James Dobson is set to endorse Mike Huckabee after his apparent snub of the presidential candidate from Arkansas in a statment lambasting John McCain. Dobson declared earlier this week that he might not vote for a president for the first time in his life.
UPDATE: CBS News reports that Dobson’s endorsement of Huckabee came in a statement released Thursday evening:
“The decision by Gov. Mitt Romney to put his campaign ‘on hold’ changes the political landscape,” Dobson said in a written statement.
“His [Huckabee’s] unwavering positions on the social issues, notably the institution of marriage, the importance of faith and the sanctity of human life, resonate deeply with me and with many others.”
On McCain, Dobson added, “His record on the institution of the family and other conservative issues makes his candidacy a matter of conscience and concern for me.”
Earlier from Associated Press:
James Dobson, one of the nation’s most prominent evangelical Christian leaders, is about to endorse former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, The Associated Press has learned.
Dobson, founder of Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Focus on the Family, talked to the GOP presidential hopeful Thursday and later was to release a statement explaining his choice, said Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Dobson.
Huckabee had long sought Dobson’s endorsement, believing he is the best fit to advance Dobson’s conservative, moral worldview.
Until now, Dobson had never endorsed a GOP presidential hopeful during the primary campaign. But he ruled out front-runner John McCain in a blistering commentary on Super Tuesday, and on Thursday the fight for the GOP nomination narrowed to a two-man race between McCain and Huckabee, who is far behind in the delegate count but pledged to fight on. Mitt Romney, a third hopeful trying to claim the conservative label, dropped out of the race Thursday.
Dobson released a statement Tuesday that criticized McCain for his support of embryonic stem cell research, his opposition to a federal anti-gay marriage amendment and for his temper and use of foul language.
He said if McCain were the nominee, he would not cast a ballot for president for the first time in his life.