The Iowa caucuses bring many celebrities to the state to rally last-minute support for candidates, and this weekend, Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson was the latest to make the trek to support Republican Ted Cruz. Introducing the competitive candidate at a rally Sunday, the reality show patriarch not only attacked marriage equality as “evil,” but suggested that its supporters needed to be literally obliterated.
“Don’t you understand that when a fellow like me looks at the landscape and sees the depravity, the perversion — redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman? Come on Iowa! It’s nonsense. It is evil. It’s wicked,” Robertson told the crowd.
“It’s sinful. They want us to swallow it, you say. We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them. Get them out of there. Ted Cruz loves God.”
When Cruz appeared on stage, he reflected praise back at Robertson. “What an extraordinary human being,” the candidate said, claiming that “God makes every one of us unique, but some are uniquer than others.”
“What a voice Phil has to speak out for the love of Jesus,” Cruz added. “What a joyful, cheerful, unapologetic voice of truth Phil Robertson is.”
Cruz did not specifically address Robertson’s suggestion that “we have to rid the earth” of all marriage equality proponents.
Robertson has previously come under attack for his anti-LGBT remarks. His views first came to light in a GQ interview in December of 2013, in which he called homosexuality a sin, adding, “sin is deceitful, harmful, and degrading to the human soul.”
These comments prompted a protest against A&E for continuing to provide a platform to the Robertson family through Duck Dynasty. At the time, Cruz came to Robertson’s defense, accusing the mainstream media of behaving “as the thought police censoring the views with which they disagree.” He believed it was simply a matter of free speech.
A few weeks later, Robertson added that of the many sinful acts, “Sexual immorality is number one on the list,” but that “Jesus will take sins away, if you’re a homosexual he’ll take it away, if you’re an adulterer, if you’re a liar, what’s the difference?”
In another interview in 2014, Robertson claimed that sexual diseases are God’s punishment for sexual immorality. “Do you think it’s a coincidence that all of these debilitating — literally that can cause death — diseases follow that kind of conduct?” he offered to the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. “A clean guy — a disease-free guy and a disease-free woman — they marry and they keep their sex between the two of them. They’re not going to get chlamydia, and gonorrhea, and syphilis, and AIDS. It’s safe. Either it’s the wildest coincidence ever that horrible diseases follow immoral conduct, or, it’s God saying, ‘There’s a penalty for that kind of conduct.’ I’m leaning towards there’s a penalty for it.”
Robertson endorsed Cruz earlier this month in an ad published on the Cruz campaign’s official YouTube channel:
Cruz gladly accepted the endorsement, saying, “I am thrilled to have Phil’s support for our campaign. The Robertsons are a strong family of great Christian faith and conservative values.”