A Very Political Podcast.

History might be written by the winners, but presidential politics is often shaped by the Long Shots. In a new podcast series from Inside Voices, veteran journalist Conor Powell and executive producer Gary Scott explore eight presidential candidates who lost the race for the White House but permanently changed America’s political landscape – right up to today.

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Pat Robertson: Rise of the Christian Right

Pat Robertson '88: His presidential campaign helped turn evangelical Christians into a reliable Republican voting bloc. His broadcast network was the model for today's reliably conservative media like Fox News.

Before 1988, evangelicals voted more on moral grounds than as a partisan bloc. Then came the charismatic Pat Robertson. Through his work on the Christian Broadcasting Network and his campaign to succeed Ronald Reagan as the GOP standard bearer, Robertson helped push evangelicals firmly into the Republican camp -- so much so that when twice-divorced Donald Trump ran in 2016, he had their solid support. Even though he lost, Robertson and CBN helped remake the media landscape, showing the way for a right-wing media (aka Fox News) that blamed everything bad on the liberals.

Pat Robertson: Rise of the Christian Right Transcript

PART I: INTRO

 

****News Clip *** 

“Good morning everyone, as one hurricane watcher put it, 25 million people along the eastern seaboard are looking down a gun barrel.”

 

***News Clip ***

“Hurricane Gloria is not only the storm of the day, but also possibly the storm of the century for the North East.

 

IN SEPTEMBER OF 1985, WITH ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILE AN HOUR WINDS, A MASSIVE HURRICANE WAS BARRELING DOWN ON AMERICA’S EASTERN SEA BOARD.  

 

GLORIA, A CATEGORY FOUR STORM, HAD BEEN GAINING STRENGTH FOR DAYS AND APPEARED TO BE HEADING STRAIGHT FOR NORFOLK, VIRGINIA – AND THE STUDIOS OF TELEVANGELIST PAT ROBERTSON’S CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK. 

 

*** Pat Robertson*** 

“we are just asking god to put up a wall in the Atlantic”

 

***Pat Robertson *** 

“This is a monster, but Jesus Christ is bigger. He is still the wind and the sea. And we want to pray.”

 

FROM THE SET OF HIS INTERNATIONALLY SYNDICATED T-V SHOW, THE 700 CLUB, ROBERTSON ORDERED THE MENACING STORM TO BE GONE. 

 

***Pat Robertson*** 

“In the name of Jesus, we come against this hurricane Gloria and we command the wind storms to be still in the name of Jesus. And we command that storm continue to go farther to the north and the east and go harmlessly out to the Atlantic Ocean without any damage to life and property in the name of Jesus 

 

OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS HURRICANE GLORIA SHIFTED DIRECTION, AND VEERED NORTH.

 

***NBC News Clip*** 

 “at 9 O’clock last night something unusual happened. the storm in a sense broke off …. and it was a miracle 

 

BUT WHILE THE STORM MISSED VIRGINIA, IT DEVASTATED LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK AND CRUSHED PARTS OF NEW ENGLAND. 

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN DECLARED SEVERAL COUNTIES IN THE NORTH EAST A FEDERAL DISASTER AREA.

 

LATER, ROBERTSON THANKED JESUS, AND TOLD HIS VIEWERS, THEIR PRAYERS HAD WORKED.

 

BUT ADDED, THOSE UP NORTH, MUST NOT HAVE HARNESSED THE POWER OF GOD. 

 

***Pat Robertson *** 

Now if those folks up there had truly been praying and rebuking it. Instead of saying of lord don’t let the storm hurt us, I don’t know what they were praying. But I do know that wherever you lived you don’t have to be the victim of nature and storms. 

 

ROBERTSON DECLARED THAT GLORIA’S SUDDEN SHIFT AWAY FROM VIRGINIA WAS PROOF OF GOD’S DESIRE FOR HIM TO RUN FOR PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

 

***John DeDakis *** 

“How important was hurricane Gloria in this crystallization process?”

***Pat Robertson***

“It was extremely important because I felt, interestingly enough, that if I couldn’t move a hurricane, I could hardly move a nation.”

 

ROBERTSON FORMALLY LAUNCHED HIS CAMPAIGN ON OCTOBER FIRST OF 1987.

 

****Pat Robertson *** 

‘can we see America become the greatest nation on the face of the world, yes. Can we have jobs for our young people, yes. Is it possible to restore the industrial might of America through moral strength, the answer is yes. I call on all of you to do together with me. 

 

UP UNTIL THIS POINT, EVANGELICALS CHRISTIANS HAD LEANED REPUBLICAN IN THEIR VOTING HABITS BUT WITHOUT ANY RIGID POLITICAL IDENTITY.

 

THEY WERE NOT YET A POWERFUL POLITICAL BLOC THAT EXERCISED THEIR CONSIDERABLE MIGHT INSIDE THE G-O-P.

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord***

They just went and voted and that was it.

 

TODAY EVANGELICALS ARE SYNONYMOUS WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

NO GROUP IS MORE IMPORTANT TO ITS ELECTION SUCCESS.

 

BUT 30 YEARS AGO THE G-O-P WAS STILL A BUSINESS FIRST, COUNTRY CLUB PARTY. 

 

THAT CHANGED IN 1988 WITH PAT ROBERTSON’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN- 

WHICH WAS A COMING OUT PARTY, OF SORTS, FOR EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS.

 

THIS IS THE STORY HOW PAT ROBERTSON HELPED MOVED EVANGELICALS FROM THEIR CHURCH PEWS AND INTO THE POLITICAL ARENA-

AND HOW IT CHANGED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOREVER.

 

***Long Shots Bumper***

 

PART II: 

 

**Donald Trump *** 

“I would like to thank the religious and evangelical community…the support they’ve given me”

 

TODAY’S REPUBLICAN PARTY MAY BE LED BY A TWICE DIVORCED, SERIAL PHILANDERER, WITH A HISTORY OF EXAGGERATION. 

 

BUT LONG BEFORE EVANGELICALS LINED UP IN SUPPORT OF DONALD TRUMP, THEY WERE ACTUALLY CRUCIAL IN ELECTING THE FIRST BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN PRESIDENT- 

 

A DEMOCRATIC, SOUTHERN BAPTIST, SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER, FROM GEORGIA WHO PROFESSED TO HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. – JIMMY CARTER

 

***Jimmy Carter *** 

The most important thing in my life is Jesus Christ.

