Over the weekend, Mitt Romney campaigned in Virginia, one of the nation's key battleground states, and delivered a speech just a few feet from TV preacher Pat Robertson. According to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek, Romney also had "a meeting" with the radical televangelist. As for what may have been discussed at that meeting, we don't know.
We do know, however, what Robertson told his "700 Club" viewers two days after his chat with the Republican presidential candidate.
Right Wing Watch posted this clip yesterday -- for those who can't watch videos online, the transcript is available -- and it offered a helpful insight into Robertson's perspective for those who aren't especially familiar with his daily work.
In the clip, Robertson fields a question from a viewer with a troubled marriage -- his wife, the viewer said, "has no respect for me as the head of the house," insults him, threatens violence, and undermines his "self-confidence." The host's advice? "Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her," Robertson said.
He added that, "I think this man has got to stand up to her. And he can't let her get away with this stuff.... I don't think we condone wife beating these days, but something's got to be done." After arguing that the wife must have some kind of psychological problem, Robertson concluded, "You can't divorce her, according to the scripture, so I say move to Saudi Arabia."
When the video was posted to the Christian Broadcast Network's website, Robertson's words were carefully edited, so that the host's sentence ended with, "You can't divorce her, according to the scripture."
Now, for those familiar with Robertson, none of this comes as a surprise -- this kind of extremism is a daily element of his program. But in a political context, I don't think it's unreasonable for reporters to ask Mitt Romney why he's palling around with this guy.