From the Associated Press today:
James Dobson, one of the nation's most prominent evangelical Christian leaders, backed Mike Huckabee's presidential bid Thursday night, giving the former Arkansas governor a long-sought endorsement as the Republican field narrowed to a two-man race.
In a statement first obtained by The Associated Press, Dobson reiterated his declaration on Super Tuesday that he could not in good conscience vote for John McCain, the front-runner, because of concerns over the Arizona senator's conservative credentials.
"The remaining candidate for whom I could vote is Governor Huckabee," Dobson said. "His unwavering positions on the social issues, notably the institution of marriage, the importance of faith and the sanctity of human life, resonate deeply with me and with many others."
Dobson criticized McCain for his support of embryonic stem cell research, his opposition to a federal anti-gay marriage amendment and for his temper and use of foul language. He said he'd sit out the presidential election if McCain were the nominee.
John Green, a senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, said Dobson's endorsement can help Huckabee in upcoming Southern states — Louisiana votes Saturday.
"It is rather late in the game," Green said. "But Dr. Dobson is well known for sticking to his guns. It doesn't surprise me this late in the game he would make an announcement like this because it fits in well with what he's been saying. He really doesn't want a moderate Republican nominee, he wants a conservative."
Dobson emphasizes that when he endorses candidates, he is doing so as a private citizen and not as a representative of Focus on the Family, a tax-exempt organization he founded. His endorsement of Huckabee was to be e-mailed to 110,000 people through Focus on the Family Action, a separate entity that is allowed to be more politically active, Schneeberger said.