World‘s J.C. Derrick has an interesting article out today on the reaction of some evangelicals to the growing media narrative that Ted Cruz has the evangelical vote locked up. Not so, says Sam Rodriguez, Rick Warren and Jim Daly.
What really caught my eye was Derrick’s citation of a National Review article which detailed how a group of evangelical leaders met behind closed doors and voted until over 75% voted for the same GOP candidate. Ted Cruz eventually won out over Marco Rubio. The group, led by Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, gave some thought to how to roll out the consensus. According to NR,
Cruz this week surged to the top of several polls in conservative-friendly Iowa, and a string of soon-to-come endorsements should only help to cement that standing. A decision was made before the vote that members would roll out their endorsements individually rather than issuing a collective statement. This approach, they decided, would help create a perception that the conservative movement was uniting behind a candidate organically while dispelling images of political horse-trading occurring inside smoke-filled rooms.
While there probably wasn’t smoke, there was political maneuvering behind closed doors. If this NR piece is accurate, the good Christians in the room decided to make up a reality so it wouldn’t look like what it was. The insiders decided to roll out the endorsements gradually as if they came via some natural and spontaneous groundswell of support and good will for Cruz. Sounds like astroturf to me.
Now, finally, other evangelicals are coming forward to say those endorsers don’t speak for all of us. This is good.
I am looking for a candidate who has ideas I can get behind about how to keep us safe, keep our economy healthy, protect our rights and work with Congress. We are going to elect a president not a pastor.