(Photo: AP Images / Gerald Herbert)
Formerly reluctant John McCain supporter Dr. James Dobson has done away with his reservations and called on his millions of evangelical listeners Monday to vote for the GOP ticket – just a day ahead of the second presidential debate.
“It’s probably obvious which of the two major candidates’ views are most palatable to those of us who embrace a pro-life, pro-family worldview,” said Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action, on his radio broadcast.
“While I will not endorse either candidate this year, (in fact, I’ve only endorsed one presidential nominee in my life) I can say that I am very supportive of Senator John McCain and his bid for the presidency.”
Dobson’s support for Republican nominee John McCain strengthened greatly after the candidate named social conservative Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate at the party’s National Convention in late August.
Earlier in the election race, the evangelical leader had vented that he'd rather not vote in November than support McCain, who backs embryonic stem cell research, opposed a federal constitutional amendment to ban gay “marriage,” and has a history of using foul language and having a bad temper.
But after super pro-life Palin was added to the ticket, Dobson eagerly praised McCain for his “outstanding choice” and said it “should be extremely reassuring to the conservative base” of the GOP, according to The Associated Press.
Other conservative Christian leaders who also expressed enthusiasm for Palin included Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission Richard Land and Liberty University School of Law’s dean Mathew Staver.
During Monday’s broadcast, Dobson clarified that he is not partisan, but his major concern is for biblical and moral issues.
“I will gladly support politicians of any stripe who are willing to defend the sanctity of human life, support the institution of traditional marriage, protect the country from terrorism and advance the cause of religious liberty,” Dobson stated.
"While certainly not perfect, the 2008 Republican Platform comes closest to embracing those ideals by a wide margin."
The influential Christian leader, whose radio program reaches 3.4 million listeners each week, urged fellow believers to pray for the election.
"This election is about the future of the nation, but it will also go a long way toward determining the culture your children and grandchildren will come to realize,” he said. “I hope you will vote with your children and your children's children in mind. That certainly puts the election in a different light, doesn't it?"
The presidential debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama will take place at Belmont University in Nashville and will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. ET.