NPR logo Pat Robertson Decries Social Cons For Pushing GOP Candidates To Extremes

Pat Robertson Decries Social Cons For Pushing GOP Candidates To Extremes

Rev. Pat Robertson.

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Clem Britt/AP

Rev. Pat Robertson.

Clem Britt/AP

You never know what televangelist Pat Robertson is going to say. But you can rest assured that he will never go too long before saying something that leaves many people with their jaws dropped.

Just weeks after he scandalized many co-religionists by saying it was acceptable for Christians to divorce spouses with Alzheimer's Disease, the televangelist is now drawing more attention for taking to task a key part of the Republican Party's base, social conservatives, for forcing GOP candidates to take extreme positions in primaries bound to be unpopular in general elections.

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During a recent installment of his 700 Club show, Robertson said:

"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 lost the general election...

"You 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.' The Democrat, whoever it is, is going to just play these statements to the hilt. They've got to stop this. It's just so counterproductive. Well, if they want to lose, this is the game for losers."

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If Robertson was aware of the irony of him, of all people, making such a statement, he didn't let on. Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition gets credit for helping to nurture the same social conservative movement that forces his party's candidates to take ideological stances far to the right of most voters.

It was that movement that allowed Robertson to come in second in 1988's Iowa caucuses, ahead of the eventual GOP nominee, former President George H. W. Bush.