Whenever Tim Pawlenty's placebo candidacy is brought up, it seems like his close relationship with pastor Leith Anderson is also discussed--specifically, whether or not the influential Evangelical pastor will undermine his candidacy. Previously, we've seen good arguments that he'll hurt Pawlenty's bid, that he'll help it and that he'll do niether. Drawing on these arguments, here's a cheat sheet to reasons why Leith Anderson is said to hurt Pawlenty's presidential bid, and why others think the notion is ridiculous:
How Anderson Might Hurt Pawlenty's Candidacy
- He Thinks Global Warming Is Real - In 2006, when Anderson added his name to a high-profile group of Evangelicals who signed a "call to action" statement, the Associated Press described his support as being in favor of "strong government involvement" on the issue. While this is a pretty mild position for liberals, just ask Mitt Romney how it feels to be a GOP contender and acknowledge the existence of climate change. In a Religion News article published today, CNN contributor Erik Erickson noted that Pawlenty's "critics will attempt to capitalize on some of Leith Anderson's statements and stands, including his position on global warming."
- He's Promoted a Soft Stance on Illegal Immigration - Unlike Pawlenty who, as Politico notes, advocated for the end of "birthright citizenship and punishing business violators" who employ illegal immigrants, Anderson's National Association of Evangelicals has tried to embrace Hispanics by arguing in favor of "comprehensive immigration reform"---including his support of a 2007 resolution calling for the "government to establish a fair process for undocumented immigrants already in the country to earn legal status and fair labor and civil laws for everyone."