In a rare nod to Christian conservatives, John McCain stopped in for a visit with evangelists Billy and Franklin Graham. He had previously inflamed this core religious voter base during his 2000 presidential campaign when he condemned the Revs. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell as “agents of intolerance.”
The article in the Washington Post put it this way: The Republican presidential candidate, who is actively courting religious voters and trying to reassure skeptical conservatives, visited privately with the Grahams on the grounds of Little Piney Cove in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina.
His earlier inflammatory comments, although later reconsidered and softened, resulted in an entrenched distrust which caused McCain to finish last out of nine Republican candidates in a straw poll last year at the socially conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. They’ll be meeting again September 12-14, 2008.
Whether the gathering will be convinced of his change of heart remains to be seen. Check out the Focus on the Family voter scorecard linked on the Family Research Council’s website and scroll down to the individual House and Senate members for a illuminating look at votes cast.