Inspired by Mel Gibson’s strong stand against the dehydration death of Terri Schiavo, an Oregon businessman has begun a campaign to see the “Passion” director run for president as a Republican in 2008, saying he’s the only potential candidate who has the star power and charisma needed to keep Democrat Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

Mel Gibson

“Mel Gibson is perhaps one of the few men in America who has shown exceptional courage in facing up to the left and the ‘culture of death,'” James Welsh told WorldNetDaily. “Americans of religious conviction have been under relentless assault for at least the last 10 to 15 years. While we have been successful in achieving some gains, our defeat in the Terri Schiavo battle has made manifest the need for new generalship in this culture war.”

In preparation for what he hopes will be a Gibson candidacy, Welsh has purchased 12 Internet domain names relating to a presidential run, including

Welsh, who owns a grocery store in the coastal town of Manzanita, Ore., believes none of the current crop of possible GOP contenders can beat Clinton, who he says “will be” the Democratic nominee.

“There is no ‘regular’ Republican who has the necessary charisma to galvanize us to work for his election,” Welsh said. “Even the usually good people like Sen. Rick Santorum, nice as they are, do not have it. What I want to do is somehow create a momentum from several fronts that will ultimately, in late 2007, coalesce into an unstoppable candidacy of Mel Gibson.”

Welsh says President Bush and Gov. Jeb Bush, “while good men, were found wanting [in the Schiavo case] and the religious right is disappointed. We lost this battle because our leaders failed to muster on the field of battle. … We must look for new leadership.”

As WorldNetDaily reported, Gibson was outspoken last week on the eve of Schiavo’s death, calling it “a prolonged and cruel execution.”

“It’s just completely wrong to deprive this poor woman of food and water,” he told radio talk-show host Sean Hannity. Brain-injured 15 years ago, Schiavo died 13 days after her feeding tube was removed by court order.

Without naming names, Gibson implicated the Bushes for not doing more to save Schiavo:

“It’s nothing more than state-sanctioned murder. All the big guys, they all have their hands tied up by some tinhorn judge down there. Come on, when they want to whip a judge, they got no problem doing that. Look what they did to [Ten Commandments proponent Roy Moore] in a heartbeat. So they can do it if they want. They just don’t want to.”

It’s that kind of boldness that’s needed in a presidential candidate, contends Welsh.

“No longer can we give passes to Republican politicians just because they are Republicans,” he said. “How can we fight the battle for life if we must have the Giulianis in our ranks?” – a reference to the former New York City mayor who tops many lists of possible GOP presidential contenders. Giuliani is in favor of legal abortion.

Welsh, whose political involvement dates back to Barry Goldwater’s candidacy in 1964, envisions intentional support of Gibson among “conservative media” outlets that would translate into popular support among the party faithful. He says he has written several letters to various organizations about the possibility of supporting a Gibson candidacy and hopes a college Republican group or similar organization might put together a website that could be publicized on blogs so that eventually, “some influential people would go and talk to Mel” about a presidential run.

“We had another actor who made a pretty good president,” Welsh said, referring to President Ronald Reagan.

Of Clinton’s appeal, Welsh commented, “There is no one who will be able to match her media presence except Gibson. A Bob Dole or a Gerald Ford ain’t gonna cut it.”

Because Gibson spent his formative years living in Australia, many believe he was born there and therefore is ineligible to run for president. He actually was born in Peekskill, N.Y., in 1956.

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Editor’s note: “Life and Death in America” – a stunning special investigative report that will start with the Terri Schiavo story, but will go on to expose as never before America’s rapidly expanding euthanasia/”right-to-die” movement – will be the focus of an upcoming issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine.

Subscribe or renew now, because after three years without a price increase, Whistleblower’s subscription rates go up this Saturday!

Related stories:

Mel Gibson on Schiavo: It’s modern crucifixion

Gibson pleads for Terri’s life

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