Reporting Pat Kessler
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — At the Brooklyn Center-based Living Word Christian Center Sunday, Pastor Mac Hammond told the congregation he’d be joining the Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign. However, after news stories about it, the church took the video off its website.
The charismatic pastor said Sunday he may be chairman of Bachmann’s National Faith and Family Council — traveling with the candidate on the campaign trail.
According to the Associated Press, he told his congregation that Bachmann “is a sister in the Lord that is as committed to his word as any of you.”
Once a leader in Republican presidential polls, Bachmann’s popularity has plummeted since Texas Gov. Rick Perry entered the race.
Analysts say using Hammond can be an effective political strategy to court evangelical voters in Iowa, who make up more than half of Republican caucus goers.
“On the other hand, look who won Iowa 4 years ago: Mike Huckabee, who did very well among evangelicals, but that was really the high point of his bid for the nomination. And so Iowa certainly is very important for momentum, but it is no guarantee of success,” said University of Minnesota political science professor Kathryn Pearson.
Hammond is no stranger to politics or controversy. In 2006, he endorsed Bachmann from the pulpit.
It was also the same time Bachmann told Living Word’s congregation Jesus Christ called her to run for Congress.
“Who in their right mind would spend 2 years to run for a job that lasts two years? You’d have to be a fool to do that! You are now looking at a fool for Christ,” said Bachmann.
The Living Word Church confirmed Tuesday afternoon that it scrubbed Hammond’s comments from the Sunday Service video. A representative of the church says Hammond’s message was intended for his congregation, and not for the public.
The representative said Hammond is endorsing Bachmann on a personal level only, it is volunteer effort by Hammond, and no church resources will be used.