Christian leader James Dobson has softened his stance
against Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, saying
he could reverse his position and endorse the Arizona
senator despite serious misgivings.
''I never thought
I would hear myself saying this,'' Dobson said in a
radio broadcast to air Monday. ''... While I am not
endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is
there that I might.''
Dobson and other
evangelical leaders unimpressed by McCain increasingly
are taking a lesser-of-two-evils approach to the 2008 race.
Dobson and his guest, Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary president Albert Mohler, spend most of the
pretaped Focus on the Family radio program criticizing
Democratic candidate Barack Obama, getting to McCain at the
In an advance
copy provided to The Associated Press, Dobson said that
while neither candidate is consistent with his views,
McCain's positions are closer by a wide margin.
dishonorable in a person rethinking his or her
positions, especially in a constantly changing political
context,'' Dobson said in a statement to the AP.
''Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I
believe about the institution of the family and what
is best for the nation. His radical positions on life,
marriage and national security force me to reevaluate
the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain.''
had said he could not in good conscience vote for McCain,
citing the candidate's support for embryonic stem cell
research and opposition to a federal constitutional
amendment to ban gay marriage, as well as concerns
about McCain's temper and foul language.
Dobson said on
the radio program he must consider McCain's record against
abortion rights and support for smaller government, and
added McCain ''seems to understand the Muslim
threat.'' He also indicated McCain's choice of a
running mate will be a factor.
Of his new
position, Dobson said in the statement to the AP, ''If that
is a flip-flop, then so be it.''
Both the Obama
and McCain campaigns declined comment Sunday.
considered a powerful voice in conservative evangelical
Christianity; his radio broadcast reaches 1.5 million U.S.
listeners daily. Critics argue his influence is
waning, pointing to a younger generation of leaders
pushing to broaden the movement's agenda.
Dobson accused Obama, in a 2006 speech on faith and
politics, of distorting the Bible and pushing a
''fruitcake interpretation'' of the Constitution.
that Dobson was ''making stuff up'' and portrayed his
speech as an attempt by people of faith, like himself, to
''try to translate some of our concerns in a universal
language so that we can have an open and vigorous
debate rather than having religion divide us.'' (Eric