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Breaking News: James Dobson endorses Mike Huckabee

February 8, 2008 |  3:03 am

It looks like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was serious about continuing his seemingly hopeless campaign against Sen. John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination.

Late Thursday night he won the endorsement of Influential Christian leader James Dobson, the head of the conservative Colorado-based Focus on the Family.

Dobson, who writes and speaks to millions each day with advice on family and marriage via newsletter, the web and on his daily radio program broadcast on hundreds of stations across the country, issued several unusual statements last year announcing whom he would not support for president. Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher and governor, went unmentioned in them.

Prime among the bad boys were Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and,....

yup, none other than the same McCain, the Republican party's new presumptive nominee with the withdrawal Thursday of Mitt Romney.

Giuliani's sin is his support of abortion. Thompson's is his opposition to a constitutional amendment regarding marriage. And McCain's is the pivotal campaign finance reform measure that carried his name -- McCain-Feingold -- and which put new restrictions on how such non-profits as Focus on the Family can communicate with their members about legislation.

In a short statement late Thursday night, Dobson said he was speaking as a private citizen, that there had been two potential pro-family Republican nominees left he could vote for but was reluctant to choose between them. Romney's departure Thursday, he said, changed the situation.

He said Huckabee's "unwavering positions on the social issues, notably the institution of marriage, the importance of faith and the sanctity of human life, resonate deeply with me and with many others. That is why I will support Gov. Huckabee through the remaining primaries, and will vote for him in the general election if he should get the nomination."

Dobson, who endorsed Pres. George W. Bush for re-election in 2004, is a political realist who regularly receives Republican politicians making political pilgrimages to Focus' mountainside headquarters in Colorado Springs.

Dobson added, "Obviously, the governor faces an uphill struggle, given the delegates already committed to Sen. McCain. Nevertheless, I believe he is our best remaining choice for President of the United States."

--Andrew Malcolm