James Dobson Comes Out Against McCain

James Dobson just released a statement opposing John McCain’s candidacy for president. It is hard-hitting, and you can listen to it below. The statement was read on Laura Ingraham’s radio program. Here’s an excerpt:

“I’m deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, who voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings, who opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, and who has little regard for freedom of speech, who organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language . . .

“I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has at times sounded more like a member of the other party. . .

“Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does not make the medicine go down. I cannot, and I will not vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.”


  • Brett

    James Dobson needs to worry about his ministry and the things of God rather than trying to tell people how to vote and speaking out against political matters. I have absolutely no respect for leaders like that

  • Joe

    Hey, at least it’s not some looney Pat Robertson thing, amirite?

    I’ve no problem with Dobson speaking out about this, because a lot of Christian “red” voters don’t know about that side of McCain. I’d still rather vote for McCain than either of the Democrat offerings, but I’d be pretty “meh” about doing it.

  • Paul

    My thoughts on Dr. Dobson’s thoughts…

    first off, as the leader of a non-profit, he narrowly gets away from his tax-exempt status by having this read on Laura Ingraham’s show instead of his own show. Which is a yellow thing to do if ever there was one. If you want to be so visible in the public arena, Mr. Dobson, I believe that you should pay your taxes instead of hiding behind others and launching salvos.

    That said, onto where Dobson once again is wrong…

    1)“I’m deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage,”

    Well, sir, you are the one that decided to hitch yourself to the party of (supposedly) less government. You are the one that hitched yourself to the party of (supposedly) states rights and personal freedoms. That MORE republicans haven’t voted against the marriage amendment is a crime against the constitution, sir. If people pay taxes and live lives that stay on the right side of the law, they should be able to marry whoever they choose. Their judgement for their actions will surely come in heaven, and not here, correct? Common Sense 1, Dobson, 0.

    2) “…who voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings,…”

    As opposed to Dobson, who seems all for the death of grown human beings through his support of the Iraq war, and through his silence on the AIDS epidemic in Africa and his support of an administration that turned a blind eye towards the greatest national disaster to ever happen in America. Dobson can talk when he’s done something, heck, ANYTHING to save lives other than his own. Common Sense (and compassion) 2, Dobson, 0.

    3)”…who opposed tax cuts that ended the
    marriage penalty…”

    Wow, Dr. Dobson! I thought Christians weren’t supposed to lie! At the very least, this is a massive half-truth, as McCain claimed that the reason he voted against the tax cuts was because they offered little to no relief for middle class families and centered the biggest of the breaks around the richest among us. And, I have to say, that’s a completely fair assessment of how the Bush tax cuts went down. That they also wiped out the marriage penalty was a nice touch, but certainly, the tax cuts the way that they stand do little to help anyone that actually needs the help. I say Kudos to McCain for being one of the very few Republicans who saw the need for refinement of tax cuts that weren’t necessary in the first place. Common Sense, 3, Dobson, 0.

    4) “…and who has little regard for freedom of speech…”

    This is a given. The McCain/Feingold bill was and is atrocious, and probably enabled The Swiftboaters and the bulk of the really despicable attack ads which have become all too commonplace in recent years. Common sense 3, Dobson 1.

    5) “…who organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters…”

    Dobson’s absolutely right. I wish that the Gang of 14 had failed, now that we have a Democratic congress. Bush might actually have to appoint someone, ANYONE with some sense. Common Sense 3, Dobson 2.

    6) “…and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language…”

    Pot, meet Kettle. Anyone remember Bush referring to a reporter as a major league (insert expletive here)? How about Cheney telling a senator to go (expletive deleted) himself after a simple hello? Common Sense 4, Dobson, 2.

    7) “I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are. He has at times sounded more like a member of the other party…”

    Dr. Dobson, given your want to spend, spend and spend, given your want to infringe upon people’s liberties, given your want to skirt the law, and given your want to impose your religion upon others and build American Empires around the world, I must ask, what does being a conservative mean to you? Dr. Dobson might be the least conservative conservative that I’ve ever seen.

    “Given these and many other concerns, a spoonful of sugar does not make the medicine go down. I cannot, and I will not vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.”

    Awesome. At least one Republican sits at home in November, and maybe we get someone in the White House who’s not an absolute nitwit.