 

***Jimmy Carter *** 

“I believe can be a better president if I am elected because of my faith. 

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

“In the 70s. It was not normal for Christians to be involved in politics.”

 

THAT IS MARC NUTTLE, HE WAS PAT ROBERTSON’S CAMPAIGN MANAGER IN 1988

 

IN THE 70S HE WAS A POLITICAL OPERATIVE WORKING FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY –

AND SAYS NEITHER DEMOCRATS NOR REPUBLICANS REALLY KNEW WHAT TO MAKE OF EVANGELICAL VOTERS 

BECAUSE FOR THE MOST PART THEY STAYED OUT OF ORGANIZED POLITICS.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

When we would poll churches through the 70s and 80s. Less than half were registered. You had a lot of pastors out there saying, politics is not our game.

 

BUT WITH CARTER’S CANDIDACY -MANY OF THE SOME 40 MILLION EVANGELICALS IN THE COUNTRY, THAT IS PROTESTANTS WHO BELIEVE IN THE NECESSITY TO BE BORN AGAIN,

 

DID SHOWED UP TO VOTE. 

 

BELIEVING HIS CHRISTIAN FAITH WOULD GUIDE THE GEORGIA DEMOCRAT’S POLICY DECISIONS. 

 

THE EMERGENCE OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS ON THE POLITICAL SCENE WAS SUCH A SURPRISE NEWSWEEK RAN A COVER STORY HAILING 1976 AS THE YEAR OF THE EVANGELICAL VOTER. 

 

HOWEVER, CARTER’S EVANGELICAL FAITH WAS PROGRESSIVE, ROOTED IN THE IDEA OF RACIAL AND ECONOMIC EQUALITY, WITH A DEEP CONCERN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. 

 

***Jimmy Carter *** 

“Our commitment to human rights must be absolute. Our laws fair. Our natural beauty preserved. The powerful must not persecute the weak.”

 

IF THAT SOUNDS A LITTLE DIFFERENT THEN THE EVANGELICALS OF TODAY

 

THAT’S BECAUSE- IT IS.

 

CARTER’S PROGRESSIVE VISION OF POLITICS WAS WAY OUT OF STEP WITH WHERE THE MAJORITY OF EVANGELICALS WERE IN THE 1970S- AND WHERE THEY WERE HEADING.

 

MOST SAW AMERICA GOING DOWN A PATH OF MORAL DECAY AND RUIN. 

 

REMEMBER IN THE 1970S AND EARLY 80S, AMERICA WAS BATTLING OVER CIVIL RIGHTS, SCHOOL PRAYER, EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN, SCHOOL DESEGREGATION, AND THE LEGALIZATION OF ABORTION.

 

MEANWHILE THE COLD WAR AND THE BATTLE AGAINST COMMUNISM LOOMED LARGE OVER EVERYTHING.

 

SO AS QUICKLY AS EVANGELICALS ARRIVED ON THE POLITICAL SCENE IN SUPPORT OF CARTER IN 1976, THEY DISAPPEARED-

 

TURNED OFF BY CARTER’S SUPPORT FOR GAYS AND LESBIANS, FOR DESEGREGATION OF SCHOOLS, AND FOR ABORTION RIGHTS. 

 

BY THE LATE 1970S, NUTTLE SAYS HE STARTED SEEING SMALL GROUPS OF EVANGELICALS TURING UP AT REPUBLICAN EVENTS.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

I was running campaigns around the country and I noticed that there were the Christians showing up at Congressional campaigns around the country.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Oh 25 or 30 but large enough at meetings to have their own caucus.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

I am noticing these Christians show up. The candidates would pull me aside. These are establishment Republican candidates, and say, do you have any idea who these people are?

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

I go, no, I really don’t.

 

AFTER OBSERVING THIS A HALF DOZEN OR SO TIMES, NUTTLE BEGAN TO REACH OUT TO THEM.

 

 ***Marc Nuttle***

I would go over and talk to them. And finally I just said what are you doing here?

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

They said we are worried about the morality of the country

 

**** ABC News Report*** 

 “TV Preacher Dr Jerry Falwell, who’s doctorate is honorary not earned, turned a small Virginia church of 35 into a Christians communications empire

 

AT THE SAME TIME, TELEVANGELISTS, LIKE JERRY FALWELL, PAT ROBERTSON AND JIMMY SWAGGART WERE BEGINNING TO BE BROADCASTED INTO MILLIONS OF AMERICAN HOMES VIA CABLE TELEVISION

 

ALL WARNING OF THE MORAL DECAY OF THE COUNTRY.

 

INCREASINGLY, EVANGELICALS WERE EAGER TO TAKE PART IN THE POLITICAL BATTLES OF THE DAY – 

DESPITE HAVING BEEN RAISED TO AVOID POLITICS.

 

WHILE REPUBLICANS WERE DESPERATE TO FIND A WAY TO LURE EVANGELICALS INTO THEIR TENT.

 

***NBC News Clip***

“from the NBC News Studios in New York, Decision 78”

 

THE REAL TURNING POINT CAME IN THE 1978 MID TERM ELECTIONS, WHEN THE CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST, PAUL WEYRICH, SPENT HEAVILY TO ELECT SEVERAL PRO-LIFE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES.

 

UP UNTIL THAT POINT, EVANGELICAL LEADERS LIKE THE JERRY FALWELL HAD BARELY SAID A WORD ABOUT ABORTION AS AN ISSUE. 

 

INSTEAD THE FLEDGLING EVANGELICAL POLITICAL MOVEMENT IN THE EARLY 70S, WAS INCENSED WHEN THE IRS CHANGED ITS RULES FOR RELIGIOUS SCHOOL.

 

***News Clip*** 

The IRS wants to revoke the tax exemptions for private school which discriminate racially in its admissions policies. 

 

THESE WHITE ONLY, PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS SPRUNG UP ACROSS THE SOUTH AFTER COURTS ORDERED THE DESEGREGATION PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

 

BY THE LATE 1970S, ABORTION WAS STARTING TO TAKE OVER AS AN ISSUE- AS THE NUMBER OF ABORTIONS JUMPED DRAMATICALLY FOLLOWING THE ROE VERSUS WADE DECISION IN 1973

 

HERE IS JERRY FALLWELL 

 

***Jerry Falwell*** 

 “abortion is not a roman catholic issue. It is a moral issue. It is a theological issue. It is a human rights issue. An issue that concerns the human rights of unborn babies who by the hundreds of thousands are being murdered.

