The Rev. Donald E. Wildmon is urging Christian voters in Iowa to vote for Newt Gingrich in their caucuses on Tuesday in what he describes as the "most critical" election in American history.
Wildmon also warns that voting for other "good" conservative candidates will ensure Mitt Romney's victory.
Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, is one of the nation's most respected Christian leaders and has been at the forefront for decades in fighting for traditional values against a rising tide of secularism.
In an exclusive interview Thursday with Newsmax, Wildmon said other candidates in the Republican race, including Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann, are all "good people."
But he said a vote for any of them will divide the conservative vote and help former Massachusetts Gov. Romney.
Wildmon told Newsmax that Newt Gingrich is the only candidate who can wrest the White House back from President Barack Obama.
“I think he is the one person that could win the White House and make some of the changes that are desperately needed,” Wildmon insisted. “I think that he would be able to defeat Obama, and also he would be able to defeat Romney.”
Wildmon endorsed Gingrich last week, despite his much-publicized personal and marital issues.
Wildmon said he has talked personally with Gingrich and believes his faith in Christ is real and sincere.
“I was with a small group that met with the speaker back in — well, it was four years ago — and he expressed his regret,” Rev. Wildmon recalled.
“He confessed that yes, he did, he had made a mistake. He had done wrong. He had sinned. And he’s been doing that and has lived since that time with a life that points toward family and faithfulness.”
Everybody has faults, Rev. Wildmon said, adding, “I don’t think Jesus is running in this election. But I think [Gingrich] has had enough change in his personal life — and done enough study and research — to see that the family is the most important unit in our society. Without it, if it disintegrates, then there goes our country.”
Wildmon slammed Romney, based on his record as governor, claiming he had been "soft" on gay marriage and backed an Obamacare health program in his state.
“I think if you look at his record, he basically was real soft on Massachusetts’ homosexual marriage. That opened the doors for everybody else in the country,” Wildmon said. “To be honest with you, I just don’t feel good about him. I feel like that he’s Obama lite. I just don’t think that he can be trusted to really care about, and protect and defend the family and religious freedom that we have in this country.”
Rev. Wildmon said the stakes in this election are extremely high, arguing that the next president probably will pick three to four Supreme Court justices, as well as federal judges, who will set the legal environment for Christians and others for decades.
Gingrich is the only candidate who can both beat Romney and Obama — and who has a proven track record as a conservative, Wildmon said.
Gingrich proved he's a real conservative by authoring the Contract with America and pushing through other key legislation as speaker of the House in the 1990s. Gingrich has a solid pro-life record over several decades and has always opposed taxpayer funded abortions.
“I think this is the most critical and crucial election this country has ever had and I think our future depends on it. I know every other election that’s been held, people say it’s important but this is important,” he said.
Video of the Rev. Donald E. Wildmon's exclusive interview with Newsmax:
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