Well, apparently in an attempt to get rid of Newt Gingrich and propel Rick Santorum into the “non-Romney” candidate spot, the right-wing Christian organizations have begun to focus on Callista Gingrich.
Whatever happened to forgiveness and repentance in the Christian Doctrine? Not that I’m in favor of Newt, but Christian organizations are attacking Callista in an effort to push Newt out of the way. Sounds rather shady and ungodly to me…
With just days to go before South Carolina’s First In South Republican primary, the war over who should be the not-Mitt Romney candidate has gone completely nuclear.
Desperate to settle on one conservative alternative, Religious Right leaders backing Rick Santorum and those backing Newt Gingrich are now resorting to vicious attacks against what have long been seen as off-limits targets in presidential campaigns — the candidates’ wives.
Influential evangelical leader James Dobson set off the fireworks at this weekend’s Christian Right summit, giving a speech that lavished praise on Karen Santorum and asked whether Americans really wanted Callista Gingrich — “a woman who was a man’s mistress for eight years” — as their First Lady, according to sources who attended the meeting.
Sources told Business Insider that Dobson’s speech was a “startling moment” that left many in the audience — particularly those who support Gingrich — floored. One source described Dobson’s tone as “angry,” and said it seemed like Dobson was blaming Callista Gingrich for the couples’ affair, which began while the former House Speaker was still married to his second wife (this is Callista Gingrich’s first marriage).
“It was clear that, to him, the villian in this story is Callista Gingrich,” the source said. “And he was announcing it to 170 ministers with huge mailing lists and television ministries.”
Needless to say, the Texas summit did little to unite the Christian Right. On Sunday, the day following the conference, reports began circulating about Karen Santorum’s six-year love affair with a Pittsburgh obsetrician and abortion provider 40 years her senior. (The Santorum campaign has yet to comment on the story.)
The vitiriol of these attacks indicates that the schism in the Religious Right is only getting worse as the 2012 race drags on. Sources who attended this weekend’s summit — which was ostensibly held to unite religious conservatives behind one candidate — said that the conference was largely a charade, with the outcome predetermined in favor of Santorum.
In the wake of the conference, Christian Right leaders have publicly split into two camps — a bad sign for a coalition whose strength has always come from its solidarity. In one camp, powerful evangelical scions like Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Family Research Council President Tony Perkins; and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, have thrown their support behind Santorum. On the other hand, influential California megachurch pastor Jim Garlow, evangelical activist David Lane, and Christian marketing guru George Barna have teamed up to support Gingrich.
Ultimately, the beneficiary of all this evangelical infighting is Romney, who has already been helped by the divided social conservative vote. But it is unclear if the former Massachusetts Governor — a Mormon with a history of flip-flopping on social issues — has what it takes to patch the Religious Right back together and convince them to go to bat for him as the Republican nominee. If he can’t reunite this powerful coalition, his path to the White House could be very difficult.
- Callista Gingrich steps up presence on the trail (sfgate.com)
- Ariel Levy: Callista Gingrich, Newt’s third wife. (newyorker.com)
- Callista Gingrich Is a Stepford Wife! (weeklyworldnews.com)
- NEWTS Achilles Heel! Marianne Gingrich (smacktalkradio.wordpress.com)
- After Two Days of Debate, Evangelical Leaders Unite Behind Santorum (swampland.time.com)
- Watch: Newt, Callista Gingrich Liken Mob to Mardi Gras (abcnews.go.com)
- Newt Gingrich Says Perry and Santorum Should Drop Out, Join His Campaign (inquisitr.com)
- Gingrich Faith Leaders’ Statement on Results from Texas (draftcain.wordpress.com)