It’s become a staple of modern presidential elections — at the first hint of criticism from the right flank, a Republican puts out a call to religious-right kingmakers to testify to his or her religious bona fides. So when Texas Gov. Rick Perry found his conservative credentials in question (over the HPV vaccine mandate and other issues that troubled social conservatives), the Perry campaign obviously pulled out the standard playbook.
But Gov. Perry doesn’t do anything modestly.
Where other candidates might simply get Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University to give them a platform to speak to social conservatives — something Gov. Perry did last week — the governor gets the religious pooh-bahs themselves to carry his message to the base.
Leading the charge: pseudo-historian David Barton of the Texas-based WallBuilders organization. Barton took to Twitter a few weeks ago to circulate a detailed rebuttal to a popular email listing “14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be A Really, Really Bad President.” Most of these 14 charges have nothing to do with social issues (they focus primarily on Gov. Perry’s economic record), but Barton wants to make sure all his followers know that the governor no longer supports his controversial Trans-Texas Corridor.
Remind us again, David, what this has to do with “educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country.” (Barton is widely credited online with authoring this document, though it is unsigned. But it reads more like Gov. Perry campaign talking points, which made me wonder if the real author wasn’t a lowly campaign staffer and Barton is just the puppet mouthing the lines.)