 

IN 1978 MIDTERMS, WEYRICH HAD EVANGELICAL CHURCHES SWAMPED WITH PAMPHLETS ON THE SIN OF ABORTION JUST AHEAD OF VOTING.

 

THE MOVE WORKED. REPUBLICANS GAINED A STRING OF NEW SEATS.

 

A FEW MONTHS AFTER, FALWELL AND WEYRICH TEAMED UP AND LAUNCHED THE MORAL MAJORITY. 

 

*** NBC News Clip *** 

 “a new political machine that is anti-abortion, anti-era, anti-gay rights, and for what he calls a moral America.

 

***News Clip *** 

‘the moral majority is not a religious organization. If it were we could not get 72,000 pastors. Which includes Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, fundamentalists, ect, together without a blood battle. That fact is it is political”

 

THIS PROJECT WAS SET UP TO RESTORE AMERICA’S TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN MORALITY-

 

****Jerry Falwell *** 

We have a threefold primary responsibility, number one get people saved. Number two get people baptized. Number three get people registered to vote.

 

WHICH IN PRACTICAL TERMS, BASICALLY MEANS IT WAS MOBILIZING RELIGIOUS VOTERS AGAINST ABORTION RIGHTS AND HOMOSEXUALITY. 

 

BY THE 1980 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT WAS MOTIVATED, IF NOT ANGRY

 

***James Robison*** 

“I am sick and tired and hearing about all the radical, and the perverts and the liberals, and the leftists and the communists coming out of the closet. It is time for god’s people to come out of the closet, out of the churches and change America.”

 

AND THEY GALVANIZED EVANGELICAL VOTERS IN SUPPORT OF THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE RONALD REAGAN –

WHICH IS IRONIC BECAUSE HE SIGNED THE MOST LIBERAL ABORTION BILL INTO LAW WHILE CALIFORNIA’S GOVERNOR A DECADE BEFORE.

 

AT THE SAME TIME, THE MORAL MAJORITY PAINTED THE BORN AGAIN, SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER JIMMY CARTER AS AN ENEMY OF CHRISTIAN VALUES. 

 

***News Clip*** 

“president carter has been told by his pollster Pat Caddell that it is all over. 

 

***NBC News Clip*** 

“we’ve seen the map. we’ve looked at the figures, NBC News now makes it projection for the presidency. Reagan is our projected winner. 

 

REAGAN WOULD WIN THE 1980 ELECTION IN A LANDSLIDE- MOSTLY DUE TO THE MISERABLE ECONOMY AND THE APPEARANCE OF CARTER’S NEGLIGENCE IN THE HANDLING OF IT.

 

BUT FALWELL AND OTHER EVANGELICAL LEADERS WOULD CLAIMED CREDIT FOR REAGAN’S SUCCESS.

 

THE TASTE OF POLITICAL VICTORY ONLY EMBOLDEN THEM, AS THE MORAL MAJORITY WOULD MOVE EVER CLOSER TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

 

IN THE FOLLOWING YEARS, EVANGELICALS PRETTY MUCH MARCHED IN LOCK STEP WITH THE G-O-P

 

BUT IN THE EARLY 80S, THEY WERE MORE FOOT SOLDIERS, RATHER THAN GENERALS IN THE POLITICAL ARENA. 

 

IT WOULD TAKE CHARISMATIC TELEVANGELIST FROM VIRGINIA TO SOLIDIFY THEIR GRIP ON THE GRAND OLD PARTY. 

 

PART III: 

 

IN BOTH PERSONALITY AND PEDIGREE, PAT ROBERTSON IS A QUINTESSENTIAL SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN.

 

AFFABLE, WELL-BRED AND WITH A SOFT SOUTHERN DRAWL. 

 

WHEN I LOOKED AT CLIPS FROM HIS YOUNGER DAYS, ROBERTSON SORT OF REMINDS ME OF WHAT I THINK THE FATHER FROM LEAVE-IT-TO-BEAVER WAS PROBABLY LIKE AT THE OFFICE, OR ALONE WITH FRIENDS. 

 

BORN MARION GORDON ROBERTSON IN LEXINGTON, VIRGINIA IN 1930 -HIS NICKNAME WAS PAT, WHICH HE FAVORED OVER HIS BIRTHNAME.

 

ROBERTSON’S FATHER WAS A U-S CONGRESSMAN AND SENATOR FOR THREE DECADES.

 

BEFORE EARNING A LAW DEGREE FROM YALE IN 1955, ROBERTSON SERVED AS A MARINE OFFICER IN KOREA.

 

BUT TRUE TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SOUTH GENTLEMAN REPUTATION, ROBERTSON WAS ALSO A SELF DESCRIBED- HELLRAISER -WHO LIKED TO DRINK AND HAVE A GOOD TIME. 

 

STILL, HE MARRIED DEDE ELMER, A YALE NURSING STUDENT AND HAD SEEMINGLY BUILT THE PERFECT RESUME FOR PUBLIC OFFICE. 

 

THE PATH TOWARDS A CAREER IN POLITICS VEERED SHARPLY, WHEN HE FAILED THE NEW YORK STATE BAR EXAM AND A BUSINESS VENTURE SELLING ELECTRONIC SPEAKERS WENT BANKRUPT.

 

BY THE END OF 1955, ROBERTSON, NOW WITH A WIFE AND YOUNG SON, WAS AT A CROSS ROADS.

 

HE TURNED TO RELIGION, AND ENROLLED IN THE BIBLICAL SEMINARY IN NEW YORK.  

 

****CBN Jingle*** 

“CBN The Christian Broadcasting Network presents the following program”

 

FOLLOWING GRADUATION, ROBERTSON RETURNED HOME AND PURCHASED A TINY, RUN-DOWN TELEVISION STATION IN PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA AND BEGAN HIS TELEVISION MINISTRY. 

 

***Pat Robertson ***  

“I didn’t have any money but a lot of faith I suppose so I got an appointment with David Sarnoff, the who was then chairman of the board of RCA and told him we needed some help and we wanted to buy some equipment from him. Well, he looked at me and said you don’t sound much like a buyer to me.

 

THE CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK, LAUNCHED IN OCTOBER OF 1961.

 

DESPITE EARLY FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, ROBERTSON PROVED TO BE A MASTER MARKETER AND A TELEVISION PIONEER. 

 

***CBN Intro*** 

Now here is your host, Pat Robertson, thank you and welcome ladies and gentlemen to this addition of the 700 club. 

