Dobson reveals all

James Dobson clarifies his statements about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

Published October 12, 2005 3:25PM (EDT)

Salon editorial fellow J.J. Helland tracks the controversy surrounding James Dobson and Harriet Miers.

As we noted yesterday, James Dobson, the influential Christian leader and founder of the conservative organization Focus on the Family, came under fire for publicly suggesting that he had received private assurances from White House advisor Karl Rove as to how Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers would vote on contentious social issues.

The Los Angeles Times has a transcript of Dobson's radio broadcast today, in which he explains that Rove simply assured him that Miers was a conservative evangelical Christian, and that the White House was passing on better-known conservatives because many had asked not to be considered for the job.

"What Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list and they would not allow their names to be considered, because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter that they didn't want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it," Dobson said.

Asked if the pair ever discussed the issue of abortion, Dobson said he never asked. "You know, to be honest, I would have loved to have known how Harriet Miers views Roe v. Wade. But even if Karl had known the answer to that -- and I'm certain that he didn't, because the president himself said he didn't know -- Karl would not have told me that. That's the most incendiary information that's out there, and it was never part of our discussion."

You can tune in here to hear Dobson's clarification on the subject. Now if only Rove were as forthcoming ...

By J.J. Helland

J.J. Helland is Salon's editorial fellow in New York.

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