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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

With Santorum Out, Ron Paul Supporters Reach Out to Evangelicals

  • (Photo: Brian Jacobs)
    Presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul with Justin Machacek, and award winning producer for Daystar Television
April 20, 2012|11:52 am

With Rick Santorum now out of the presidential race, supporters of the Ron Paul campaign are stepping up efforts to court evangelical leaders.

Brian Jacobs, senior pastor of Metroplex Family Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and Justin Machacek, an award-winning producer for Daystar Television, met with the Texas congressman last week. They are now leading a nationwide effort to enlist the help of other evangelical Christian leaders to mobilize support for Paul's candidacy. The first of several planned conference calls between Paul and evangelical pastors and other leaders will be held this weekend, Jacobs and Machacek told The Christian Post in separate Wednesday interviews.

Machacek said that when he speaks to evangelical leaders, the concern they most often raise about Paul is his stance toward Israel. Paul wants a less active military presence around the globe, would cut all foreign aid, including aid to Israel, and is less concerned about Iran's potential development of a nuclear weapon than the other candidates.

In last week's meeting, Jacobs asked Paul how he felt about moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move would be controversial because Jerusalem is central to many disputes between Israeli Jews and Muslims in the Middle East. Paul's answer surprised many, including his own staff.

"I love what he said," Jacobs recalled. Paul said, "'the real issue is not what America wants, but what Israel wants. If Israel wants their capital to be Jerusalem, the United States should honor that.'"

Jacobs and Machakeck both acknowledged that Paul is a long-shot to win the nomination and Mitt Romney is the most likely nominee. They believe, though, that gathering more delegates ahead of the convention will help Paul gain influence in the Republican Party and help build a foundation for future presidential races.

Neither Jacobs nor Machakeck can speak for the Paul campaign, but both expect Ron Paul to "pass the torch" to his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, for future presidential races. Jacobs said he sees a lot of enthusiasm for Rand Paul among Ron Paul supporters.

There is a "high likelihood" that Romney will become the nominee, Machakeck said, but he is already looking ahead at how this race may influence the next 12 years. If Romney is successful, he will likely run as an incumbent president in 2016, and his vice president could be the front runner in 2020.

If that were to happen, Machakeck concluded, "for at least three election cycles we're going to have an uphill battle in trying to find a strong conservative."

"Evangelicals and conservatives need to speak now, even if we don't win, to force the party and to force Romney into a more conservative platform. If we start to compromise now and we don't continue this debate, and we let him start to shift to the center, I feel like the conservative movement, as a whole, it starts to become obsolete," Machakeck added.

Contact: napp.nazworth@christianpost.com, @NappNazworth (Twitter)
Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/with-santorum-out-ron-paul-supporters-reach-out-to-evangelicals-73601/