Despite his controversial remarks this week tying Haiti’s devastating earthquake to the country’s “pact to the devil,” televangelist Pat Robertson still attended Bob McDonnell’s gubernatorial inauguration prayer breakfast today. McDonnell, who was sworn in as Virginia’s new Republican governor today, attended law school at Robertson’s Regent University and took some heat on the campaign trail over his graduate thesis. Although Robertson went to McDonnell’s prayer breakfast this morning, he was not given the honor of sitting behind the governor on the podium during the actual ceremony:
However, according to McDonnell’s aides, Robertson has not been given the honor of an invitation to sit behind McDonnell on the portico of the Capitol during the swearing-in. Despite McDonnell’s long time friendship with the Virginia Beach televanglist, this marks a departure from the Inauguration of Virginia’s last Republican governor, when Robertson was seated not far behind incoming Gov. Jim Gilmore. He also attended the inauguration of Gov. George Allen in 1994.
The Washington Post notes that at the prayer breakfast, “a line of well-wishers formed to have a few words or a picture taken with Robertson. Asked whether he regretted his remarks about Haiti, Robertson flung up his hands and replied: ‘This is Bob’s day! I’m talking about Bob McDonnell today!‘”
McDonnell has said that he disagrees with Robertson’s comments on Haiti.