Obama Transition Team in Touch with Family Research Council

The transition team phoned Tony Perkins but was told he was unavailable until the new year.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country.

When I wrote this week about the Obama transition team's frequent outreach to religious groups in the process of its policy planning and agency review, I noted that politically conservative faith-based outfits like the Family Research Council and the public-policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention hadn't been invited to powwows with president-elect Obama:

Spokespeople for the social conservative advocacy group Family Research Council and for the Southern Baptist Convention—a huge, mostly conservative evangelical denomination—meanwhile, said that their organizations have not received invitations to meet with Obama's transition team.

It turns out that the Obama team has been in touch with the Family Research Council, one of the most powerful conservative Christian advocacy groups in Washington. The transition team says someone there phoned the office of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in December but was told he was out of town and unavailable until the new year.

FRC spokesperson J.P. Duffy confirms that the Obama team placed the call but that he was unaware of it when he told me earlier in the week that FRC hadn't been contacted by the president-elect's office. "Once [Perkins] gets back, he'll follow-up and we'll see what transpires," Duffy tells me.

I'd reported earlier that the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land received a phone call from Obama religious affairs director Joshua DuBois, even though Land and his deputies haven't been invited to sit down with the Obama team.

  • Read more about Obama's religious outreach.
  • Read more by Dan Gilgoff.