One of the nation's most influential Christian and family leaders, the Rev. Donald E. Wildmon
, says Sarah Palin is right, Newt Gingrich is being "crucified" by the Republican establishment and forces allied with Mitt Romney.
Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, has strongly endorsed Gingrich for president, and this week has been urging fellow believers to vote in Florida's primary for the former House Speaker.
Wildmon has spent decades on the front-lines of the battle to protect American families and says Gingrich is the best choice for Christian conservatives who want a president to stand against a rising tide of secularism and anti-Christian sentiment.
On Thursday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin stated on the Fox Business channel: "Look at Newt Gingrich, what's going on with him via the establishment's attacks. They're trying to crucify this man and rewrite history and rewrite what it is that he has stood for all these years.”
In an interview with Newsmax Friday, Wildmon told Newsmax “That’s very tough language. But I think it’s probably pretty accurate.”
Wildmon said Gingrich is up against entrenched political forces who are “absolutely” trying to dictate who wins the GOP nomination.
“The mainstream media and the established Republicans would rather have anybody than Newt,” Wildmon said. “This is what really worries them. [Thursday] they went on a rampage, got five or six well known people, former colleagues of his, criticizing him. They’re going after him. That’s going to be his biggest obstacle to overcome.”
Asked why he didn’t endorse former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, as have several other Christian leaders, Wildmon replied: “You’re basically going to vote for the man you think can do the best job. I believe that Newt, of all the candidates, can do a better job of getting the country back to where it’s supposed to be.”
Wildmon has also stated that Gingrich passes two key criteria: he's the only candidate who can defeat both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Rev. Wildmon is aware that some have criticized Gingrich for his personal life and "baggage."
But Wildmon says he has met privately with Gingrich and believes he is a changed man and has accepted Christ as his savior.
“I think it’s genuine and sincere,” Wildmon told Newsmax, “Only Newt and God know his heart. But by every visible aspect, I think it’s genuine.”
Wildmon also expressed grave doubts about the strength of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s commitment to social issues that Christians care about.
Wildmon asserted that Romney "will not be reliable. Romney is Obama-lite.”
The conservative family advocate said the stakes in the 2012 election are huge. “If we lose this race,” he said, “if Mr. Obama gets a second term, or if Mr. Romney gets in, it’s the end of Western civilization as we know it.”
Wildmon added that he gives the former House Speaker a 50-50 chance of winning the nomination, due to the powerful establishment interests arrayed against him.
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