Evangelist and businessman Pat Robertson is no stranger to controversy, but he recently told TheBlaze that he believes some of his critics have spread a major fallacy about his political standing.
"Well, I think the misconception is that I'm some sort of right-wing extremist," Robertson said. That, he said, just isn't the case. "I'm a graduate of Yale Law School and I'm a businessman."
Pat Robertson's Regent University released a new online educational platform this week. (Image source: Regent University)
Running down his credentials and accomplishments (he founded Regent University, the American Center for Law and Justice and the Christian Broadcasting Network, among other organizations) Robertson said it's easy to make a caricature of someone to score political points and to dub him or her "extreme" as his critics have done.
In contrast to his media portrait, Robertson believes that he's actually "extremely balanced."
"I'm what you'd call a Jeffersonian Democrat [who believes in] fundamental ... biblical values," Robertson said. "That isn't extreme, that's mainstream."
As for those who might say that he's too candid, Robertson disagreed. He believes many of his fans appreciate his brutal honesty.
Rather than scripting out everything he says during his daily appearances on "The 700 Club," the TV host said he often ad-libs and simply speaks what's on his mind.
"I would say that's what makes me loveable," he said through a chuckle. "People know that I'm not sugar-coating anything ... people find that refreshing. It's nice to have somebody who just tells it like it is."
While Robertson has many adoring fans, he has also attracted countless ideological enemies with his fair share of controversial comments and proclamations over the years. Some of those statements, he argues, have been taken out of context.
Either way, he surprised many of his liberal critics last year with inclusive claims he made about the transgender community, stating on-air that he doesn't believe there is sin in changing one's gender if a person is truly born in the wrong body, comments he reiterated to TheBlaze.
"I think if somebody has a genetic problem and that they really are a man trapped in a woman's body or a woman trapped in a man's body and their genes and hormones are mixed and they want to sort it out with surgery... if they feel that's the case, I feel no reason not to accept them," he said. "I see nothing wrong with that."
Robertson continued, "I mean, that's a genetic thing and there's no question about it. It's a surgical procedure along with hormonal treatments."
It's an interesting take from a man who sometimes surprises both his supporters and critics.