Burress Likes Mitt
Just in case any political junkies were holding their breath, we now know who the anti-pornography lobby intends to vote for in the 2008 presidential election.
An article in the latest issue of Rolling Stone examines how the religious right is trying to regroup and develop new strategies after suffering major losses in the 2006 mid-term elections and a seeming abandonment by the Republican Party.
Among the people interviewed for the article is Phil Burress, president of Sharonville-based Citizens for Community Values (CCV), who discusses the lack of a social conservative in the frontrunners seeking the GOP’s presidential nomination.
Christian evangelicals are upset with U.S. Sen. John McCain because he called two of their leaders, the Rev. Jerry Falwell and the Rev. Pat Robertson, “agents of intolerance” in 2000, while former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice and supports gay rights. Meanwhile, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney is disliked because he is a Mormon, which many evangelicals consider a cult, and he also is considered a flip-flopper on gay rights.
Some evangelicals say the faction shouldn’t participate in the 2008 election at all, while others want to form a third political party, which could gain clout by threatening to act as a spoiler in presidential elections.
Rolling Stone’s article states: “Without a viable candidate to back, evangelicals face an unpalatable choice: Either hold their nose and rally behind Romney or throw their support behind a long-shot contender who doesn’t have a prayer of winning, such as Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas or former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. ‘We’re going to work hard in the primaries to support the candidate of our choice,’ says Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values. ‘But if it comes down to McCain and Romney, I’m in Romney’s camp.’ ”
For readers with short memories, Romney raised hackles last year when he called a controversial highway project in his state a “tar baby.” Some African-Americans complained, noting the term’s history as a racial slur.
Romney was the keynote speaker at an August campaign fund-raiser in Indian Hill for Republican Phil Heimlich, who lost his re-election bid for Hamilton County commissioner three months later.
— Kevin Osborne