Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rev. Ted Haggard Denies Endorsing Rick Santorum Despite Being Credited with Spurring Colorado Victory

DENVER, Colo. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- What seemed impossible only a week ago -- that Rick Santorum could pick up enough steam to displace Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee -- now seems merely improbable. With three major victories Tuesday, Santorum's financially challenged grass-roots campaign stands poised for transformation. The biggest surprise of the evening came in Colorado, where Santorum defied political analysts by seizing a 3,600-vote win against front-runner Mitt Romney. Although voters in many of the state's precincts expressed a desire to see a more socially conservative candidate vie for the White House, Santorum remained a long-shot in the eyes of most observers. That is, until Colorado megachurch leader Rev. Ted Haggard generated a groundswell of support for Santorum. Haggard is the controversial but influential pastor of St. James Church in Colorado Springs. According to reports, a conservative power-broker who uses the same massage parlor as Haggard overheard the endorsement while waiting for his session.

Horrace Petticlaw, who helped organize Haggard's followers to support Santorum, said: "I was right in the next room. Ted was getting rubbed down pretty good by a new massage therapist named Bruce. And plain as day, I heard him telling the guy, 'I love Santorum. Nothing would please God more than you helping me get Santorum all over the place.' Well after that, I knew what I had to do. What the Lord wanted all of us to do."

Many believe the aggressive campaigning efforts of Haggard's congregation drove Santorum to his victory. But in a strange twist that threw the members of St. James Church into a state of confusion, Haggard told local media that he had no knowledge of the former Pennsylvania senator or his candidacy. More to come as details unfold.

(c) 2012. See disclaimers.