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Life

Southern Baptist Leader: Say It Ain’t Joe (But Cantor’s Kosher)

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and a titan of the religious right, has some ideas on which Jews would make good number twos for John McCain.

Land tells CBSNews.com:

I think that the vice presidential choice that John McCain makes is probably the most important choice he’s going to make in this entire campaign. Because he has no room for error, no margin for doubt. If he picks a pro-choice running mate, it will confirm the unease and the mistrust that some evangelicals — and don’t forget this, social conservative Catholics — feel about McCain.

That, of course, means Joe Lieberman’s out. Land explains:

Joe Lieberman wrote the forward to my book. And I would love to have Joe Lieberman as Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State. But not as Vice President, not as Attorney General and not as a Supreme Court Justice.

Jewish GOPer Eric Cantor, however, would be a-okay in Land’s book:

I’ll tell you another choice that I think would ring a lot of bells among evangelical and Catholic social conservatives, and I think could have some real electoral punch to it, is Eric Cantor, the congressman from Richmond. He’s the fourth highest person in the House leadership. He is a conservative, observant Jew, a one hundred percent pro-life voting record. And if he picked Cantor, that would probably help hold Virginia. And it would increase McCain’s percentage of the Jewish vote in Florida and Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Read the full interview, in which Land also says, that Mitt Romney would be “an excellent choice” for McCain’s running mate, while offering some interesting context:

There are people in the evangelical community who would have a problem with his Mormonism. I am not one of them. I mean, I’m very clear that I do not believe Mormonism is a Christian faith. But that does not disqualify someone from being President or Vice President.

Hat tip to new JTA politics scribe Eric Fingerhut

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