Watchdog group tallies Christian right visits to White House: Bush's guests

October 6, 2009

Key conservative Christian leaders made dozens of visits to the White House during President George W. Bush’s administration, a watchdog group announced.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had sought the records for years.

“Newly disclosed Bush-era White House visitor records suggest leading conservative Christian leaders may have had a significant voice in President Bush’s administration, and many seem to have had the ear of the president himself,” CREW said in a September 4 news release.

James Dobson, founder of the Col orado-based ministry Focus on the Family, visited the White House 24 times, including ten visits with President Bush. Tony Perkins, president of the Washing ton-based Family Research Council, visited 14 times, including two visits with Bush.

Evangelical women leaders, too, had political clout. Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Washington-based Traditional Values Coalition, made 50 White House visits, including six with the president.

Wendy Wright, president of Washing ton-based Concerned Women for Amer ica, made the second-highest number of visits—43—including four with Bush.

Other well-known conservative religious leaders who visited Bush and others at the White House included the late Jerry Falwell and the late Paul Weyrich, founder of the Free Congress Foundation. –Religion News Service