    I’m not supporting McCain by any stretch of the imagination (as a matter of fact, he gives me the creeps), but if you’re going to attack him, and if the man who is going to attack him is seen by many to be one of the most powerful Christians in the country, you’d best act like a Christian in such circumstances.

    Thanks for reading.

  • Bill

    Thus Speaketh Dobson, the Mouthpiece of God.
    Well phewey. I pushed that button for McCain at the voting booth this afternoon so hard I almost broke the machine.

  • Paul


    I’m voting for the only republican that I could ever see myself voting for: Huckabee. Which, especially in Illinois, will be a thrown away vote. But Obama’s got it locked for the dems in Illinois with or without my vote, and this way, I can vote for the guy I actually LIKE for once.

  • Bill

    I also might add that Ronald Reagan was known to use a few choice words now and again (not to mention Eisenhower, who had a famously bad temper). How silly.

  • mike


    I’ve highly considered ole’ Huck but I’m torn between voting for a guy I’m almost certain will not be elected, and someone who at least understands war, and wartimes.

  • Paul

    Well, I KNOW Huckabee’s not getting elected, but for me, it was the fact that I had a chance to vote for the guy that I like the best. And, if it’s one less vote for McCain or Romney, then even better.

  • Jesica

    Hey Paul…

    I know this is off topic, but I gotta tell you, I just went to your site and heard your band’s music…wonderful!

    Listening to you guys took me back to my Jazz appreciation class in college..where I fell in love with Dave Brubeck. 🙂

    Thanks! Are you on iTunes?

    OK…back to the political discussion.

  • Faimon

    What Paul said in number 6, with one exception: I was at a forum for students that McCain did here in early 2005. He was asked about McCain-Feingold and Swift Boat Vets and MoveOn.org and all the other 527s. He said that they were violations of his bill, but that the FEC was staffed through cronyism, and that’s why they were permitted to continue spewing that garbage. So, according to McCain, his bill didn’t enable them, but rather they violated it.

    Anyway, I agree with the majority opinion here – Dobson’s decrying McCain makes me more likely to vote for McCain – if I don’t vote for Obama. 🙂

  • Benjamin A

    For the minority here who feel Dobson should keep his mouth shut. (Brett/Jim Peet/Lucas Knisely/Paul)
    I don’t really care about Dobson’s opinions regarding McCain either, and I’m not opposed to you voicing your objections, but to say he shouldn’t have the right to share his opinions is simply silly. If you had a platform like Dobson, millions of daily listeners who all truly want to know what he is thinking about anything, you would ‘probably’ do the same.
    Freedom of speech is for every American. If you don’t like Dobson or what he says, that’s fine, there are others who don’t like you or what you have to say either. No big deal. Right. Same for us all.
    But for anyone to think Dobson should stop giving his opinions (free speech), then they should practice what they preach.
    “You who teach another, do you not teach yourself?”
    Dobson has done a lot of good for a lot of people in his short life time. Giving his opinion about a candidate is his right as an American guaranteed by the constitution.
    I say, lay off the personal attacks. Stick to the issues. It will only cast you in a better light.

  • scott

    i think dobson speaks about mccain from a one-dimensional view: morality and the family. and he has some authority when speaking on this subject. for dobson, this would include key issues like marriage, abortion, and even (apparently) temperament and family-friendly language.

    perhaps some don’t care for his one-dimensional assessment of a presidential candidate, but i am thankful to hear his concerns. i have other issues that i consider, but certainly the issues that dobson brings up are important for me to consider.

    so whats the problem again?

    “James Dobson needs to worry about his ministry and the things of God rather than trying to tell people how to vote and speaking out against political matters.”

    his ministry is all about protecting and nurturing the family! it seems quite possible to me that sometimes the “things of God” might necessitate that one get involved in “political matters”??

  • Paul


    I agree, Dr. Dobson does have the right of free speech. EXCEPT(!!!!!) for the fact, that as a the leader of a non-profit, tax exempt organization, he can’t opine on politics as part of his ministry. He obviously understands this. Which is why, instead of paying his taxes like you or me, he went on to Laura Ingraham’s show to speak his peace.

    If he wants to speak up SOOOOOO much about the campaign, he needs to forfeit his tax exempt status and go ahead and speak. But to skirt the law the way he does, that, to me, does not seem right. Either be upright and moral and follow the laws of the land that you live in or don’t. But don’t show your contempt for the law of the land by dodging those laws.

