Christian conservatives are trying to draft historian David Barton to challenge Sen. John Cornyn of Texas in the Republican primary this spring, Politico reports.
Despite being voted one of the most conservative members of Congress by the National Journal in 2010, Cornyn apparently isn’t conservative enough for tea party activists who have elevated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to hero status.
Barton is an eloquent orator, broadcaster, and author who heads WallBuilders, a national organization that promotes “the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built,” according to its website. His critics have labeled him anti-gay and some historians have called his writings distortions filled with half-truths.
Barton supporters have created two Facebook pages, “Draft David Barton for Senate,” and “Draft David Barton for US Senate,” both of which already have more than 2,200 likes and members.
Cornyn, a staunch conservative who has served in the United States Senate since 2002, is viewed by tea partiers as a cautious conservative unwilling to buck the establishment like his fellow Texas senator, Cruz. Despite endorsements from conservative heavyweights such as the National Rifle Association and National Right to Life, as well as having close to $10 million in his campaign coffers from most conservative donors, some tea party supporters don’t think he’s conservative enough to represent their interests.
“We know he is not just like us, and we resent him claiming to be,” said Julie McCarty, president of a tea party group in Tarrant County, Tex., according to Politico.
Though Barton enjoys immense popularity among his followers, his outspoken views condemning homosexuality have earned him plenty of criticism.
The non-profit Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization whose mission is to fight hate and bigotry, lists Barton in its Intelligence Files database, which contains profiles of prominent extremists and extremist organizations.
According to the law center,
Barton is “anti-gay” and “has acted as a key bridge between the mainstream political right and radical-right religious ideology.”
His work, which includes books and writings claiming the founding fathers intended for only Christians to hold office, has been debunked by historians who say it contains “distortions, half-truths, and twisted history.”
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