Noted Christian evangelist and television personality Pat Robertson said on Monday he believes the Republican Party is becoming too “extreme” and if continued, it will lead the President Obama winning a second term in November 2012. Robertson’s comments were made after discussing GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s confusing comments on abortion during a broadcast of “The 700 Club.”
“I believe it was Lyndon Johnson that said, ‘Don’t these people realize if they push me over to an extreme position I’ll lose the election? And I’m the one who will be supporting what they want but they’re going to make it so I can’t win.’ Those people in the Republican primary have got to lay off of this stuff. They’re forcing their leaders, the frontrunners, into positions that will mean they lose the general election,” Robertson said on Monday’s broadcast.
“Now whether this did it to Cain, I don’t know, but nevertheless, you appeal to the narrow base and they’ll applaud the daylights out of what you’re saying and then you hit the general election and they say ‘no way’ and then the Democrat, whoever it is, is going to just play these statements to the hilt. They’ve got to stop this! It’s just so counterproductive.”
Showing obvious frustration also over Republicans attacking one another, Robertson said the GOP candidates might win a battle but they’ll lose the war.
“Well, if they want to lose, this is the game for losers,” the CBN host said. “What do they say – they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They’re going to do everything they can to make sure they lose this election.”
A former Southern Baptist minister and son of former U.S. Senator Willis Robertson, he is no stranger to the media and politics. He began his broadcasting career in 1960 when he purchased a UHF station in Virginia, calling it the Christian Broadcast Network.
It is now known as CBN and its shows including “The 700 Club” are seen in over 180 counties and broadcast in 71 languages.
In 1986, he announced his intentions to seek the Republican nomination for president, even coming in ahead of then Vice President George Bush in the Iowa caucuses. However, Robertson was unable to compete once the campaign entered the multi-state primary process.
Robertson is long noted for his conservative stances on abortion, homosexuality and evangelical issues. However, this is the latest in a series of comments that has led the Christian broadcaster to receive a significant amount of coverage over the past several weeks.
In a September broadcast of “The 700 Club,” Robertson said it was okay for a spouse to seek a divorce if the other spouse was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In June, Robertson also said that God would destroy America over its acceptance of homosexual marriage.
Robertson, who founded the Christian Coalition in the late 1980s, had been a force in the conservative Christian community for several decades. He built an organization that was rivaled by few in the 1990s with the help of a young, energetic political strategist by the name of Ralph Reed.
With Reed’s tactical knowledge of politics and an army of volunteers, the Christian Coalition played a vital role in helping Republicans take control of Congress in the 1994 elections. However, by the time the 2000 campaigns rolled around, the organization was splintered and had lost its effectiveness in national and state elections.
In a story written and published by The Christian Post earlier this month, Robertson was quoted after discussing his controversial remarks on divorce and Alzheimer’s.
“When I was in charge of the Christian Coalition I was available to mobilize grass roots support for somebody,” he said. “I don’t have any army right now. It’s just an opinion, and that isn’t quite as good as it used to be.”
Gary Bauer, a former presidential candidate and president of American Values, has a different perspective on how conservative issues will impact the 2012 presidential election.
“No GOP Presidential candidate will suffer politically for making the case that all of our children should be welcomed into the world and protected by the law,” Bauer told The Christian Post in an email. “The extremist on abortion in the 2012 Presidential election will be President Obama who has found not one abortion he would restrict and who believes the taxpayer should pay for them.”