 

BY THE EARLY 1980S WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF CABLE AND SATELLITE, C-B-N AND ITS FLAGSHIP PROGRAM THE 700 CLUB, REACHED MORE THAN 30 MILLION HOMES IN AMERICA AND AROUND THE WORLD. 

****Pat Robertson *** 

“we have a wonderful audience and a wonderful program”

 

INITIALLY THE PROGRAMMING WAS TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN STUFF – IT WAS A STEADY STREAM OF SERMONS AND PRAYERS AND GOSPEL MUSIC. 

 

AS C-B-N GREW, ROBERTSON EMERGED AS ONE OF THE PREMIER VOICES FOR CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIAN VALUES.

 

BY THE EARLY 1980S, CBN GREW INCREASINGLY POLITICAL.

 

FOLLOWING THE SUPREME COURT’S ROE VS WADE DECISION WHICH LEGALIZE ABORTION, RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES BEGAN TO MELD WITH POLITICAL CONSERVATIVES

 

AS THE HOST OF THE POPULAR 700 CLUB, NO ONE DID MORE TO VISIBLY MERGED THE TWO TOGETHER.

 

****Pat Robertson *** 

 “the constitution of the United States is a marvelous document for self-government by Christian people but the minute you turn the document into the hands of none Christian people and atheist they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. 

 

DAY IN AND DAY OUT, ROBERTSON PROMOTED THE IDEA, THAT CONSERVATIVES WERE FOR JESUS, AND JESUS WAS FOR CONSERVATIVES  

 

NOW, HE WASN’T THE ONLY ONE DOING THIS. 

THE MORAL MAJORITY LED BY JERRY FARWELL WAS EXTREMELY ACTIVE AS WELL- 

ROBERTSON THOUGH, WAS JUST THE ONLY ONE WITH A MASSIVE CABLE T-V STATION AT HIS FINGER TIPS.

 

LONG BEFORE FOX NEWS OFFERED CONSERVATIVES FAIR AND BALANCED PROGRAMING, C-B-N PROMOTED ITSELF AS –TV JOURNALISM WITH A- DIFFERENT- SPIRIT. 

 

**** Terry Heaton*** 

We wrote the playbook that they used ten years later. 

 

THAT IS TERRY HEATON 

 

**** Terry Heaton*** 

I know exactly what they are doing. Because we did the same thing. 

 

HE’S FORMER EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AT CBN, AND WAS AN ADVISOR TO ROBERTSON’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. HEATON IS NOW A CRITIC OF ROBERTSON AND HAS REGRETS ABOUT THE WAY NEWS WAS PRESENTED ON C-B-N

 

**** Terry Heaton*** 

You have to create the idea in people’s minds that everyone else in the press is liberal. Because only in that way could we present ourselves as an alternative that belongs on the same spectrum as everybody else. 

 

THE PARALLEL MESSAGE OF C-B-N’S INCREASINGLY POLITICAL PROGRAMING WAS THE OTHER GUYS – ARE LIBERAL- AND THEREFORE UNCHRISTIAN.

 

**** Terry Heaton*** 

Key to our success was convincing people that everyone else was liberal. And Frankly it was pretty easy to do. 

 

HEATON LIKE SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE I SPOKE TO DESCRIBE ROBERTSON, EVEN TODAY, AS A POLITICAL ANIMAL, WHO JUST HAPPENED TO BE A CHRISTIAN TELEVANGELIST.

 

SO LONG BEFORE ROBERTSON OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED HE WAS RUNNING FOR THE WHITE HOUSE -THE WHEELS WERE ALREADY IN MOTION FOR HIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. 

 

**** Terry Heaton*** 

From late 1984 we knew Pat was running for president and so everything we did you always had to run it through that filter. At the end of the day. 

 

IN MARCH OF 1985, THE SATURDAY EVENING POST PUT ROBERTSON ON ITS MAGAZINE COVER, WITH THE WITH THE HEADLINE, “CBN’S PAT ROBERTSON: IS THE WHITE HOUSE NEXT?

 

PUBLIC SPECULATION OF HIS PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRATIONS WERE RAMPANT 

 

ROBERTSON WOULD SPEND THE NEXT FEW YEARS, WITH HELP FROM C-B-N, SHAPING THE MIND OF HIS EVANGELICALS SUPPORTERS. 

 

***NBC News Clip*** 

”Individual Christians are the only ones really – and Jewish people, are the only ones that are qualified”

Obviously you aren’t saying there are no other people qualified to be in government, or whatever, if they aren’t Christians or Jews. What you are saying is.

“Yeah, I am saying that, I just said it. I believe it.”

 

N-B-C NEWS USED THIS CLIP DURING THE 1988 PRIMARY TO DEMONSTRATE ROBERTSON’S EXTREMISM. 

 

BUT THIS TYPE OF MESSAGE, EVEN IF THE MEDIA AND BELTWAY POLITICAL CLASS FOUND IT OUT OF BOUNDS, PLAYED WELL WITH HIS BASE OF SUPPORT.

 

BEING CRITICIZED BY -THE LIBERALS- OVER AT N-B-C NEWS, MADE IT RESONATE ALL THE MORE WITH EVANGELICALS. 

 

PARTICULARLY ONES WHO FELT LEFT OUT AND MARGINALIZED BY THE MEDIA, BY LIBERALS AND BY ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICAN POLITICIANS. 

 

WHEN ROBERTSON PROCLAIMED THAT A CHRISTIAN’S MISSION IN THE POLITICS WAS TO QUOTE “PULVERIZE THE UN-GODLY,” OBSERVERS SAW IT AS A CALL TO ARMS FOR EVANGELICALS.  

 

PART IV: 

 

IT WAS A CROWDED FIELD OF CANDIDATES VYING FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION IN 1988.

 

AMONG THOSE RUNNING WERE, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE ALEXANDER HAIG, CONGRESSMAN JACK KEMP, FORMER DELAWARE GOVERNOR PETE DU PONT, SENATE MINORITY LEADER BOB DOLE, AND TELEVANGELIST PAT ROBERTSON. 

 

AND THEY WERE ALL CHASING THE FRONTRUNNER -GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH. 

 

BUT THE SITTING VICE PRESIDENT WAS NO SHOE-IN. 

 

BUSH WAS SEEN AS A MODERATE BY THE EMERGING RELIGIOUS WING OF THE G-O-P – WHO VIEWED HIM AS SOFT ON ABORTION BECAUSE OF HIS PREVIOUS SUPPORT OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD. 