    He has every right to tell people that they should vote according to an approved Focus on the Family platform. But to name names gets into some nefarious territory. He knows better.

    Also, as I stated before, he has no business telling half truths. As a Christian leader, he needs to be MORE up and up than the average joe. And sinking to swiftboating tactics does no one any favors.

  • Ken

    The conclusion of Dr. Dobson’s statement:

    “These decisions are my personal views and do not represent the organization with which I am affiliated. They do reflect my deeply held convictions about the institution of the family, about moral and spiritual beliefs, and about the welfare of our country.”

    It seems to me that Dobson took pains to distance his personal opinions from an official position taken by his ministry. In order to make that very clear he released his statement through a non-affiliated source. Unless his detractors here and elsewhere want to co-identify Dobson and Focus on the Family to the point that there can be nothing distinctive between them there really is no basis for charges that he is hypocritically avoiding tax liabilities.

    Look, the man has a right to voice his opinions. You may not agree with him; you may think he is substantially in error; you may think he lacks important facts; you may even think he’s making stuff up or deliberately lying. But let’s not have this nonsense about the illegitimacy of him speaking his mind in the first place or charging him with deviousness in the way he expressed himself.

  • Paul


    Fair enough, though I will say that we disagree, being that I can’t think of another name that I associate with Focus on the Family. Dr. Dobson IS Focus on the Family, meaning that his views are indeed the views of that organization, at least in the public eye.

    Insofar as him making stuff up or deliberately lying, HE DID DO JUST THAT when he worded McCain’s vote against the tax cut as a vote against the marriage penalty. Anyone with even half of a brain cell (which Dobson certainly has) could have looked up McCain’s statement on why he voted against the tax cuts. At best, it’s giving false witness upon someone else, which is a pretty heavy sin. And again, as such a visible and prominent Christian in this country, he needs to hold himself to a far higher standard. He could have stated that he thought that tax cuts, no matter who they go to are a good idea and McCain voted against them (I would disagree on that point, too, but at least I couldn’t accuse him of lying about it). And on that point alone, there was much deviousness in the way he expressed himself.

  • Benjamin A


    Are you saying it’s against the law for Dobson to air his opinions on a different radio show? Isn’t he, as a free American, currently having freedom of speech, free to go on any show of his choosing (obviously invited) and to air his opinions any time he freely chooses? Or is it simply a loop hole in the system that allows free Americans the right to state their opinions in an appropriate context? Our legal system if full of holes. Notice the immigration crisis. Laws on the books not being enforced by the highest in our land.
    By the way, it has been a known fact that Dobson has never taken one dollar from the Ministry. I’m assuming that the dollars he receives in book sales/speaking engagements is taxable dollars. I could be wrong here, but Dobson personally is not a tax-free entity, and he obviously earns money. So in saying “he needs to forfeit his tax exempt status”, isn’t technically accurate. Yes, Focus as a ministry would be tax exempt, thus he didn’t air his opinions on that show (prudent/wise), but not Dobson personally. I’m guessing he probably pays more tax than you and I put together. Just guessing though, I have no proof.
    Also, did Dobson say his position was “an approved Focus on the Family platform”? Or was he simply giving his personal position? Yes, it’s sometimes hard to separate the two, but it seems this could be one of those times. And the question is not rhetorical.
    As far as half-truths are concerned, what do you do when the nice old lady next door bakes you a cake, which is the worst cake you have ever tasted, and asks “did you like the cake?”
    A. Thank you for thinking of me, but it was the worst cake I’ve ever tasted.
    B. Thank you for thinking of me, I really liked the cake.
    I’m going with “B”. And though I didn’t like the way the cake tasted, perhaps I liked the way the cake looked, or the smell, or the frostings color, or any other aspect of the cake that I did like. Or I liked the cake in that it represented her kindness toward her neighbor.
    In the political arena, half-truths, if that’s what you call it, is business as usual. Some aspects of a candidate you like, some you dislike. So if I say I like Huckabee and leave it at that, it’s only a half truth. There are some things I don’t like about his platform. Am I required, for the sake of honesty, to disclose all the things I like about Huck/and dislike about Huck to be considered “Honest”? Can’t I make a decision to just say I like Huck and am voting for him without all the disclaimers? I believe it’s possible and reasonable to do that.
    Remember- Dobson’s not the enemy.
    Thanks for the dialogue.

