I wrote yesterday about the significance of Paul Weyrich’s endorsement of Mitt Romney as an indication of Cultural Right determination to stop Rudy Giuliani. But ol’ Rudy certainly offered his own rebuttal today, with the announcement that his candidacy was being endorsed by the Rev. Pat Robertson.
In an interview with Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post after the endorsement, Robertson seemed to embrace the idea that cultural issues just aren’t that important right now:
Robertson said although he and Giuliani disagree on social issues, those disagreements “pale into insignificance” when measured against the import of the fight against global terrorism and radical Islam. “We need a man who sees clearly how to deal with that issue,” said Robertson.
Since the other Republican candidates (other than Ron Paul) ain’t exactly doves, this sure looks likes a repudiation of almost everything Robertson’s ever said about the importance of abortion, gay rights, and other cultural issues. I mean, it’s one thing to say you’ll be loyal to the ticket if Giuliani is the nominee. It’s another to endorse him as your own candidate.
I’ve tried to think of a Democratic analog for the unlikeliness of this particular endorsement, and the best I can come up with is Cindy Sheehan joining Hillary Clnton’s campaign out of admiration for her energy proposals.
To be sure, Robertson’s pretty long in the tooth, and doesn’t have anything like the political clout he used to enjoy before the Christian Coalition imploded. But as a symbol of social conservative surrender to Rudyism, he’s pretty important, and it will be a bit tougher now for his colleagues to publicly contemplate a third-party campaign against Pat’s candidate.