Does Ted Cruz think we need to “rid the world” of pro-marriage equality Supreme Court justices?

Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson campaigned with Ted Cruz in Iowa yesterday, and he had some choice words for the Supreme Court when introducing Cruz at one event:

Said Robertson:

Phil Robertson, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Phil Robertson, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

When a fellow like me looks at the landscape and sees the depravity, the perversion — redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman? Come on Iowa, it’s NONSENSE! It is evil. It’s wicked. It’s sinful. They want us to swallow it, you say. We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there. Ted Cruz loves God, he loves James Madison and he’s a strict constitutionalist. You know what Ted Cruz understands? He understands that…God raises these empires up. It is God who brings them down.

Ted Cruz followed Robertson on the stage and wasted no time calling him “a joyful, cheerful, unapologetic voice of truth.”

Which can only lead one to wonder: How much of what Robertson said does Cruz believe to be “truth”?

This is one of many instances on the campaign trail in which Cruz has not only openly embraced hardline conservative Christians with odious social views, but has also come awfully close to endorsing those views themselves. Just last week, Cruz announced that he had put Operation Rescue founder Troy Newman on his newly-formed “Pro-Lifers for Cruz” coalition, citing Newman’s books calling for the government to punish abortion providers and the women who have abortions as if they were murderers. By endorsing not only Newman but also his work, Cruz, a death penalty enthusiast, turned what would otherwise be a ridiculous question — “Do you think the government should execute women who have abortions?” — into a serious one. As in, given the people Cruz is surrounding himself with, and the views of theirs that he is amplifying, there seems to be a real chance that, if asked, he would say something along the lines of yes.

Which brings us back to Robertson. Giving him a generous listening, it sounds like he’s referring to marriage equality-affirming politicians and judges as the people we have to “rid the earth” of. Hyperbolic? Maybe. But hey, so is Ted Cruz.

Either way, what’s undoubtedly clear is that Robertson genuinely believes that marriage equality is “evil,” “wicked” and “sinful.” I’d be very interested to see Cruz look a gay or lesbian couple in the eyes and answer whether he agrees with this “unapologetic voice of truth” as far as that goes.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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