After Dr. Ben Carson backed Indiana’s religious freedom law for which the institutional left is targeting Gov. Mike Pence, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush spoke up to defend it too.
“I think if you, if they actually got briefed on the law that they wouldn’t be blasting this law. I think Governor Pence has done the right thing,” Bush said in an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio program. “Florida has a law like this. Bill Clinton signed a law like this at the federal level. This is simply allowing people of faith space to be able to express their beliefs, to have, to be able to be people of conscience. I just think once the facts are established, people aren’t going to see this as discriminatory at all.”
Carson, a neurosurgeon and potential 2016 GOP candidate, was the first from the GOP field of potential presidential candidates to defend freedom of religion, telling Breitbart News earlier this morning exclusively that he thinks it’s “absolutely vital” Americans stand up for religious liberty.
“It is absolutely vital that we do all we can to allow Americans to practice their religious ways, while simultaneously ensuring that no one’s beliefs infringe upon those of others. We should also serve as champions of freedom of religion throughout the world,” Carson said.
Several others followed Carson, including Bush and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry’s spokesman Travis Considine told Breitbart News that it’s important to stand up for religious liberty.
“Governor Perry has always fought to expand religious freedoms, which is why Texas became a beacon for liberty during his leadership. He believes it’s up to the states and their leaders to determine what’s in the best interests of their citizens,” Considine said in an email.
On Monday night, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum also defended the law, telling Breitbart News that Pence’s law is based in at least 20 years of precedent.
“When Madison drafted our Bill of Rights, he listed the free exercise of religion as first among them because he understood that only a truly free people could exercise a right,” Santorum said. “This is not the freedom of worship in the halls of a church or synagogue, but the freedom to act out your faith in your daily life. Indiana’s law does not discriminate in any way and to claim it does has no basis in fact.
“What Indiana did has its basis in over 20 years of law that has been upheld time and time again. Governor Pence and the State of Indiana simply followed what 20 other states and the Federal government already did by protecting this foundational right from being trampled on.
“I commend Governor Pence’s efforts to draw a line in the sand against those who are working to denigrate this foundational right and protect citizens from having their deeply held religious beliefs undermined.”
Other GOP leaders who defended the controversial religious liberty law were Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), another potential 2016 presidential candidate, also defended the law in an appearance on Fox News on Monday morning.