"Ridiculous," "out of control" and just plain "goofy"

A new book says the Bush administration played religious conservatives for political gain.

By Tim Grieve

Published October 12, 2006 1:30PM (EDT)

If the Republicans were losing the religious right already, this certainly isn't going to help: David Kuo, who worked as second in command in George W. Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, is out with a new book in which he says that Bush administration officials shined on the faithful for political gain.

As "Countdown" producer Jonathan Larsen reports, Kuo says that top evangelical leaders were known as "nuts" in Karl Rove's office. "National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as 'ridiculous,' 'out of control,' and just plain 'goofy,'" Kuo writes.

Goofy, but useful. Kuo says that RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, who was then Bush's political director, used the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives to sponsor "nonpartisan" events that were, in fact, designed to motivate religious voters in close congressional races. "Ken loved the idea and gave us our marching orders," Kuo writes.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

George W. Bush War Room