Tony Perkins on DNC Platform: ‘I Can Recall Another Time in History Where Someone Denied God 3 Times’

By Elizabeth Harrington | September 11, 2012 | 5:59 PM EDT

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. (AP photo)

( – Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “I can recall another time in history where someone denied God three times,” in reference to the contested floor vote to put God back into the party platform at the Democratic National Convention last week.

“I was talking to the [Romney] campaign last week, I think they saw -- as did the Democrats -- that it was a huge, huge mistake that they made in failing to acknowledge God,” Perkins said during a bloggers briefing at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.

“And go back and they amend their platform, an oblique reference to God, ‘God given abilities,’ and even then it’s -- they had to do it three times,” he said.  “And I was talking to a friend of mine who is a delegate there who said not only did they not reach the two-thirds threshold, there were more people saying no than yea.  And I think it’s of significance that the chairman had to do it three times.”

“I can recall another time in history where someone denied God three times,” Perkins said, referring to the apostle Peter who denied Jesus three times in the New Testament of the Bible.

In the Gospel of John (13:37-38), it reads: "Peter asked, 'Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you?' Then Jesus answered, 'Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!'"

Controversy erupted last week when it was discovered that the Democratic Party platform, unlike previous years, made no reference either to God or to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Amidst criticism, the delegates then held a floor vote last Wednesday, requiring a two-thirds majority to amend the platform to include the phrase, “[W]e need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people and gives everyone wiling to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

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Due to loud jeers, the vote had to be taken three times before the chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, declared the amendment to be adopted, even though it was unclear if either side had a majority.

Perkins said the floor vote and the convention as a whole was a call to the Democrat base.

“When I just happened to scan across it on TV I thought I was watching the Planned Parenthood annual rally,” he said.

“Yesterday, I was on CNN, I was talking about it, they said, ‘Well, the issue of God, Jerusalem, that was just an oversight.’  Oh really?” Perkins said.  “I didn’t hear anybody two days into the meeting say, ‘Oh, Mr. President we forgot to mention that we’re for unlimited taxpayer funding of abortion, we forgot to put that in our platform.’  No, it was prominent.  It was mentioned multiple times.”

“They didn’t say, ‘Oh, Mr. President we forgot to mention that we’re for redefining marriage,’” he said.  “No, that was mentioned multiple times.”

Perkins continued:  “I was talking to a Democratic city councilman who was a delegate and he said he was shocked, as was many delegates who were there -- and this wasn’t just in the primetime speeches -- but what he told me was the speeches that didn’t even get on TV were even more outlandish than what we saw paraded across the set during primetime, that they had just gone so far to the Left to reach their base that they’ve left a lot of the Democratic Party behind.”

“And I think there’s something to be gained in our understanding of -- I think it’s obvious -- what they’re running,” he said.  “The president is running a base campaign.”

“Republicans need to understand that,” Perkins added.  “This will be a base election.  You have to have your base completely engaged and energized and they’ll be pulling the others into that vortex of voting and participating.”