Pro-Family Groups Blast Obama as 'Extremely Liberal'

WASHINGTON – Two of the nation's most prominent family values organizations lambasted rising Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama as "extremely" liberal and "no friend" to values voters during an analysis this week of the New Hampshire primary.

Obama, who won the Iowa caucuses and came in second in the primary, was denounced as a "fundamentalist left-winger" on social issues by Focus on the Family's (FOTF) Tom Minnery.

Minnery, FOTF's vice president of public policy, pointed out that Obama is against the federal marriage amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman; is against the abstinence program in sex education and for the distribution of condoms; supports a strong civil union law that would give all benefits to gay partners; supports embryonic stem cell research; and is in favor of permitting minors to cross state borders for abortion.

"This man is no friend to anything that we hold dear," Minnery declared during the FOTF Citizenlink special.

"Without question," chimed in Tony Perkins, president of the influential Washington-based Family Research Council.

Both Christian conservative leaders noted that Obama has built his campaign on the image of being the moderate voice and as the consensus candidate.

"He likes to say, 'I bring people together across the aisle,'" Perkins said. "I don't know what for, maybe for coffee or something, but it is certainly not for the past policies that are favorable for the family."

Obama has only been in the U.S. Senate for three years, but his Illinois record is extremely liberal, according to Perkins, who was a former Louisiana state legislator. The FRC head further contended that the Illinois senator is so liberal that he challenges the establishment of the Democratic Party.

"He is to the left of Hillary Clinton, that is maybe why he isn't talking about the issues," Perkins noted.

Besides Obama and Clinton, the FOTF analysis also criticized New Hampshire Republican winner Sen. John McCain for being difficult to work with. Although McCain was praised for being "pretty good" on the pro-life issue, he was criticized for opposing President Bush's policy that restricted embryonic stem cell research.

The family values leaders also did not like McCain's stance on the federal marriage amendment, which they said has been their top issue for the past several years. McCain supports giving states the right to define marriage rather than a constitutional amendment that would set the definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman in all 50 states.

Meanwhile, the pro-family leaders praised Republicans Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney for sharing the same social values.

During the broadcast, Minnery highlighted that Obama received a score of "absolutely zero" on a recent Family Research Council (FRC) Action/Focus on the Family (FOTF) Action voter's guide that rated all congressional members on their voting record on pro-family legislations. Clinton also scored zero on the scorecard.

Still, Obama has resonated with many African American religious leaders who created a committee last month in support of the Democratic contender. Faith leaders of the committee believe that Obama is living out his faith and values in his public life.

"As a lifelong advocate for the less fortunate and the forgotten, Senator Obama lives his faith everyday. He continues to talk about a faith that works to unite and not divide people," African American Religious Committee Co-chair the Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., has said.

Unconvinced of Obama living out his faith, Perkins advised values voters to look at all the candidates' records and past performance rather than allow 30-second commercials to "tug at your emotions, your heart strings."

Evangelicals across America are tired of empty promises, he said. They are looking for a president that will take the values voters' agenda to the president's office and "get something done."

"Even if they don't succeed they are willing to fight for the values that you and I believe in," the FRC president added. "That is the candidate that we are looking for."