Dobson May Support McCain after All

Dr. James Dobson made news in early 2007 saying that he would not support Senator John McCain for President of the United States. Dr. Dobson didn’t mince words in his opinion of McCain:

“I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances. . . He’s not in favor of traditional marriage, and I pray that we won’t get stuck with him” (see here).

He made the statement on “Jerry Johnson Live,” and you can listen to the clip below.


Today, the Associated Press is reporting that Dr. Dobson may in fact support McCain after all. According to the report, Dr. Dobson had this to say on a radio broadcast which is to be aired later today:

“I never thought I would hear myself saying this. While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might.”

If Dr. Dobson were to reverse himself in this way, this would only accrue to McCain’s benefit. Evangelicals who are tepid about McCain’s candidacy might be more likely to say, “Well, if Dr. Dobson can do it, then I guess I can too.”

Why is Dr. Dobson changing his opinion now? In a statement released to the press, he indicates that it’s not so much that he has warmed up to McCain but that he cannot abide Obama’s radical views:

“There’s nothing dishonorable in a person rethinking his or her positions, especially in a constantly changing political context . . . Barack Obama contradicts and threatens everything I believe about the institution of the family and what is best for the nation. His radical positions on life, marriage and national security force me to reevaluate the candidacy of our only other choice, John McCain.”

Dr. Dobson is right in his evaluation of Obama, and I agree that it is very important that pro-life and pro-family voters do everything they can to thwart Obama’s candidacy. If that means holding one’s nose and voting for McCain, then so be it.


  • Truth Unites... and Divides

    Dr. Burk paraphrasing Dr. Dobson: “…it’s not so much that he has warmed up to McCain but that he cannot abide Obama’s radical views.”

    Dr. Burk: “I agree that it is very important that pro-life and pro-family voters do everything they can to thwart Obama’s candidacy. If that means holding one’s nose and voting for McCain, then so be it.”

    That describes me perfectly. My holding-my-breath” vote for McCain is actually and truly a vote AGAINST Obama whom I think would be a disaster for this country, at least more so than McCain.

  • Paul

    But Dobson calls himself a man of God, and like it or not, he is a leader in the Christian community.

    Sure, if he says he can vote for McCain, then other evangelicals might be able to do so also.

    That also means that he’s essentially telling the evangelical community that it’s okay to flip flop and compromise your positions.

    A real man of real conviction would be supporting Bob Barr right now.

    But, we’ve gone over this already, and Republicans don’t like actual conservatives, so this should come as no surprise.

  • John

    Dobson needs to stick to his job, which is not politics. He needs to stick to helping families become better families, children better children, and parents better parents, rather than telling people how to vote in an election. You may think it will “accrue” to his benefit, but I have serious doubt of that. For one, Americans don’t need anybody to tell them how to vote, no matter who that person is. We are not mindless people who need some family ministry guy to tell us what to do.

    Also, Dobson changing his mind like this does not look good at all considering his former statements. For me, as I’m sure for many others, it kind of discredits him. He loses more and more respect from me every single day, especially when he pulls this stuff.

    National security force? Right, what we need is a guy who will get us in to a couple of more wars over the next several years. Maybe Mr. Dobson thinks Obama is some type of terrorist himself along with other right-wingers…what a joke.

    You may think Obama will be a disaster, but I say you can’t get much worse than your big bad evangelical in office at the moment. His presidency has been the definition of disaster.

  • Faimon

    Dobson is just like everyone else who plays the political game. He was against McCain, but now that he has the nomination, he’s got to cozy up to him in order to keep his place close to power. Just like a politician.

  • Darius

    Actually, Faimon, I was saying/thinking very similar things a few months ago about McCain. Then Obama’s radical background came out, and I realized I didn’t have a choice but to vote for McCain. People can change their minds when the facts change, don’t ya think?

  • Darius

    Actually, Faimon, I was saying/thinking very similar things a few months ago about McCain. Then Obama’s radical background came out, and I realized I didn’t have a choice but to vote for McCain. People can change their minds when the facts change, don’t ya think?

  • John Caneday

    This isn’t a big surprise, I suppose. I echo Faimon’s comments. I am disappointed that Dobson would take such a hard position during the primaries saying, “I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances…” and then now go back on his word.

    Did he really mean what he said? Had he thought that statement through? Aren’t Christians supposed to have their, “‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no?”

    I’m not primarily interested in the politics of it, but the fact that a Christian leader is going back on his word troubles me greatly. It is no wonder that so many non-Christians think a man like Dobson has no credibility.

