians do NOT identify with these ultra right wing bible thumper types that seem to believe God whispers in their and only their ears.

    January 14, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  15. Squigman

    It's getting harder and harder to see dividing line from fascists, and christians.

    January 14, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  16. atc333

    Seems like the Evangelical Radical Right is sinking to the new of becoming just another Super Pac, or Lobbyist Group.. They need to consider the consequences of losing their tax exempt status should they continue with deep involvement in trying to influence the political process.

    January 14, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  17. alkarrk

    He hasn't been solicitous of the Evangelicals this time around because he was burned by them last time around. After building up support among them in 2008, they turned their backs on him in the end. This time he's wised up.

    January 14, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  18. Johns

    You gotta realize that the far left of the left never puts their eggs in the same basket! that's why they love the liberal Mitts he will have their back!

    January 14, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. CaptainDorkOfTheWeeniePatrol

    Sorry, but what the evangelicals think is not inportant. It's what the super PACS think that matters.

    January 14, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  20. Slightly Left of Center

    ..."I don't think this thing has been anywhere close to being nailed down yet, and probably not until the voter actually goes into the booth and casts his vote...."


    January 14, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  21. J.V.Hodgson

    Ouch some of these religious organisations want candidates to ask for thier support!! The arrogance of that. They have to do what we do i.e make up our individual minds based on the candidates overall policies.
    Religious matters in this election are way down my list of qualities or requirements of the POTUS whoever it is on November 6th.

    January 14, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  22. DC Observer

    Sorry to disagree - but if you evangelicals are backing Santorum, the race is over for your candidate -- the holier than thou approach is not what this country needs - and if Santorum's #1 priority is abortion and prayer, then he is out of touch with america - prayer will no tget us jobs, a leader likre Mitt Romeny will do that

    January 15, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  23. Tyler Durden

    How does a Christian conservative reconcile their belief system with general desire for a theocracy with endorsing Romney?

    January 15, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  24. Larry L

    Was the name "Billy Bob's College" taken? I would never hire anybody foolish enough to attend this ridiculous training school for right-wing bigots.

    January 15, 2012 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  25. Ghetto Bro

    Seriously – who care what a deluded religious extremist thinks or endorses? Bob doesn't deal with reality- he's a christian.

    January 15, 2012 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
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