Although the Perry campaign has made a half-hearted attempt to distance itself from the anti-Mormon pastor who introduced Rick Perry at Friday’s Values Voters Summit, it turns out they approved his selection.
Rick Perry’s campaign signed off on the choice of Texas pastor Robert Jeffress to introduce the governor at the Values Voter Summit, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins told POLITICO.
Perkins, whose group leads the annual social conservative gathering, said that FRC suggested Jeffress to the Perry campaign because he was a supporter of the Republican presidential candidate.
“He was recommended to us because Dr. Jeffress is a supporter,” Perkins said. “We sent it to the campaign, they checked off on it. But it wasn’t somebody that they had sent to us.”
Perry’s campaign confirmed Perkins’ account:
Perry spokesman Mark Miner confirmed that the campaign “said ok” to the Jeffress introduction, but reiterated that he’d been “recommended” by others.
Earlier, Miner had said Perry had not chosen Jeffress:
Mark Miner, a spokesman for Mr. Perry, said the governor did not believe that Mormonism was a cult, and added that “the event organizers chose who introduced the governor.”
That’s a little bit of hairsplitting, however. Maybe Perry didn’t specifically choose Jeffress, but he approved Jeffress. And, of course, after the introduction, he heartily thanked Jeffress. In short, yes, the Rick Perry did play the Mormon card. He could have said no, but he didn’t. And judging by the way he thanked Jeffress, he’s pretty happy about the way things are turning out.