  • Faimon

    I don’t think he really changed his mind. I think Dobson knows how to play the game. He said that he would never vote for McCain under any circumstances. That was an effort to use his considerable influence in the primary. When that failed, he had to shift his stance in order to remain relevant.
    He would do far better to just keep his mouth shut about politics altogether, but that will never happen.

  • Faimon

    Here is a question for you – it seems in Dobson’s statement that he has equated three issues: life, marriage, and national security. Are all three of these ‘transcendent moral issues,’ as you call them?

  • John Caneday

    Sure, he may have not actually changed his mind, but that is irrelevant. He said a clear statement that left no doubt about its meaning. If he says something different now, he has publicly changed his position. That is what matters.

    If he isn’t going to be consistent and thoughtful on politics, I too would prefer that he just stay quiet on political matters.

    James 5:12 is clear, “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”

  • Paul

    “Faimon, would you also tell Wallis and Claiborne to shut their months about politics?”

    Wallis no, because he’s more of a political commentator than anything else at this point.

    However, I wish Claiborne would just shut up about everything, not just politics.

    Like I said, if Dobson wanted to support someone conservative without being a flip-flopper (since that’s such a terrible thing in the “conservative” circles), he needed to be supporting Bob Barr. End of story.

  • Darius

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Bob Barr and Dobson are complete opposites on foreign policy, so why would Dobson support him? Also, Barr doesn’t have a prayer of winning, so voting for him would be the same as not voting, which is not an option when the likes of Obama are running.

  • David Hamilton

    The issue here is not so much Dobson changing his mind as it is Obama’s radically liberal positions on certain issues.

    Should Dobson “hold his nose” and vote for Obama just because he made that statement way back when? Absolutely not. Not if he believes that McCain is a better candidate than Obama.

    I would take Dobson’s statement against McCain to mean that he would never vote for McCain, considering that a better option was available. His next statement hints at this: “I hope we don’t get stuck with him,” I meaning, of course I’ll vote for him if we get stuck with him.

  • D.J. Williams

    Darius said…
    “Also, Barr doesn’t have a prayer of winning, so voting for him would be the same as not voting, which is not an option when the likes of Obama are running.”

    Actually, I don’t feel voting for Barr would be the same as not voting. We always complain about how the two-party system is killing American politics, yet we still hold our noses and vote for a candidate we don’t like just we don’t like the other guy more. What incentive does that action give to politicians to provide other viable options? I’ve not decided who to vote for yet (Barr seems attractive in some ways but seems like a politcal chameleon in others), but if I voted for Barr it would be to make a statement (largely to the republican party, since I’m a registered ‘R’) that my vote can’t be gained simply by offering the lesser of two evils.

  • John Caneday

    I am alarmed at how some of you are giving Dobson a pass on this. Sure, I’m frightened at the prospect of an Obama presidency as many of you are, but come on. Dobson was clear as crystal in January, and now that he’s singing a new tune–the one we all want to hear, you’re willing to overlook an obvious violation of Christian conduct?

    As I said before, how can the world take the church at its word when the church itself won’t hold itself to a standard of truth?

  • Darius

    I don’t complain about the two-party system… I think it works. Change the parties.

    John C, this isn’t a matter of changing truth, it’s a situation of changing knowledge. When Dobson said that, he likely thought that Hillary would be the nominee. And since she is relatively center-left politically, he felt he could live with a few years of her rather than let the Republican party shift to the left on social issues. But now that Obama is the nominee, and the most radically liberal nominee in history, Dobson has rightly rethought his position on McCain. I agree that he shouldn’t have used the words “under no circumstance,” but it was a moment of passion where he didn’t think through all the options available nor did he know what Obama was like, since Wright and his pro-abortion views have only come to light since Dobson made those statements.

  • Darius

    DJ, voting for Bob Barr in the general election won’t send any message to the RNC. Voting for Ron Paul in the primaries might have, but by now the RNC has moved on. The primaries are the only hope to send any messages to the RNC (at least any more than not voting would).

  • John Caneday

    Here is an example of someone that thought more thoroughly on these matters than Dobson, at close to the same time as Dobson’s “under no circumstances” comments.


    The contrast is stark. Groothuis is thoughtful and understands the political process is one of compromise.

    We knew Obama was a radical then, just like we do now. We’ve known this for a while now. Again, we cannot give Dobson a free pass on this. If he’s going to publicly change his position on this, he must repent of his irresponsible and careless remarks in January before stating why he’s ready to change his position. He must acknowledge these things to hold on to a measure of integrity and to be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Darius

    I’m not saying I agreed with him at the time, but I definitely understood where he (and others like Ann Coulter) was coming from when they were talking about not voting for McCain in the general election. Yes, you are right that he should have thought longer about what he said.

