Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family

A prominent Christian leader whose radio and magazine outreaches are solidly in support of biblically-based marriages – and keeps in touch with millions of constituents daily – says he cannot consider Arizona Sen. John McCain a viable candidate for president.

“Speaking as a private individual, I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances,” said James Dobson, founder of the Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family as well as the Focus Action cultural action organization set up specifically to provide a platform for informing and rallying constituents.

Dobson, who always is careful to note that he’s not speaking for the non-profit ministry, which cannot advocate for or against candidates legally, also doesn’t hesitate to state his personal opinions on social or political issues and agendas.

Several times he’s talked to Republicans, the traditionally conservative political party, about the need to maintain the values of that large part of the U.S. population, or lose the support of those people.

His most recent comments came during an interview on the Jerry Johnson Live program on KCBI 90.9 FM.

The show host noted that pro-family conservatives already are thinking about the next cycle of leadership in the United States, which will be determined in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. He also noted that McCain and New York mayor Rudy Giuliani appear to be the leaders.

Then he asked Dobson to listen to a statement from McCain and respond.

“I think, uh … I think that gay marriage should be allowed if there’s a ceremony kind of thing, if you wanna call it that … I don’t have any problem with that,” McCain says.

“Dr. Dobson, would you be comfortable with someone like John McCain as the … conservative or Republican candidate for president?” Johnson asked.

“Well, let me say that I am not in the office. I’m in the little condo so I can speak for myself and not for Focus on the Family,” Dobson said in rejecting McCain’s leadership.

He noted that legislation he’d just been discussing on the program, regarding an attempt by Democrat leaders in Congress to create obstacles for ministries such as Focus to reach constituents with action messages about pending legislation, is being supported by McCain, too.

“That came from McCain, and the McCain Feingold Bill kept us from telling the truth right before elections … and there are a lot of other things. He’s not in favor of traditional marriage, and I pray that we won’t get stuck with him,” Dobson said.

The provisions of the new congressional proposal, hidden deep inside a plan to reform lobbying rules to eliminate the many recent scandals involving members of Congress, would require pro-family groups to provide documentation of their actions to the government any time they try to spark any “grass-roots” action.

Phone calls, personal visits, e-mails, magazines, broadcasts, phone banks, appearances, travel, fundraising and other items all would be subject to government tabulation, verification and audits, Dobson said during a recent program. “On and on it goes.”

“Clearly, the objective here is to hide what goes on from the public and punish and silence those of us who would talk about what our representatives are doing,” Dobson said of the plan by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. American Family Association Chairman Donald Wildmon, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and American Values President Gary Bauer joined Dobson in urging listeners to flood Capitol Hill with phone calls demanding those speech limits be removed.

Bauer said the telephone number to call is: 202-224-3121.

Focus also has begun an online petition, at Focuspetitions.com.

Wildmon characterized the Washington proposal as a message to the American public: “We don’t want to hear from you, and this is the way we’re going to handle it.”

Dobson also earlier scolded Republicans for blaming the 2006 election victories by Democrats in many races across the country on conservatives.

“Dick Armey emerged from four years in the wilderness to blame conservative Christians for Tuesday’s defeat. They were, he said, ‘too involved’ with the party. He can’t be serious! Someone should tell him that without the support of that specific constituency, John Kerry would be president and the Republicans would have fallen into a black hole in ’04,” Dobson said in a story WND reported earlier.

“Values Voters are not going to carry the water for the Republican Party if it ignores their deeply held convictions and beliefs,” he said.

“Republican leaders in Congress during this term apparently never understood, or they forgot, why Ronald Reagan was so loved and why he is considered one of our greatest presidents. If they hope to return to power in ’08, they must rediscover the conservative principles that resonated with the majority of Americans in the 1980s – and still resonate with them today. Failure to do so will be catastrophic,” Dobson said.

Dobson noted he’d been interviewed by U.S. News and World Report after the 2004 elections and warned if Republicans squandered their opportunity, they would pay a price at the polls in either 2008 or 2006.

Dobson’s predictions about values and the Republican Party go back even further than that, too.

In 1998 he told a reporter that the GOP was in danger of losing its ability to “claim to speak for those of us with deep moral convictions.”

He said at that time the party has “ignored the moral issues year after year, term after term” and said at that time it was “time to fish or cut bait.”

At that time he also warned the GOP Christians and conservatives “will abandon them if they continue to ignore the most important issues.”

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