 

WHILE HAIG AND OTHERS ATTACKED HIM FOR HIS FOREIGN POLICY VIEWS

 

ROBERTSON WAS PERHAPS THE LEAST LIKELY CANDIDATE IN THE FIELD, HAVING NEVER RUN FOR OFFICE OR HELD A SENIOR GOVERNMENT POSITION BEFORE.

 

STILL THE SOUTHERN PREACHER STARTED THE CAMPAIGN WITH AN IMPORTANT BASE OF SUPPORT

 

***T.R. Reid*** 

I thought from the beginning, this guy could be a formidable candidate. 

 

THAT IS T.R. REID. HE COVERED ROBERTSON’S CAMPAIGN IN 1988 FOR THE WASHINGTON POST.

 

*** TR Reid*** 

He had tens of thousands of religious followers devoted followers in every state. 

 

***T.R. Reid*** 

He was a TV star. He was an attractive good looking, well dressed, articulate guy. He could give a speech in a moment’s notice. He could quote the bible anytime he wanted. 

 

BEFORE ROBERTSON OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED HIS CAMPAIGN, HE HELD A RALLY IN 1986- 

 

AND PROMISED -HE WOULD RUN FOR PRESIDENT – IF THREE MILLION PEOPLE SIGNED A PETITION, VOWING TO PRAY AND SUPPORT HIS CANDIDACY.

 

BECAUSE OF THE 700 CLUB AND TALK RADIO WHICH OFTEN REPLAYED CLIPS OF HIS SHOW –

 

ROBERTSON WAS KNOWN ACROSS AMERICA SAYS MARK GIETZEN A LONG TIME PRO LIFE REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST FROM WICHITA, KANSAS.

 

***Mark Gietzen *** 

You would have found about as many people would have known who Pat Robertson was at the time, as would have known the president are or who your state legislator and things like that. He was really quite well known. 

 

MORE THAN THREE MILLION PEOPLE PLEDGED THEIR SUPPORT.

 

ROBERTSON THEN HIRED MARC NUTTLE TO BE HIS CAMPAIGN MANAGER. 

 

THE POLITICAL OPERATIVE WAS PERFECT FOR THE ROLE –

HAVING BEEN ONE OF THE FIRST TO BUILD LINKS BETWEEN THE ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICAN PARTY AND EVANGELICALS.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

I felt called to do it. I felt it was the right thing to do for the country. I felt Christians should be more active and directive in their efforts. 

 

ROBERTSON ALSO HIRED, A YOUNG MADISON AVENUE ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE NAMED CONNIE SNAPP, WHO WAS DRAWN THE EVANGELICAL LEADER. 

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

This isn’t just some religious guy on the TV praying. That you get healed. He really was a man of great substance, of tremendous depth and breathed. 

 

WHILE ROBERTSON STARTED THE CAMPAIGN WITH MILLIONS OF SUPPORTERS AND A BUILT-IN FUNDRAISING NETWORK, IT WAS A TOUGH TIME TO BE A CHRISTIAN TELEVANGELIST MAKING THE JUMP INTO NATIONAL POLITICS. 

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

We had a bigger problem than George Bush when we started. And that was the completely erroneous thought perception of Pat Robertson. And it was very negative.

 

ROBERTSON’S FELLOW TELEVANGELISTS WERE IN THE NEWS, BUT FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS.

 

ORAL ROBERTS, THE GRAND OLD MAN OF TV EVANGELISM ATTRACTED NATIONAL RIDICULE AFTER TELLING HIS AUDIENCE, THAT UNLESS HIS SUPPORTERS DONATED EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS, GOD WOULD CALL HIM HOME. 

 

***Oral Roberts*** 

“I need some very quick money. So I will know when March comes I wont be taken. I get to live. 

 

THEN JIM BAKKER, A FORMER PROTÉGÉ OF PAT ROBERTSON’S, WAS ACCUSED OF DRUGGING AND RAPING HIS SECRETARY, JESSICA HAHN.

 

***Jessica Hahn*** 

“all I can say it was not an affair”

 

BAKKER PAID HER A QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS IN HUSH MONEY -DESPITE DENYING THE ALLEGATIONS.

 

AT THE SAME TIME, IT TURNED OUT BAKKER’S WIFE- TAMMY FAYE- HAD A REALLY BAD DRUG PROBLEM, AND THE COUPLE HAD AN OUTRAGEOUS SPENDING HABIT. 

 

MUCH TO HIS IRRITATION, ROBERTSON, WAS CONSTANTLY ASKED ABOUT HIS FELLOW TELEVANGELISTS, 

 

EVEN WORSE, VOTERS OFTEN CONFUSED HIM WITH OTHER EVANGELICAL PERSONALITIES, PARTICULARLY JERRY FALWELL, WHO AS THE LEADER OF THE MORAL MAJORITY TURNED OFF MANY ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS.

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

They didn’t like those people. They thought they were fakes they thought they were pompous and they just didn’t like them

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

The best news of all was, most people thought they knew Pat Robertson. It wasn’t Pat Robertson. 

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

That made the problem actually a little easier and a little more solvable

 

ROBERTSON RELEASED A SERIES OF PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS WHERE HE EMPHASIZED HIS SECULAR ACHIEVEMENTS AND ROLE AS A CEO.  

 

***Robertson Campaign Video*** 

The next president of the United States, Pat Robertson. An extraordinary man, an America success story. 

 

***Robertson Campaign Video*** 

These leaders are talking about Pat Robertson, get the full picture of a man uniquely qualified to be president. 

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

Once we showed them some video clips of Pat, the real Pat, they said oh he looks good he looks very intellectual, very presidential

 

IN THE ADS, THERE WAS NO MENTION OF HIS RELIGIOUS WORKS AND CONNECTION TO THE CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK.

 

INSTEAD ROBERTSON WAS SOLD AS A BUSINESSMAN, A PATRIOT AND A CONSERVATIVE TO ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS WHO KNEW LITTLE ABOUT HIM

 

WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, THE CAMPAIGN WANTED TO ATTRACT NEW PEOPLE TO THE NOMINATION PROCESS BY CONVERTING C-B-N’S RELIGIOUS VIEWERS INTO VOTERS. 

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

“We thought there is a huge group of people out here and they tend not to get involved in politics and yet they complain about the way the country is going and some of the way things are happening. So these people need to learn how to get engaged. 

