Gingrich Campaign Lies About Pastors’ Support

As Newt Gingrich keeps attacking Mitt Romney’s dishonesty — accurately, of course, but hypocritically — it turns out that his campaign has been lying about the support of prominent Florida pastors. Several ministers say they were announced as supporting Gingrich when they’d never even gotten a call from the campaign, much less agreed to endorse him.

On January 25, the Newt Gingrich campaign announced its Florida Faith Leaders Coalition, a group that “will spearhead faith outreach events and events leading up to the Florida primary and the general election.” On January 28, the campaign announced “nine new leaders for its Florida Faith Leaders Coalition.”

Gingrich has been reaching out for the votes of evangelicals, with appearances at three churches over the weekend, and an election day appearance at a Baptist church in Orlando that is serving as a polling place.

But three Florida pastors listed as members of the coalition tell me that they knew nothing about it, had not been contacted by the campaign, and had never agreed to serve in that capacity.

On Sunday, Pastor Scrivner Damon of New Life Community Church in North Palm Beach, who was listed on the January 28 announcement, looked at me, bewildered, when I asked him about the coalition. “Was I?” he asked, when I told him he was listed as a member. I showed him the announcement, and as he read it, he shook his head. “I have not done anything,” he said. “I haven’t even made up my mind who I’m going to vote for yet.”

When I called Pastor Doug Maners, of Catalyst Community Church in Orlando, who was also listed on the January 28 announcement, he laughed, and said, “I don’t think so. If I am, I didn’t know it.”

“I have not been involved at all,” said Maners. “I have some strong opinions, but most of the time I have to keep those to myself.”

When I asked Pastor Amar Rambissoon of Deeper Life Assembly in Orlando about being listed as a member of the Coalition, he said, “I am not aware of that.” Rambissoon said he had not been contacted by anyone from the Gingrich campaign.

Apparently they don’t have the eye of the tiger.

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  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Gingrich Campaign Lies

    No shit.

  • Phillip IV

    Ah, Newt’s campaign made a stupid error there, by putting those names in their press release prematurely – now that this has come out, they’ll have to pay those three preachers a lot more for their endorsements than they would normally have had to.

  • kosk11348

    But they were robo-called and told to press 7 if they wanted to opt out.

  • exdrone

    This must be exasperating for Newt. He knows that the pastors will eventually support him because he knows the future. That’s why he has revealed what he will do in his second presidential term. Sadly, the voters are restricted to a linear time paradigm.

  • Michael Heath

    The pastors are lying. Newt Gingrich’s campaign team put together a list of pastors whose support they wanted. The prayed to the god who promises to positively answer all prayers, voilà, the pastors endorse Newt Gingrich.

    Matthew 7 claiming to quote Jesus [RSV]:

    7 “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12 So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

  • marymallone

    If someone (like these pastors) is claimed to support a candidate – their names are used in advertisements or other promotions – when they do not, can they sue? I’m not talking about the likelihood of the lawsuit being won. I’m just wondering if Scrivner Damon, for example, could sue Newt Gingrich for misrepresenting his opinion.

  • ambulocetacean

    Well, that’s pretty dumb. I thought Newt was supposed to be the smartest guy in the room.

  • Do these pastors were funny suits too?

  • Scott Simmons

    ambulocetacean: Well, it was a very small, empty room …

  • ambulocetacean

    Scott Simmons,

    Ah, that would explain it.