FRC President Tony Perkins Won't Endorse

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Dec 03, 2007 4:43 PM
Earlier today I wrote that two staffers at the Family Research Council had taken leaves of absence to work for the Presidential campaign of Mike Huckabee.

I just received this statement from FRC President Tony Perkins, regarding his intentions:

Over the last several months I've met with most of the Republican Presidential candidates at their request.  I have sat down face to face and discussed policy issues with all of the leading candidates but one. 

These have been productive meetings in terms of advancing the policy issues that impact the family.  Even the meeting with Mayor Giuliani had value as he made his qualified support for a marriage amendment more widely known.  Many of you have e-mailed inquiring about whom I am going to endorse; others have urged me to support their favorite candidate.  Left-leaning journalists and embittered conservatives have said the lack of endorsements from me, Jim Dobson, Gary Bauer and others shows that the Religious Right is melting down, that the leaders are out of step with their followers. 

Well, if those things are true then they've been true for a very long time.  In the almost 25 years that FRC has been here in Washington, D.C., neither FRC Action nor its president has ever endorsed a presidential candidate.  Further, the first presidential candidate that my close associate, Jim Dobson, ever personally (not in behalf of Focus on the Family) endorsed was President George W. Bush for his second term in 2004, and that was only because of his strong pro-family record in his first four years.  I've been involved in almost every level of electoral politics.  I've been a candidate, I've managed campaigns, I've been a consultant, and I've held office.  My role now is different - it is to shape public policy, as it relates to families, from a Christian perspective.  FRC Action does that best by being open to meeting and advising all the candidates, Republican and even Democrats who care about family issues. 

I want FRC Action to shape the debate and that does not happen when you simply become a trophy that a campaign can hang on the wall as just another endorsement.  We are looking for those candidates who endorse us and what we stand for: family, faith and freedom.  FRC has been promoting and defending these fundamentals for almost 25 years, and that is what we will continue to do.