Sunday, July 03, 2005

Billy Graham: "I didn't endorse Hillary"

This is according to "The Hillary Project", and Mr Graham's longtime PR Point Man, Larry Ross:

Billy Graham: I Didn't Endorse Hillary Clinton

Rev. Billy Graham said Friday that he didn't intend to endorse Hillary Clinton for president when he told her husband at a massive New York City revival meeting last weekend that she should "run the country."

His son Franklin Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, tells the Charlotte Observer:

"For a long time, my father has refrained from endorsing political candidates and he certainly did not intend for his comments to be an endorsement for Senator Hillary Clinton."

"My father, of course, was joking," the younger Graham said, when he hosted the Clintons onstage and told the crowd of 90,000. "They're a great couple... He should be an evangelist because he has all the gifts and he could leave his wife to run the country."

Although Billy Graham has called himself a Democrat, Franklin said that didn't mean he supported the former president, saying, "His political views, as well as mine, are quite different than the Clintons." The Clintons, however "remain good friends," he added.

Rev. Graham felt compelled to issue the clarification after receiving more than 100 e-mails and calls of protest, the Observer said.

Rev. Graham's words of praise for the former first couple prompted significant consternation among his some of his most devoted followers.

National Clergy Council President, Rev. Rob Schenck, for instance - who had traveled from Washington, D.C., to Queens, New York just to hear his "role model" preach - walked out of the event after the Clintons were feted onstage.

"I was stunned and appalled," Rev. Schenck told the Christian Wire Service.

"It was disturbing to watch Billy Graham, a man whom I've admired for years, being used by evil to mislead countless Christians," complained Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, head of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny [BOND].


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