Politics

Duck Dynasty Patriarch Phil Robertson Is Causing New Outrage This Election

Despite sustained outrage over "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson's pointed comments in opposition to marriage equality, Texas Senator and Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz is standing by the controversial the A&E star.

Cruz has continued to embrace Robertson, who endorsed his Presidential campaign last month, and has invited him to open stump speeches in key primary states in an attempt to woo evangelical voters.

But Cruz suggested on Friday, though, that he sees Robertson as more than just a celebrity supporter. He introduced Robertson at a campaign rally early Friday morning by jokingly proposing that the reality T.V. star should be nominated for a diplomatic post. Speaking to attendees in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on the eve of the state's GOP primary, the Texas senator had this to say:

"Imagine just for a moment: Phil Robertson, ambassador to the United Nations. How much would you pay to see the Russian ambassador's face."

Cruz continued, suggesting that the Duck Commander would ask the Russian Ambassador: "What's wrong with you people?"

Robertson then urged the crowd to put a "a staunch, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, Godly man" in the White House, voicing his opposition to candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders:

Wow.

The backlash on Twitter to Cruz's statement — even if made in jest — was rapid, with many pointing out the absurdity of putting Robertson in any kind of diplomatic office, especially given his ongoing hate-mongering toward the LGBTQ community:

A shared homophobic history

Unfortunately, Cruz's continued partnership with Robertson shouldn't surprise anyone who has followed his campaign; in fact, the "Duck Dynasty" star's views are well aligned with Cruz's politics. This includes Robertson's 2014 appearance on "Good Morning America," during which Robertson said he was "as much of a homophobe as Jesus was," as well as his controversial statements at a Cruz event in Iowa last month, where he called marriage equality "evil" and "sinful":

"It is nonsense. It is evil. It's wicked. It's sinful. They want us to swallow [same-sex marriage], 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."

The Texas senator has a similar history of advocating against the LGBTQ community, including suggesting last November that supporting transgender teens was "lunacy." He also frequently lambasts marriage equality, lamenting the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges most recently during his Wednesday night appearance during CNN's televised Town Hall.

"In June of last year we saw a decision from the supreme court that was nothing short of tragic," Cruz said to CNN's audience, later continuing, "I think that decision was fundamentally illegitimate. It was lawless. It was completely inconsistent with the constitution. It will not stand."

Beyond Robertson, Cruz's views have gained him a host of other anti-LGBTQ followers. These include Pastor Kevin Swanson, who organized a rally for the GOP presidential hopeful in Iowa and who is known for advocating the death penalty for gay people, as well as Tony Perkins, who heads up the Family Research Council, which has been designated a hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center.

Ted Cruz and Duck Dynasty star campaign together as "Courageous Conservatives."

Cruz and Robertson are scheduled to continue stumping together today, with a joint campaign stop tonight in Greenville, South Carolina, under the billing, "Courageous Conservatives."