The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Rick Perry having to respond at Tuesday night’s debate to Robert Jeffress’s comments on Mitt Romney:

There will be as much an abundance of questions about this as there was a scarcity of questions about Barack Obama’s association with the racist, anti-Semitic Jeremiah Wright in 2008. So I think that’s the stark contrast, the double standard here.

Look, I think it’s clear that in this country you’re allowed to have any kind of theological debate you want. You can be as vociferous, heated as you like. But it has no place in [the] politics of a country whose Constitution specifically prohibits a religious test.

And I think it’s therefore incumbent on Perry — it isn’t quite enough to say he doesn’t agree. Like it or not, he’s associated with Reverend Jeffress. Obviously it’s not as long an association, it’s nothing like the Jeremiah Wright association with Obama, but he [Jeffress] did introduce him [Perry]. And he [Jeffress] didn’t make the statement in the introduction, but he made it afterwards. So you are connected.

And I think Jon Huntsman is right when he said today — he’s also a Mormon – that the correct response from Governor Perry should be to break with Reverend Jeffress. I think that’s a high bar, but I think it’s important. It would make a statement that we don’t have religious tests.

On the weekend violence in Egypt against Copts:

Well, there’s a strange way in which dictators often give protection to minorities, if not out of sincerity, but as a way to build at least a base of support. You’ve got that, for example, in Syria, where the dictator Assad, who’s an Alawite, 10 percent of the population, obviously protects the Alawites — but also Christians in Syria are worried [about] what would happen if he is deposed because of the rise of Islamism throughout the region. …

So what we’re getting in Egypt, when you took away Mubarak, when he’s sitting in a cage [on] trial — he was the protector of the Christians — you’ve got a regime that succeeded him that is not exactly intent on containing the passions of the mob. So you’ve had a lot of churches destroyed, you’ve had a lot of attacks on Copts. You also had the attack on the Israeli embassy, about the only outlet for anti- Semitism, now that the Jewish community had long-ago abandoned Egypt. And this is what’s to come.

And this is in response to the rise of Islamic elements in the population. The regime, the military government is afraid of clamping down. And as a result, what you’re getting is at least neglect of … protecting religious minorities, and in some cases encouragement of persecution.

That is really a bad omen for a democratic Egypt.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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