James Dobson Speaks on Miers

ByABC News
October 12, 2005, 11:42 AM

Oct. 12, 2005 — -- James Dobson, founder of the conservative group Focus on the Family, made waves earlier this month when he said he had confidential information that led him to back President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court -- even as other conservatives spoke out against the nomination.

Dobson's position led to widespread calls for him to disclose the nature of his information.

Today, Dobson claimed to do so during Focus on the Family's 30-minute daily radio program, which the group says is aired on over 3,000 radio facilities each day across the United States.

Dobson said his information stemmed from a personal conversation with Bush aide Karl Rove, in which Rove assured him that Miers was a conservative Christian who belonged to a pro-life organization. Dobson said Rove recently gave him permission to reveal the content of their conversation.

Following is a "rough, unedited transcript" of the interview provided to ABC News by Focus on the Family.

JOHN FULLER: It's Wednesday. I'm John Fuller and you're tuned to "FOF" with psychologist and author, Dr. James Dobson. And Doctor, what a crazy week you've had!

DR. JAMES DOBSON: Well, John, if our listeners and friends have been monitoring the news on radio and television and the Internet and if they have been listening to other talk shows in the past week, then they know well that I have been a topic of conversation from the nation's Capitol to the tiniest burg and farming community. And the issue that's propelled this unprecedented interest in something that I've said is my conversation with Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove that occurred on Oct. 1, just a few days ago. And that was the day before President Bush made his decision to nominate White House counsel Harriet Miers, to be the next justice of the Supreme Court.

Now, as you know and as I'm sure many of our listeners know, there are members of the Judiciary Committee who are running from one talk show to another, threatening to subpoena me to find out what occurred in that conversation with Karl Rove. And I am going to make their job easier (laughter), because in the next few minutes, I'm gonna tell them what I would say to them if I were sitting before the Judiciary Committee. And this is the essence of what transpired between the deputy chief of staff of the White House and me. So, is that clear?

FULLER: I think that is. And for our listeners, you wouldn't believe all that's going on here at Focus, as so many of the mainstream media -- most of the mainstream media -- is contacting us. They, like those senators, want to know, "What does Dr. Dobson know? What did he talk about? Tell us, please."

DOBSON: Well, John, I think it's time that I did that.

FULLER: OK, before you do though, it probably would be helpful for our listeners to understand why you can talk about that now and previously you couldn't.

DOBSON: Yeah, I haven't been willing to. The reason is because Karl Rove has now given me permission to go public with our conversation. And I'm gonna say a little more about that in a minute.

FULLER: OK. Well, fill us in then on what happened.

DOBSON: Well, let me go back through the sequence of events and explain what happened. The president announced his decision on Monday morning, Oct. 3, that Harriet Miers was his selection and the debate was on. And a few hours after that, many conservative Christian leaders were involved in a conference call, wherein some of those men and women were expressing great disillusionment with President Bush's decision and there was a lot of anger over his failure to select someone with a proven track record in the courts. And I came in a little bit late and I caught just a bit of that angst and then I shared my opinion, that Harriet Miers might well be more in keeping with our views than they might think and that I did believe that she was a far better choice than many of my colleagues were saying and that they obviously believed.

Well, my reasons for supporting her were twofold, John. First, because Karl Rove had shared with me her judicial philosophy, which was consistent with the promises that President Bush had made when he was campaigning. Now he told the voters last year that he would select people to be on the Court who would interpret the law rather than create it and judges who would not make social policy from the bench. Most of all, the president promised to appoint people who would uphold the Constitution and not use their powers to advance their own political agenda. Now, Mr. Rove assured me in that telephone conversation that Harriet Miers fit that description and that the president knew her well enough to say so with complete confidence.