- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 2, 2007

GOP revolt?

Some of the nation’s most politically influential conservative Christians, alarmed by the prospect of a pro-choice Republican presidential nominee, are considering backing a third-party candidate, the Associated Press reports.

More than 40 Christian conservatives attended a meeting Saturday in Salt Lake City to discuss the possibility, and planned more gatherings on how they should move forward, according to longtime conservative activist Richard A. Viguerie. Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is pro-choice on abortion and supports homosexual rights, leads in national polls of the Republican presidential candidates.

Other participants in the meeting included James Dobson, founder of the Focus on the Family evangelical ministry in Colorado Springs, and, according to Mr. Viguerie, Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council.

Mr. Dobson attended the meeting, but is not yet participating in any planning for a third party, said Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Focus on the Family. A spokesman for Mr. Perkins did not respond to requests for comment yesterday, the wire service said.

An apology

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh apologized on the air yesterday, but not for uttering the phrase “phony soldiers.” Instead, he apologized for a left-wing group he said has led a smear campaign against him that also sullied the military, reports S.A. Miller of The Washington Times.

“I want to apologize to all of the members of the United States military, both in uniform and out, active duty and retired, for Media Matters for America,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “They will not apologize to you, and they will not apologize to me. I want to apologize to you on behalf of them.”

Media Matters had accused Mr. Limbaugh of using the “phony soldiers” phrase to denigrate all troops who publicly oppose the war in Iraq. It did so by selectively quoting from remarks made by Mr. Limbaugh last week.

But a transcript posted by Mr. Limbaugh clearly shows he was referring to Jesse Adam Macbeth, who tried to back the antiwar movement by falsely claiming to have participated in war crimes while in Iraq. He had never been posted there. On Sept. 21, Macbeth admitted in federal court that he had faked his record.

“This smear and this phony accusation regarding something I had not said about active-duty military personnel, or even those who opposed the war, was that once again the integrity of the U.S. military was brought into question when the integrity of the sourcing group, Media Matters for America, should have been brought into question,” Mr. Limbaugh said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, yesterday urged his colleagues to sign a letter condemning Mr. Limbaugh.

“Rush Limbaugh owes the men and women of our armed forces an apology,” Mr. Reid said on the Senate floor.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jack Kingston, Georgia Republican, yesterday submitted a resolution praising Mr. Limbaugh for, among other things, providing “millions of dollars to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, which provides college scholarships to the children of Marines and veterans of other branches killed in action.”

An invitation

A university in Iran has invited President Bush to visit and discuss issues such as terrorism and the Holocaust, a week after his Iranian counterpart visited a university in New York.

The invitation came from Ferdowsi University in the northeastern city of Mashhad, asking Mr. Bush to attend a question-and-answer session with students and professors, Fars News Agency said. Human rights and other issues could also be raised, it said.

Iranian media and politicians have reacted angrily to the way Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was treated when he gave a speech at Columbia University, Reuters news agency reports. Introducing him, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger called Mr. Ahmadinejad a “petty and cruel dictator” and said his Holocaust denials suggested he was either “brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.”

Friend of Hillary

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums yesterday endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, as a “thank you” for incorporating his and the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ urban agenda, reports Brian DeBose of The Washington Times.

“I thought long and hard about this decision and have concluded that our country needs Hillary’s strength and experience to lead us forward,” said Mr. Dellums, also a former U.S. House member. Mr. Dellums will head the urban policy committee advising the New York Democrat on issues regarding the nation’s cities.

“I am honored to receive the support of my longtime friend Mayor Ron Dellums. He is a national leader who has been widely recognized for his creative solutions and innovative approaches to the challenges facing our cities,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Earlier this year, Mrs. Clinton outlined before the mayors group her urban agenda and plans, including many recommendations in the Dellums Commission, such as developing alternatives to jail for minority youth and helping nonprofit groups stem high school dropout rates.

Mr. Dellums has a long history of involvement in radical politics since his membership on the Berkeley city council in the 1960s and his 1970 election to Congress as an opponent of the Vietnam War. An outspoken admirer of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, Mr. Dellums’ involvement with Maurice Bishop’s communist regime in Grenada was exposed by documents captured by U.S. troops who invaded the island nation.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washington times.com.

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