Magazine article Church & State

TV Preacher Robertson Says He'll Stop Giving Candidate Endorsements

Magazine article Church & State

TV Preacher Robertson Says He'll Stop Giving Candidate Endorsements

Article excerpt

TV preacher Pat Robertson marked the 50th anniversary of the Christian Broadcasting Network by making an unusual announcement: He vowed to stop endorsing candidates for public office.

"When I was in charge of the Christian Coalition, I was available to mobilize grassroots support for somebody," Robertson told the Associated Press. "I don't have any army right now. It's just an opinion, and that isn't quite as good as it used to be."

Robertson added, "I've personally backed off from direct political involvement. I've been there, done that. That truth of the matter is, politics is not going to change our world. It's really not going to make that much of a difference."

Robertson founded the Christian Coalition in 1989 from the remnants of his failed 1988 presidential campaign. He stepped away from the Coalition in 2000, but remains involved in Republican Party politics. In 2007, he surprised many observers when he endorsed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for president. In 2009, he endorsed Robert McDonnell, a graduate of Robertson's Regent University, who went on to become Virginia's governor.

Although Robertson, 81, said he no longer plans to issue endorsements, it's not likely he'll disengage from politics. He still appears regularly on his daily television show, "The 700 Club," where political comment is a staple.

Over the years, Robertson has used his program, which has an audience of about one million, to issue opinions on numerous political issues. He has frequently sparked controversy for extreme statements. …

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