Calling Sen. Clinton "the most calculated woman perhaps ever," KCOL's James accused her of "coming off as religious" for votes

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Scott James stated on his September 26 Fox News Radio 600 KCOL show that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) is "the most calculated woman perhaps ever" and that "if she thinks she can get a couple of votes by coming off as religious, she'll find Jesus quick." Clinton in fact has been publicly discussing her faith for years, as Media Matters for America has documented. Moreover, the media have frequently reported on her faith.

On the September 26 broadcast of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Ride Home with The James Gang, host Scott James called Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) "totally disingenuous" and "the most calculated woman perhaps ever," then added, "[I]f she thinks she can get a couple of votes by coming off as religious, she'll find Jesus quick." However, as Media Matters for America has pointed out, Clinton has been publicly discussing her faith for years, well before her campaign for president.

From the September 26 broadcast of Fox News Radio 600 KCOL's Ride Home with The James Gang:

JAMES: OK, I got a couple of stories on Hillary Clinton, if you want. They call her the most religious Democrat since [former President Jimmy] Carter; and I went, "Huh?" And I'm thinking, "She'll play the religious card if she feels it'll get her votes." There -- I can find nothing -- she's just so totally disingenuous to me. She's the most calculated woman perhaps ever. So if she thinks she can get a couple of votes by coming off as religious, she'll find Jesus quick -- "Gets me elected."

In fact, as Media Matters noted, in her 1996 book, It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us (Simon and Schuster), Clinton discussed the role of her faith in her childhood:

We attended a big church with an active congregation, the First United Methodist Church in Park Ridge. The church was a center for preaching and practicing the social gospel, so important to our Methodist traditions. Our spiritual life as a family was spirited and constant. We talked with God, walked with God, ate, studied, and argued with God. Each night, we knelt by our beds to pray before we went to sleep. We said grace at dinner, thanking God for all the blessing bestowed. My brother Hugh had his own characteristic renditions, along the lines of "Good food, good meat, good God, let's eat!" But despite our occasional irreverence, God was always present to us, a much-esteemed, much-addressed member of the family. [Page 171]

Clinton also wrote in her book that "there is no greater gift that God has given any of us than to be loved and to love" [Page 178], and stated that "prayer allows us to let go of our children and to let them find their own ways, with faith to guide and sustain them against the cruelties and indifference of the world" [Page 181].

Additionally, in her 2003 book, Living History (Simon & Schuster), Clinton wrote that she could not describe her time in the White House without noting all that had shaped her life before she got there, including her "family upbringing, education, religious faith, and all that I had learned before" [Page IX]. Clinton went on to write about her faith throughout the book, noting that "what sustained me most through this time was what sustained me throughout our White House tenure: my family, friends, and faith. My religious faith has always been a crucial part of my life. ... I have often told audiences that if I hadn't believed in prayer before 1992, life in the White House would have persuaded me" [Page 167].

Moreover, the media have frequently reported on Clinton's religious faith. As Media Matters has noted, an article for the May 23, 1993, edition of the Los Angeles Times Magazine reported that Clinton said during an interview: "Faith is a wonderful gift of grace ... It gives you a sense of being rooted in meaning and love that goes far beyond your own life. It gives you a base of assurance as to what is really important and stands the test of time day after day, minute after minute, so that many of the pressures that come to bear from the outside world are not seen as that significant."

Similarly, in an October 31, 1994, Newsweek profile, titled "Soulful Matters" (accessed through the Nexis database), reporter Kenneth L. Woodward wrote: "But long before she was a Democrat, a lawyer, or a Clinton, Hillary Rodham was a Methodist. And that, say those who know her now as well as those who knew her when, is the way the First Lady is best understood. She thinks like a Methodist, talks like a Methodist and wants to reform society just like a well-Sunday-schooled Methodist churchwoman should." Woodward also reported that during an interview with Clinton, she "even submitted to a brief examination of her faith." From the article:

Indeed, at one point in the conversation, the First Lady even submitted to a brief examination of her faith:

"Do you believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?"

"Yes."

"The atoning death of Jesus?"

"Yes."

"The resurrection of Christ?'

"Yes."

Further, it was widely reported toward the end of the Clinton presidency that her faith "got her through the impeachment crisis with her husband." Indeed, an August 19, 1998, Boston Globe article (accessed through Nexis) discussing Hillary Clinton's reaction to President Clinton's admission that he had had an extramarital affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, reported: "[Clinton's spokeswoman Marsha] Berry said Mrs. Clinton, a Methodist, also was relying on 'a strong religious faith.' The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited the White House Sunday night, reportedly at the request of 18-year-old Chelsea Clinton, to pray with Mrs. Clinton and her daughter for two hours." Similarly, an August 2, 1999, Los Angeles Times article (accessed through Nexis) about an interview Clinton gave to Talk magazine reported that Clinton "said she survived the Lewinsky episode and her husband's impeachment through 'soul-searching, friends, religious faith and long, hard discussions.' "

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