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‘Best Governor We’ve Ever Had’: Evangelical Leader Rick Scarborough Backs RICK PERRY – TIME

August 30, 2011

MELINA MARA / THE WASHINGTON POST / GETTY IMAGES Texas, Rick Perry, spoke to New Englanders at the Politics and Eggs breakfast, in Bedford, New Hampshire, August 17, 2011.

‘Best Governor We’ve Ever Had’: Evangelical Leader Rick Scarborough Backs Perry

By ELIZABETH DIAS Tuesday, August 30, 2011 | 103 COMMENTS

Last weekend, Rick Perry privately met some 300 conservative evangelical leaders at long-time supporter Jim Leininger’s home near Fredricksburg, Texas. And on Monday afternoon, reported-attendee and evangelical leader Rick Scarborough told TIME he is endorsing Perry: “I was holding judgment,” says Scarborough, who in 1998 founded the group Vision America to mobilize pastors and their congregations to vote on social issues, “but the more I’ve studied and listened, the more I have liked what I have heard.”

Perry first charmed Scarborough, who supported former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for President in 2008, over a decade ago when Perry gave an impromptu personal testimony of his evangelical faith at a 1998 Republican convention. “It was obvious to me as a preacher that it was real, it was undoctored, it was unprepared, it was off the cuff. It really resonated with me.”

The governor had help in winning over the evangelical leader.  Scarborough cited Perry’s wife Anita as a major factor in his decision. “I’ve had a chance here recently to hear Anita, much more close and personal,” Scarborough said. “Unlike [previous Presidents’ wives], I find that she holds the same values that he holds.” Indeed, Anita acted as an effective advocate for her husband at the Leininger event, which Scarborough declined to confirm he attended.

Promoting Perry to a crowd of evangelical leaders might not have been as easy as it sounds. Among the questions that Perry fielded from attendees were several pointed inquiries about his decision to mandate the HPV vaccine for Texas girls 6th grade and up and his 2008 endorsement of pro-choice Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. But Scarborough says he’s come to terms with the less socially conservative side of the governor’s record. “I’ve found that even when I’ve had strong disagreements with Rick Perry, once I saw his perspective I could see how he arrived at a conclusion,” he says.

via ‘Best Governor We’ve Ever Had’: Evangelical Leader Rick Scarborough Backs Perry | Swampland.

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One Comment
  1. August 30, 2011 3:41 PM

    This country does not have a majority of evangelical Christians. As a matter of fact many people aren’t part of any Christian group. Those of us who are not Christian will resent the introduction of religion into politics. I wonder how many Republicans will recognize this emphasis on religion as a reason to oppose Rick Perry.

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