Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign announced last week that its operation in Alabama would be chaired by state Rep. Will Ainsworth and former state Republican Party chairman Bill Armistead, according to AL.com.
The choice of Armistead and Ainsworth is slightly surprising from a candidate who is trying to position himself in contrast to some of his more far-right competitors in the GOP race.
We first encountered Armistead in the lead-up to the 2012 election, when he urged an audience to watch the insane birther film “Dreams From My Real Father,” which posits that President Obama has been hiding the fact that his real father was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis, who groomed him from birth to stage a communist takeover of America. “This is absolutely frightening,” Armistead told the audience. “I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it. People can determine.”
Armistead is also apparently a fan of the work of another anti-Obama conspiracy theorist, Wayne Allyn Root, once distributing to the state party’s email list a column by Root alleging that the president is a clinically diagnosable sociopath.
Armistead is not a fan of LGBT rights, either, writing on the state party’s website earlier this year that Alabama risked inviting "God’s wrath" if it accepted marriage equality:
So, how is it that God’s truth can be turned on its head as the debate now rages in Alabama regarding the meaning of marriage? The answer is that we, as a society, have become our own god. We have made God in our image. But, God will not be mocked. The State of Alabama and the United States of America will reap God’s wrath if we embrace and condone things that are abhorrent to God, such as redefining marriage as anything other than a union between one man and one woman.
Ainsworth, the Rubio campaign’s other Alabama co-chair, takes a similar view of marriage equality. In February, he urged a probate judge in his district to defy a lower federal court ruling requiring the state to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, saying that officials should follow “God’s law, not the unconstitutional and immoral law being manufactured by liberal activists”:
"The probate judge in Marshall County, who is a Democrat, must not capitulate to the ungodly and immoral attacks on traditional marriage," he continued. "If I were in his shoes, I would stand strong and hold my ground in defense of God's law, not the unconstitutional and immoral law being manufactured by liberal activists."
"Marriage can exist only between a man and a woman because it is an institution created and ordained by God, and it is the analogy he used for salvation," Ainsworth said. "Every society that has allowed the marriage covenant to be destroyed has withered away and vanished. I do not believe we should hate homosexuals because every person should be treated with love and respect, but something that is immoral does not become moral simply because an activist judge decided it is legal."
Ainsworth commented on many new writer and politicians saying Alabama needs to avoid "being on the wrong side of history" in trying to prevent gay marriage.
"If the choice is between being on the wrong side of a distorted, immoral, liberal perception of history, or violating God's laws, teachings, and biblical admonitions, I will happily disappoint the liberals every time," Ainsworth said. "During the campaign, my signs carried the slogan 'Fight Obama,' and, make no mistake, the gay rights agenda is the bedrock of Obama's agenda. I will use the upcoming session to look for every legislative remedy and tool that can be used to protect our traditional, conservative Alabama values, and I will continue the fight even after others have surrendered."
After the Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage bans nationwide, Ainsworth said, “God has told us that marriage exists only between a man and a woman, and His ruling supersedes any ruling by nine appointed judges.”