The Right,  Vote 2012

Values Voter Summit

If you want to get an idea of the state of the religious Right in America, consider the Values Voter Summit in Washington, which was addressed by a large number of Republican heavy hitters, including seven candidates for the GOP presidential nomination.

In his introduction to Rick Perry’s speech, the head of the leading Southern Baptist Robert Jeffress called for conservatives to support a candidate who is a “true follower of Christ,” as opposed to what he considers the “cult” Mormon faith of Mitt Romney. Jeffress said Romney is “not a Christian.”

Perry’s campaign said he does not believe Mormonism is a cult, but apparently Perry is not going to criticize anyone who does believe it.

In his speech to the VVS, Romney condemned the American Family Association’s chief spokesperson Bryan Fischer.

“We should remember that decency and civility are values too,” Romney said, before adding, “one of the speakers who will follow me today has crossed that line I think”– a reference to Fischer, who went on to compare gays to intravenous drug users because neither “represent lifestyles that any responsible government ought to normalize, legitimize, legalize, protect, sanction, or subsidize.”

Fischer in turn called Romney’s comment about him “tasteless and tawdry.”

To top it off, the Values Voters held in a straw poll among the GOP presidential candidates. The winner was libertarian Ron “Obama is a warmonger” Paul– although the fix may have been in.