September 1, 2014
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Wilton: Romney endorsement a mistake
Posted on Oct 23, 2007 | by Staff

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (BP)--South Carolina pastor Don Wilton said Oct. 23 he made a "personal error" in agreeing to support the campaign of Mitt Romney for president.

The pastor of First Baptist Church in Spartanburg and a former president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Wilton said the Romney campaign has agreed to withdraw all references to his endorsement of Romney as a candidate.

On Oct. 19, the Romney campaign issued a press release stating Wilton had "announced his support for Governor Mitt Romney and his campaign." The release, which received attention from national media, quoted Wilton as saying, "We need someone in Washington who will stand up for traditional families and Governor Romney is that person." It also said that while they disagreed on theology, "his values are my values -- protecting the sanctity of human life, defending marriage and strengthening the family."

But Wilton now says that endorsement was a mistake.

"While I did give my consent to the local campaign to use my affirmation of the Governor's stance on family values in my capacity as an individual citizen, I made the mistake of not realizing the extent to which it would be used on a national basis," Wilton said. "It was my personal error to agree to support Romney's campaign. Until this incident I had never endorsed any person running for any elected office, Democrat or Republican."

That same week two other evangelical leaders -- Jay Sekulow and Bob Jones III -- said they were endorsing Romney's campaign.

Following is Wilton's statement:

"While I did give my consent to the local campaign to use my affirmation of the Governor's stance on family values in my capacity as an individual citizen, I made the mistake of not realizing the extent to which it would be used on a national basis. It was my personal error to agree to support Romney’s campaign. Until this incident I had never endorsed any person running for any elected office, Democrat or Republican. While I have had the privilege of meeting with a number of fine candidates over the years I continue to believe my role and responsibility is to preach and teach the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am committed to pray for our elected leaders as well as for the wisdom of the American people as they are compelled to make choices based upon their deep and abiding convictions. The future of this great nation is at stake and the morality of her people in relationship to the God of our founding fathers is critical to our future. While I will vote my constitutional right as an American citizen, and while I implore all eligible Americans to do the same, I will continue to use my personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ as the only standard by which I determine who to vote for in any election."
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Compiled by Baptist Courier staff and Michael Foust, assistant editor of Baptist Press.
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