Romney Meets With Leader of Radical Christian Group, Despite Extremism Exposed by Their New Hire
When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney met privately this week with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, he sought the counsel of a leader who, just days before, selected as his right-hand man a retired general known for his extreme contempt for Muslims.
Romney, hoping to draw the same kind of help organizing evangelical voters that Perkins gave former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum during the primaries, sought Perkins’ input on potential running mates and “family” issues, barely 24 hours after FRC announced the hiring of retired Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin as executive vice president, in charge of day-to-day operations. It’s a bold move, and one that makes FRC’s extremism just a little harder to ignore.
Perkins and the Family Research Council have too often been treated by mainstream media as the reasonable and responsible wing of the Religious Right movement — maybe because the former state representative has the polished presence of a politician and the Rolodex of a Washington insider. Republican officials flock to the Values Voter Summit, FRC’s annual political gathering. But by hiring Boykin, FRC has dramatically undermined its claim to be an advocate for religious liberty as well as its efforts to position itself in the mainstream of the conservative movement.