  • Ken

    “I can’t think of another name that I associate with Focus on the Family.”

    You could check out the website. There are a number of other persons officially associated with the organization.

    “Dr. Dobson IS Focus on the Family, meaning that his views are indeed the views of that organization, at least in the public eye.”

    Well, that’s where you and the public need to take a step back. It’s easy to identify the founder of an organization with the organization itself but it’s a mistake to do so. FOTF has a 30-year history now and it’s grown well beyond James Dobson as an individual. The man is also getting on in years and has had some significant health problems. People are in a position to take over and maintain the organization when the inevitable happens.

    And regarding your allegation that Dobson HAS lied about John McCain’s tax cut vote–do you know for a fact that Dobson knows “the truth” and deliberately made a false statement? Or is this a matter of a difference of an opinion?

    Clearly you don’t care for the man or his politics. But I don’t see you giving him the same benefit of the doubt you apparently wish he’d give John McCain.

  • Leo S.

    Couple observations:

    1. Dobson could have spoken up (as a citizen) long ago for a true conservative (his domain related to life, marriage, family, faith, etc.) based on conscience and facts (hopefully Huckabee) but he didn’t. In doing so, he would have rallied the Christians together and stopped McCain at SC (McCain built up momentum moving onto Florida and rest). I am not saying he is the only Christian leaders to blame, but he could have done something constructively to avoid this sad state today that he has nobody to vote for.

    2. While I appreciate that Dobson’s statement might have stopped McCain from winning more states on Super Tuesday, I don’t appreciate his comment on not voting. Dobson is an influential figure to many Christians, I am afraid he is setting a bad example to lots of Christians to not vote on the general election day for Republican. IMHO, this will only benefit the democrats.

    3. A while after Ingraham read his statement of non-endorsement of McCain, she continued on, with her obvious bias toward Romney, said Dobson must then be “endorsing” Romney (because Huckabee is not going to do well on Super Tuesday, etc). Though Dobson may want to maintain neutrality toward either Huckabee or Romney, it is sad Dobson chose a Romney-supporting talk host to release his personal opinion.

    Thanks for listening.

  • Lucas Knisely


    I have to say your defense of half truths being “business as usual” doesn’t make it right, nor does it suddenly make it acceptable for a Christian leader to live by the “when in Rome” mentality. If Dobson is bearing false witness by phrasing something in a misleading way, it is wrong, period. Some example about an old lady making a nasty cake doesn’t change that.

  • Paul


    you beat me to the punch. Not to mention, there’s a difference between a nice old lady who can’t cook and a very intelligent man who definitely has the ability to research his opinions.


    I actually do like Focus on the Family, and will listen to it. When he’s talking about family issues and how they pertain to religion and vice versa, I dig the guy. But his politics, save one or two key issues, have nothing to do with the way that I believe a Christian should aspire to.

    And, I’ll cede to you the fact that when away from Focus on The Family, he has the right to talk about whatever he wants. But, insofar as giving someone the benefit of the doubt, here’s the deal: I can deal with some redneck hick who thinks that Fox is a news channel spouting half truths and outright lies, because they just don’t know any better. But Dobson is by far smart enough to know how to go to the internet and do a little research before going national and bearing false witness upon someone because he doesn’t like them. There’s no slack to be cut for that.

    Like I said, I don’t like McCain at all, but by the same token, I’m not going to stand by and watch someone lie about the guy and say nothing about it. Heck, I’ve even defended Bush and Pat Robertson on occasion when someone slanders them unnecessarily as well! All I’m saying is that a man who is so tied to Christianity in this country has a duty to act like a Christian in word and deed. And he missed the boat on this one. If he was a real man of God, he would repent.

  • Ken

    The assumption communicated by some is that Dobson has *deliberately* made false statements. I’ve yet to see that charge substantiated.

    It is possible for people to look at the same set of facts and come to different conclusions. Differences of opinion should not lead one side to charge the other with intentional misrepresentation, let alone outright lying.

  • Paul


    there is no assumption to it. McCain said he voted against tax cuts for reason X, and Dobson said (in what amounts to a slime piece) that he did it for reason Y. The difference between those two reasons is the difference between a common sense nay vote and a malicious nay vote.

    For Dobson to assume malice where there likely was none is at best a lie and at worst character assasination of the worst sort, especially amongst the intended audience.

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