 

WITH A LOYAL AND PASSIONATE BASE OF SUPPORTERS, ROBERTSON SHOCKED HIS FELLOW REPUBLICANS BY RAISING MORE THAN TEN MILLION DOLLARS AT THE OUTSET OF THE CAMPAIGN

 

BESTING EVERY OTHER CANDIDATE BUT BUSH.

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

I would say so much of our invisible army had never visibly participated so significantly in the political process before.  

 

WHEN ROBERTSON WON THE IOWA STRAW POLL, MONTHS BEFORE THE FIRST PRIMARY CONTEST, EVANGELICALS ANNOUNCED THEIR ARRIVAL ON THE POLITICAL SCENE ONCE AGAIN.

 

THE NEXT MORNING, THE DES MOINES REGISTER HAD A CARTOON- WHICH DEPICTED ROBERTSON AS THE BIBLICAL CHARACTER DAVID, AND A WOUNDED GEORGE BUSH LYING ON THE GROUND AS GOLIATH 

 

MARK NUTTLE 

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Pat won it, and it was huge shock to the establishment. Who are these people where did they come from. How did they organize, where is their money coming from. And we blindside them. They had no clue.

 

AT THE START OF THE FIRST DEBATE, ROBERTSON WAS VIEWED AS AN ODDITY, AN ALSO RAND, ON A STAGE THAT WAS FULL OF SOME HEAVY HITTERS IN THE WORLD OF FOREIGN POLICY AND POLITICS. 

 

BUT WHEN ROBERTSON JOINED HAIG, DU PONT AND KEMP, AND ATTACKED BUSH FOR HIS SUPPORT OF THE INTERMEDIATE-RANGE NUCLEAR FORCES TREATY WITH THE SOVIET UNION, ROBERTSON PROVED HE COULD HOLD IS OWN.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

He changed the viewpoint people had of evangelicals

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Was he that much better than Pete DuPont, George Bush, Jack Kemp or Bob Dole, probably not. But everyone thought he was going to be a TV evangelist that don’t know what he was doing. And he was as good and better as all of them and therefore exceed expectations.

 

FOLLOWING THE DEBATE, ROBERTSON WAS STILL FAR FROM A FRONT RUNNER. 

 

BUT SLOWLY HE WAS MAKING THE CASE- THAT HE WAS THE CONSERVATIVE ALTERNATIVE TO BUSH.

 

RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES WERE DESPERATE FOR AN ALTERNATIVE.

 

PARTICULARLY AFTER NEIL BUSH, THE VICE PRESIDENT’S SON REFERRED TO EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS IN A SPEECH IN IOWA – AS COCKROACHES CRAWLING FROM THE BASEBOARDS OF THE BIBLE BELT.

 

THE ESTABLISHMENT RIDICULE ONLY HELPED ROBERTSON.

 

TR REID

 

*** TR Reid*** 

He had what we would now call a base Of these religious people and while he didn’t talk about it that much in debates and stuff, when he went to a church which was almost every day then he became an evangelical leader

 

WITH THE SLOGAN, RESTORE THE GREATNESS OF AMERICA THROUGH MORAL STRENGTH, ROBERTSON MIXED REAGAN-ESQUE ECONOMIC POLICIES – LOWER TAXES, LESS REGULATION – WITH MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 

BUT MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS IS A DANGEROUS PATH TO TREAD IN POLITICS 

 

*** T.R. Reid*** 

Great religious leader who turned out not to be an honest man. 

 

ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’VE BEEN LYING ABOUT YOUR OWN RECORD- WHICH ROBERTSON HAD.

 

WHEN POLITICAL REPORTERS DUG INTO ROBERTSON’S PAST, THEY FOUND A LOT.

 

FOR YEARS ROBERTSON HAD LIED ABOUT HIS WEDDING DATE -IN AN EFFORT TO HIDE THE FACT THAT HIS WIFE, DEDE WAS SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT WHEN THEY WERE MARRIED.

 

ROBERTSON ALSO CLAIMED TO HAVE BEEN A COMBAT VETERAN – WHEN IN REALITY HIS FATHER – A U-S SENATOR – SECURED HIM A DESK JOB IN KOREA DURING THE WAR. 

 

HE ALSO CLAIMED TO BE A LAWYER, EVEN THOUGH HE NEVER PASSED THE BAR EXAM. 

 

***T.R. Reid*** 

This turned out to be a serious problem for him

 

THE LIES, DENTED ROBERTSON’S REPUTATION.

 

BUT WHEN ASKED ABOUT THEM, ROBERTSON SAID QUOTE, THIS ISN’T GOING TO HAVE ONE BIT OF IMPACT ON ME NEGATIVELY -BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT ME UNDERSTAND FORGIVENESS.

 

BY THE TIME THE FIRST VOTES WERE CAST IN IOWA IN 1988, ROBERTSON’S INVISIBLE ARMY WAS PRIMED AND READY TO SHOW UP TO RESTORE AMERICA’S GREATNESS.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

They were moved on cause and purpose. And Pat gave them purpose. 

 

***PBS News Clip***  

 “Music…the Iowa story is our major business tonight”

 

WITH A STRONG ORGANIZATIONAL NETWORK AND COMMITTED SUPPORTERS, ROBERTSON SHOCKED THE POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT – AGAIN. 

 

***PBS News Clip*** 

“The Pat Robertson performance was impressive and devastatingly so.”

 

ROBERTSON FINISHED JUST BEHIND THE WINNER, BOB DOLE WHO WAS FROM NEIGHBORING KANSAS, AND ALWAYS EXPECTED TO WIN. 

 

*** Pat Robertson **** 

I am over joyed at this expression of love and support from the people of Iowa.

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

We ended up coming in second, a strong second. And we beat a sitting Vice President. Oh my we were on cloud nine. 

 

UNTIL THIS MOMENT, EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS HAD BARELY BEEN RECOGNIZED BY ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS

 

BUT THE PARTY WAS STARTING TO UNDERSTAND THERE WAS A SEISMIC SHIFT HAPPENING BEFORE THEIR VERY EYES.

 

ALL OF THE CANDIDATES BEGAN TO TALK MORE ABOUT SOCIAL ISSUES AND MORAL VALUES IN AN EFFORT TO WOO EVANGELICAL VOTERS. 

 

BUSH WAS PROBABLY DRAGGED THE MOST BY THIS PHENOMENON CONSIDERING HIS PAST SUPPORT FOR BIRTH CONTROL ACCESS. 

