WASHINGTON — Over the last three days, Republican presidential candidates have consistently pandered to Republican evangelical religious activists here at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual conference. Politico refers to this conference as the most recent GOP cattle call.
Soon to be declared Republican presidential candidate and Louisiana Governor Piyush Jindal, sometimes known as Bobby, trailing badly in the polls, tried to impress the evangelicals, and the former Rhodes scholar seized the moment. He blasted big business for making an “unnatural alliance” with liberals who opposed controversial religious freedom measures in Indiana and Arkansas. The crowd loved it.
In his prepared remarks, Jindal, a Roman Catholic and the governor of a major petroleum-producing state, made no reference to Pope Francis’ just-issued encyclical calling on people and governments around the world to take strong and committed action to save the planet.
Tea Party presidential candidate Ted Cruz also wowed the crowd, calling his fervent followers to action by saying that 50 million evangelicals failed to vote in 2012 and can therefore make a difference in 2016, but only if they vote for him.
As he left the stage, Cruz, glowing in the adulation of the crowd, was mobbed, but a solitary reporter tried to trip him and was promptly arrested.
Elsewhere, in Denver, Bernie Sanders addressed an audience of over 4,800 supporters at the University of Denver. The Vermont Independent attacked billionaires and mega-corporations. Immediately afterward, Sanders told our associate solitary reporter, Lewis Thompson, that he will name Wisconsin US Senator Tammy Baldwin as his running mate. In 2007, while serving in the House of Representatives, Baldwin, the only openly gay senator, filed articles of impeachment against then Vice-President Dick Cheney. Thompson congratulated Sen. Sanders for his bold move in picking Baldwin.