Just one day after a Pew survey revealed only 49% of Americans describe President Obama as a Christian, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke out in defense of Michele Bachmann’s crusade to investigate the conspiracy theory that the Muslim Brotherhood is influencing the federal government.
“If you read some of the reports that have covered the story, I think that her concern was about the security of the country,” Cantor said on CBS’s This Morning on Friday. “So that’s all I know.”
Chris Matthews spoke to Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, director of the Interfaith Alliance, on Friday’s Hardball. Gaddy is one of the many religious spokespeople who wrote to Bachmann protesting her push to investigate Muslims in government. He told Matthews that Bachmann’s efforts are nothing but a political strategy meant to play off people’s prejudices:
“We’re talking about politics. We’re not talking about religion, we’re not talking about security. We’re talking about a very questionable kind of patriotism that would risk scaring the people of the United States, trying to undercut their confidence in the security provided by the United States government in order to attract a few votes. They also know that this figure that came out today, about the number of people who think the president is Muslim, is a way to play in demonizing religion to the extent that they think they can win an election.”
Bachmann is the second biggest fundraiser in the House, and she isn’t waging this “witch hunt” alone. Conservative Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona, Thomas Rooney of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas and Newt Gingrich have all joined the call for an official investigation.
Several GOP lawmakers including John McCain and John Boehner have condemned Bachmann’s comments as out of line, but her crew isn’t apologizing or changing its tune.
“I wish some of these numb nuts would go out and read the letter before they make these horrible allegations about the horrible accusations we’re making,” Gohmert commented on The Dennis Miller Show earlier this week.
However, Gaddy believes there’s a silver lining:
“I actually think there is a bright spot in this whole thing with what Ms. Bachmann has done. When Interfaith Alliance put out the word about us getting together a letter protesting what had happened, you look at the people on that letter: the National Council of Jewish Women, the ACLU, the Interfaith Alliance, people all across the political spectrum, the National Council of Catholic Bishops. So you’ve got both diversity across the religious spectrum and you’ve got diversity across the political spectrum. And my hope is, there are a lot of people who are saying, Ms. Bachmann, enough of this. Let’s have an election on what the election should be about and get politicians off of trying to do political stump speeches that turn out to be sermons and not hide your prejudices under a cloak of religion.”