  • Darius

    And we did NOT know how radical Obama was back in February. I didn’t know that he attended a racist black church that believes that our government gave blacks AIDS. I did not know that he supported de facto infanticide. I did not know that one of his closer friends was a money embezzler and all-around crook and that his wife and Obama’s wife made a very shady deal to gain ownership of a nice plot of land. This and more I (and most Americans) did not know. Furthermore, it appeared likely that Obama’s past did not matter, since Hillary was going to win.

  • John Caneday


    We didn’t know about Obama’s loony pastor in January or February, you’re right about that. We should have known, but that is a different matter.

    I don’t recall being under the impression that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee after the Iowa caucuses–but I’ll forgo arguing that point.

    But, here are two clear examples that show that some, perhaps many knew Obama’s radical views–particularly on abortion. Both of these articles are from early to mid January.




    These things were known–perhaps not as well known as they are now, but if Dobson was unaware of these things then, perhaps he should start spending more time reading about current events than he has been if he’s going to take the time to comment on current events.

    And for the record, I was very sympathetic with Dobson (and Coulter) at the time of his comments, but it was Groothuis that brought me back to reality.

  • Paul

    “Correct me if I’m wrong, but Bob Barr and Dobson are complete opposites on foreign policy”

    I thought abortion was the dealbreaker?

    “…so why would Dobson support him?”

    So that he can support a conservative, pro-life candidate and not show himself to be the hypocritical garbage heap of a man that we know him to be.

    “Also, Barr doesn’t have a prayer of winning, so voting for him would be the same as not voting”

    so morals should be trumped by the ability to win?

    “which is not an option when the likes of Obama are running.”

    Of course, this is only helped when people refuse to look beyond the two “major” candidates.

    But the real reason to not support Barr?

    He’s conservative, and Republicans aren’t.

  • Darius

    Barr is libertarian, NOT conservative.

    Mostly, this is a matter of pragmatism. Barr doesn’t have an icicle’s chance in hell of winning, while McCain has a very solid chance. Would you also have me vote for myself since I am my own personal best option, since I agree with 100% of my own views (notwithstanding the fact that I don’t care to be president, nor am I old enough)? Or would you have me use common sense and realize that I don’t have a shot at winning and actually vote for someone who does?

  • Paul


    read any poli sci book EVER written.

    Libertarian = all the way right wing

    modern-day Republican: center-right

    modern-day Democrat: center-left

    Green Party: left wing

    If you’re a libertarian, you’re for less government involvement, like your boy Reagan, except that they actually believe it.

    How Republicans can call for new government agencies, drug czars and the rest and still call themselves anymore conservative than Karl Marx is beyond me.

  • Darius

    Legalizing prostitution and drugs is a conservative idea??? I agree that libertarian positions coincide with conservative values sometimes, just as libertarians and liberals agree on a lot (see prostitution). But that doesn’t make libertarianism the true conservatism.

  • Paul


    here’s the difference: they’re conservatives, and you’re a “conservative.”

    Anyone that thinks that the drug czar, the DEA and the inability to fight gang crime throughout the country is a good idea isn’t just not conservative, but they’re freaking nuts, too.

  • John Lofton, Recovering Republican

    “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” – Matthew 5:37.

    Dr. Dobson has called abortion “murder” (Jan. 20, 2003 press release). He has said he would never vote for any politician who supports the killing of even one baby. John McCain is for exceptions, believing it’s OK, it should remain “legal,” to murder babies in the womb that are there because of rape/incest. Thus, there is no way Dr. Dobson can support/vote for McCain without shredding his own credibility and leaving himself open to the charge that he is a double-minded man (James 1:8) which, alas, he will have proven himself to be if he supports McCain.

    John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
    Recovering Republican

  • Truth Unites.. and Divides

    Dobson suffers NO, Zero, Zip, Nada, Zilch loss of credibility or respect from me for his statements indicating that he may endorse McCain given how dreadful he thinks Obama will be if Obama’s elected President.

    Besides, any one with a modicum of reasoning ability will understand that Dobson’s possible endorsement of McCain is not really an endorsement of McCain, but really an anti-Obama endorsement.

    Dobson good. Wallis bad.

  • Jeff Bailey

    I think Dobson realized he had better follow his followers. I’m afraid he decided he wanted the attention more than the loss of credibility.

  • volfan007

    I’m very glad that Dr. Dobson changed his mind. And, I will also be reluctantly voting for John McCain for President.

    Where is a Ronald Reagan when you need him?


  • joe

    Bob barr is a good candidate on most small government issues and much can be learned from the Libertarian party on the role of government. But they miss bad on the life issue… Libertarian Party platform statement of principles article 1.4 reads “Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.” which is essentially a pro choice view.

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