VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson insisted Wednesday that he did not call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, despite comments broadcast on his program two days earlier.
"I didn't say 'assassination,'" Robertson said Wednesday on his Christian Broadcast Network show "The 700 Club" about remarks reported by The Associated Press and other media outlets.
"I said our special forces should 'take him out.' 'Take him out' could be a number of things... there's a lovely Red Lobster restaurant near my offices, and I'd be honored if President Chavez would be my guest. Not as a date, of course, just as friends."
"There are a number of ways of taking out a dictator from power besides killing him. I was misinterpreted by the AP, but that happens all the time. Still, no one seemed to get their panties in a bunch when we sic'd that hooker on Swaggart. It's a double standard."
But a video of Monday's telecast shows that Robertson's exact words were: "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."
He continued: "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with. How could you possibly misinterpret what I'm saying as advocating an illegal act of war on a sovereign nation?"
Here are a few other comments Robertson feels the media twisted:
"The Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would the people in America want to embrace the religion of slavers?"
"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different...More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."
"When lawlessness is abroad in the land, the same thing will happen here that happened in Nazi Germany. Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals – the two things seem to go together."
"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."
"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist."
"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period."
"[Homosexuals] want to come into churches and disrupt church services and throw blood all around and try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of ministers."
"[Planned Parenthood] is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism – everything that the Bible condemns."
When the AP called Robertson on Tuesday for elaboration, spokeswoman Angell Watts said Robertson would not do interviews and had no statement about his remarks. On Wednesday, Watts did not respond to two telephone messages, three pages and a fax seeking further comment.
On Tuesday, the State Department called Robertson's remarks "wack."
Also in this series...