TO COUNTER THIS, THE VICE PRESIDENT OPENED UP ABOUT HIS FAITH

 

HEADING INTO THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY, THE ELECTION CONVERSATION TURNED TO THE ECONOMIC SITUATION OF THE COUNTRY.

BUT FOR ROBERTSON, A DIFFERENT CONVERSATION MATERIALIZED

 

***CBS News Clip*** 

“The evangelical world was shocked today by the tearful confession of one its leading preachers- jimmy Swaggart- that he had sinned against god and family. 

 

FELLOW TELEVANGELIST, AND PROMINENT ROBERTSON BACKER, JIMMY SWAGGART WAS CAUGHT WITH A PROSTITUTE. 

 

***Jimmy Swaggart*** 

I have sinned against you my lord

 

ROBERTSON STOOD BY SWAGGART -AND FACED A BARRAGE OF QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS FELLOW TELEVANGELIST

 

THEN, RIGHT AS HE LOOKED LIKE A SERIOUS CONTENDER FOR THE G-O-P NOMINATION, ROBERTSON’S CANDIDACY IMPLODED. 

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Pat wasn’t doing badly. Until what happened was a series of funny facts 

 

FUNNY FACTS IS HOW NUTTLE DESCRIBES A SERIES OF – LETS CALL THEM UNPROVABLE ACCUSATIONS.

 

***T.R. Reid*** 

He was not a disciplined candidate. He was always saying dangerous stuff.  

 

FIRST, ROBERTSON BLAMED THE BUSH CAMPAIGN FOR ENGINEERING THE SWAGGART SEX SCANDAL TO EMBARRASS AND UNDERMINED HIS OWN CAMPAIGN. 

 

BUT HE OFFERED NO PROOF.

 

ROBERTSON ALSO CLAIMED HE KNEW THE LOCATION OF AMERICAN HOSTAGES THAT HAD BEEN KIDNAPPED IN LEBANON YEARS BEFORE – AND SUGGESTED THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION COULD HAVE RESCUED THEM. 

IF IT HAD WANTED TO.

THAT DIDN’T GO OVER WELL WITH PRESIDENT REAGAN.

 

***Ronald Reagan*** 

Isn’t it strange that no one in our administration was ever apprised of that? If he thought that he knew, he kept it to himself. 

 

BUT THE BIG ONE, THAT REALLY UNDERMINED THE CREDIBILITY ROBERTSON HAD BEGUN TO BUILD –

 

WAS WHEN HE CLAIMED THAT SOVIET UNION HAD NUCLEAR MISSILES IN CUBA.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Pat was just addiment and made that claim and couldn’t prove it. 

 

THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DENIED IT – SO DID PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE IN WASHINGTON, DC.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

I said this is serious allegation. This is something the sitting Vice President would know as former head of the CIA but also as sitting Vice President. If he knows it, the government knows it. 

 

THE UNFORCED ERRORS LED TO A COLLAPSE IN THE POLLS 

 

***T.R. Reid*** 

I Just clearly remember all the reporters standing around looking at each other, saying this guy is frying his own campaign right here before our eyes.

 

THIS ALL HAPPENED JUST DAYS BEFORE THE SUPER TUESDAY PRIMARIES, 

WHEN ROBERTSON WAS POSITIONED TO DO WELL IN SOUTHERN STATES, HOME TO LARGE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES.

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

We had a good organization there. He knew he could do well there.

 

BUT ROBERTSON REFUSED TO LET GO OF HIS CLAIMS AND REPEATEDLY CALLED BUSH AND HIS CAMPAIGN SLEAZY. 

AT A TIME WHEN MONEY WAS NEEDED THE MOST, FINANCIAL SUPPORT COLLAPSED. 

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Our fundraising dropped off, not 20, 30 percent. It was a cliff. A 90 degree cliff. It stopped dead.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

We start calling the donner and say what is going on. They said listen this is part of the ten commandments you don’t slander somebody. Did he have the goods on him or not?

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

The series of funny facts was absolutely more detrimental to the Christian community than they were the general community. 

 

NOW JUST AS A SIDE NOTE, BUSH’S CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN IN 1988 WAS A GUY NAMED LEE ATWATER, 

 

HE WAS KNOWN, AS THE KING OF THE POLITICAL DARK ARTS.

 

IN THE 80S, ATWATER WAS A PARTNER IN A POLITICAL CONSULTING FIRM, WITH GET THIS PAUL MANAFORT AND ROGER STONE- 

 

YOU KNOW FROM THEM ANOTHER LONG SHOT CAMPAIGN, DONALD TRUMP’S 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RUN.

 

BOTH MEN, OF COURSE, HAVE BEEN CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR THEIR NUMEROUS ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES 

 

SO, ROBERTSON WAS UP AGAINST A PRETTY RUTHLESS POLITICAL OPERATOR, IN LEE ATWATER.

 

BUT THE TELEVANGELIST, MADE A SERIES OF UNFORCED ERRORS AND THEN GOT DRAWN INTO THE MUCK AND OFF MESSAGE. 

WHICH IS WHAT ATWATER WANTED.

 

BY THE END OF SUPER TUESDAY. THE DAMAGE AND ROBERTSON WERE DONE.

 

***CBS News Clip***

George Bush has won everything, every place that has Republican stamped on it tonight. Has anyone seen Pat Robertson. Well not much. 

 

BUSH WAS THE BIG WINNER AND THE PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE

 

WHILE ROBERTSON’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN WAS ESSENTIALLY OVER HIS IMPACT WAS NOT.

 

HE WOULD ENDORSE BUSH AND SPEAK AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION LATER THAT SUMMER.

 

BUSH WAS FORCED TO ROUTINELY ISSUE STRONGER AND STRONGER STATEMENTS AGAINST ABORTION.

 

WHILE HIS CAMPAIGN WOULD HIRE SEVERAL OF ROBERTSON’S CHIEF STRATEGISTS, INCLUDING CONNIE SNAPP TO CONTINUE WOOING EVANGELICALS.

 

BUSH WOULD ALSO PICK A YOUNG, UNKNOWN AND CONTROVERSIAL SENATOR FROM INDIANA AS HIS RUNNING MATE.

 

***ABC News Clip*** 

Why did he chose him? What is about dan Quayle that makes him uniquely qualified to stand besides Bush for a race that so far shows every signs of a very tough one

 

QUAYLE, WHILE NOT AN EVANGELICAL, WAS A SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE, SPOKE THE LANGUAGE OF TRADITIONAL VALUES THAT APPEALED TO RELIGIOUS VOTERS. 

