Famed Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson had some tough words this morning for Republican presidential candidates and their supporters.
While speaking on the air on CBN's "The 700 Club," he said that GOP candidates are being pushed into positions that they won't be able to successfully defend in the 2012 general election.
This comment is especially intriguing because Robertson, himself, was once a GOP presidential contender. Also, the famous religious broadcaster recently claimed that he will no longer be making political endorsements.
One wonders if he has dissatisfaction with the GOP or if his views have moderated over time -- or, perhaps he's just trying to give quality advice to the candidates about how to win back the White House. Either way, his comments are interesting. Here's a transcript:
"Those people in the Republican primary have got to lay off this stuff. They're forcing their leaders -- the frontrunners -- into positions that will mean they will lose the general election...
You'll appeal to the narrow base and they'll applaud the daylights out of what you're saying and then you hit the general election and they say 'no way' and then the Democrat -- whoever it is -- is going to just play these statements to the hills."
Watch these comments, below (starting at 4:50):
After Robertson goes on to state his fears about the general election, he discusses the "amendment" that Ronald Reagan popularized: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." After lamenting the GOP candidates' ongoing infighting, he says:
"They've got to stop this. It's just so counterproductive. Well, if they want to lose. This is the game for losers."
Interestingly, Right Wing Watch (RWR) covered Robertson's comments about the candidates, writing, "When even Pat Robertson thinks the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right, you know there is a problem."
But RWR also did something somewhat (and I emphasize somewhat) suspect, as the group spliced together Robertson's comments about appealing to the base with his statement that "this is a game for losers" (thus cutting out the portion about the infighting). The Blaze caught discrepancy this when reviewing the original RWR video.
While Robertson's latter comment (i.e. "losing game") likely included his thoughts on the candidates' potential troubles in the general election, splicing the two together makes it seem like the only issue he sees as leading the candidates toward potential defeat is a move too far to the right. This isn't accurate, seeing as he was clearly speaking about other behaviors as well.
A slight difference, of course, in terms of editing -- but one worth noting. To be fair, on the RWR web site, an ellipsis does indicate a gap in the transcription.
Below, watch RWR's version of Robertson's comments: