James Dobson endorses Rand Paul

The religious right pioneer un-endorses the establishment GOP candidate in Kentucky's weird Senate race

Topics: Rand Paul, War Room, 2010 Elections, Religion, Republican Party,

James Dobson endorses Rand PaulRepublican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul speaks at a rally in Frankfort, Kentucky on Thursday, April 1.

Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning is retiring to spend more time angrily obstructing his family’s legislative priorities. The primary battle to replace him is one of the most interesting in the nation, with boring establishment Republican Trey Grayson facing an unexpectedly tough challenge from Rand Paul, the son of Texas Representative and stalwart libertarian hero Ron Paul.

Focus on the Family founder and evangelical huckster extraordinaire James Dobson endorsed Grayson last week. This morning, he unexpectedly announced the retraction of that endorsement. And he says “senior members of the GOP” misled him about Paul’s positions.

“Senior members of the GOP told me Dr. Paul is pro-choice and that he opposes many conservative perspectives, so I endorsed his opponent” Dobson said. “But now I’ve received further information from OB/GYNs in Kentucky whom I trust, and from interviewing the candidate himself.”

That’s true: libertarian hero and OB/GYN Ron Paul is vehemently opposed to allowing women control over their own bodies, and his ophthalmologist son shares that conviction.

Rand Paul has the advantage of his father’s incredibly dedicated (culty) internet fanbase. It is sort of like the son of “Battlestar Galactica” running for Senate. Paul also has outsider cred during a campaign season when various lifelong Republicans are pretending to be independents who are fed up with both parties. But a Tea Party-aligned pseudo-libertarian winning the endorsement of one of the founders of the religious right movement is both deeply weird and also a nice, healthy sign that the iconoclastic New GOP is the same as it ever was.

(All that said, Senator Rand Paul would at least be a more unpredictable Republican senator than Trey Grayson. So on this we find ourselves uncomfortably in agreement with James Dobson. Vote for the Internet Guy, Kentucky Republicans!)

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>