 

HE HELPED NOT ONLY WITH EVANGELICALS, BUT ALSO CATHOLICS AND OTHER ANTI-ABORTION VOTERS WHO STILL HAD RESERVATIONS ABOUT BUSH. 

 

MANY ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS QUESTIONED THE PICK.

 

ROBERTSON DID NOT, AND CALLED QUAYLE A TREMENDOUS CHOICE.  

 

PART V: 

 

FOLLOWING HIS FAILED PRESIDENTIAL RUN, PAT ROBERTSON RETURNED TO HIS MINISTRY AT CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORKING.

 

HE MAY HAVE FALLEN SHORT IN HIS GOAL TO WIN THE WHITE HOUSE. 

 

BUT MARTY COHEN, A PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY, SAYS AS A MOVEMENT LEADER ROBERTSON, AND HIS TEAM CAME AWAY WITH SOMETHING FAR MORE VALUABLE.

 

***Marty Cohen*** 

They realized the best way to influence politics was from the grass roots from inside the party, taking over the party. Nominating their types of candidates. 

 

ROBERTSON ALONG WITH A YOUNG POLITICAL ACTIVIST FROM GEORGIA, SET UP A NEW RELIGIOUS POLITICAL ORGANIZATION – THE CHRISTIAN COALITION. 

 

***Marty Cohen** 

The Christian coalition begins with Robertson’ donor list. And comes out of a meeting that Robertson has with Ralph Reed.  In which Robertson asked Reed to set up this grass roots organization that would fight for pro family evangelical Christians and Catholics throughout every level of government. 

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Before that, there was Jerry Falwell. There were other guys, moral majority talking about these things. But they never provided a national movement. They weren’t running for office. 

 

UNLIKE FALWELL’S MORAL MAJORITY, WHICH WAS MADE UP OF THOUSANDS PASTORS, RABBIS AND PRIESTS, 

THE CHRISTIAN COALITION MOBILIZED LAY RELIGIOUS ACTIVISTS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL- 

 

THESE WERE THE CHURCH GOERS, NOT CHURCH PREACHERS.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

They were galvanized by Robertson but institutionalized into an army, a sophisticated army with training, materials, resources, objectives, accountability and measurables that they never had before.  

 

THROUGHOUT HIS CAMPAIGN, ROBERTSON NOT ONLY ASKED HIS SUPPORTERS FOR THEIR VOTES-

 

HE ALSO ENCOURAGED THEM TO GET OUT. 

 

TO BECOME PART OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS. 

 

TO RUN FOR OFFICE.

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

Guess what, they did run for school board, and mayor, and city council, and they did do that. So all of a sudden, there is a whole network of elected officials who do have a lot of the same family values. 

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

By the time I am running the Congressional campaign in the 90 cycle, I’ve got candidates coming to me as part of their campaign plan on how they are going to fit evangelicals in and what can I do to energize them. 

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

That invisible army was not so invisible any more. They became active. 

 

THESE ROBERTSON VOTERS, NOT ONLY BECAME ACTIVE, THEY BECAME, OVER THE NEXT DECADE, THE BEATING HEART OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

 

WITH 75 PERCENT OF EVANGELICALS CONSISTENTLY VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS 

 

***T.R. Reid*** 

The religious right became a firm part of the Republican Party, particularly Republican Primary politics. Because these people turn out. Doggonit. If God has chosen a candidate, I am going to be there to support them.

 

THIS WAVE OF YOUNG, CHRISTIAN, POLITICAL ACTIVISTS REFUSED TO COMPROMISE 

AND DEMANDED POLICY PURITY FOR REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES – PARTICULARLY ON ABORTION AND OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES. 

 

WITHIN A FEW YEARS, REPUBLICANS SCORED A MAJOR ELECTION VICTORY TAKING CONTROL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE –

 

THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN FORTY YEARS.

 

THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM IN 1994 WAS PRETTY SIMPLE –

 

REFORM AMERICA BEFORE IT HEADS DOWN THE PATH OF FINANCIAL AND MORAL DECAY UNDER NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Newt Gingrich takes over the House of Representative in 1994 at least 25 percent of the vote was born again evangelicals that came to the party starting with Pat Robertson. Who had never shown up before. 

 

*** Connie Snapp Debord** 

We were only six years away from 88 at that point and that army was still marching 

 

THE INFLUENCE OF EVANGELICALS WOULD ONLY GROW.

 

BY 2016, THEY WOULD MAKE UP ROUGHLY HALF OF ALL REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS

 

INITIALLY, DONALD TRUMP THE CANDIDATE WAS SHUNNED BY MOST EVANGELICAL LEADERS- WHO PREFERRED GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE OR SENATOR TED CRUZ OVER THE CASINO OWNING REALITY TV STAR. 

 

BUT EVANGELICAL VOTERS QUICKLY COALESCED AROUND TRUMP- DRAWN TO HIS STARK LANGUAGE ABOUT THE COLLAPSE OF AMERICA.

AND HOW TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

 

IT TURNS OUT MANY RELIGIOUS VOTERS COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT TRUMP’S PERSONAL AND MORAL VALUES, 

ONLY THAT HE PROMOTED THEIR POLICY PRESCRIPTIONS TO SOLVE AMERICA’S MORAL ILLS.

 

IN HINDSIGHT IT’S NOT ALL THAT SURPRISING. 

 

WHILE PAT ROBERTSON IS NO DONALD TRUMP, HE WASN’T WITH OUT HIS OWN FLAWS AS A PERSON- PARTICULARLY THE LYING AND EXAGGERATION. 

 

BUT ROBERTSON, LIKE TRUMP SPEAKS AND THINKS THE WAY THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT DOES.

 

THEY BOTH UNDERSTAND AND PROMOTE THE VICTIMIZATION THAT EVANGELICALS FEEL. 

 

AND OVER TIME, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ABSORBED THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT. AND THE EVANGELICAL MOVEMENT BECAME THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

Pat Robertson legitimized Christians in politics because of their performance and then he institutionalized the movement as its first leader. 

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

That changed the face of the Republican party forever

 

***Marc Nuttle*** 

I would submit to that what Robertson started in 88 has more legs than ever because it was never party driven it was never reliant on the candidate telling them what they thought. It was movement looking for a candidate.

 

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