Rick Perry’s New Campaign Hire Thinks God Doesn’t Want Women to Be Leaders

by Dan Quinn

Rick Perry has left the Texas governor’s office behind, but he still likes associating with religious-righters who want to take America back to the 1950s (or further).

The Des Moines Register in Iowa reports that Perry has hired an ordained minister and radio broadcaster with ties to religious-right activists to serve as senior director on his upcoming presidential campaign. Talking Points Memo notes that the new hire, Jamie Johnson, previously worked as director of outreach for Iowa Right to Life and the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition and on the 2012 presidential campaign of former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Des Moines Register piece in 2012 about Michele Bachmann’s failed presidential campaign noted Johnson’s views on women:

Rival presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent out an email saying that children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president. He wrote it in June [2011], but it surfaced on the campaign trail in the fall.

“The question then comes, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?’ ” Johnson’s email said.

Johnson defended his email statements in an interview with NBC News in 2012:

“I was sharing my personal reflections with a friend through my private email account -– not the campaign account,” Johnson said. “They were reflections on over 25 years of formal, theological study” based in “classical Christian doctrine.”

Perry has a history of associating with religious-righters who have rather archaic views about women’s role in society. David Lane, who has made a living organizing events that bring pastors and right-wing politicians (especially Perry) together across the country, has written that God wants women to be submissive to their husbands.

Of course, Perry has a history of associating with a lot of nasty people on the right, including anti-gay hate groups, a former staffer who has called gay people “deviant” and compared them to the Ku Klux Klan, and assorted other extremists (herehere and here). Birds of a feather?

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