American Family Association founder endorses Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich secured a major endorsement from the social conservative community Tuesday with a nod from Mississippi-based Rev. Donald E. Wildmon, founder and chairman of American Family Association.

Wildmon, who will travel to Iowa over the next few weeks to campaign with Gingrich, pointed to the candidate's aggressive focus on the judiciary, as the primary reason for supporting him,

"Newt Gingrich recognizes the threat to our country posed by judges and lawyers imposing values upon the country inconsistent with our religious heritage, and has proposed constitutional steps to bring the courts back in balance under the constitution," Wildmon said in a statement. "We need someone in the White House who can balance the budget and get the economy moving again. Newt has done it before and I believe he can do it again."

Gingrich has assailed the judicial branch on the campaign trail, arguing that judges who make decisions out of step with public opinion should face the possibility of impeachment.

Gingrich accepted Wildom's endorsement, calling him "one of the most important leaders in the country in the battle to uphold our founding principles."

However, Wildmon's group has generated its share of controversy early in the 2012 campaign. Bryan Fischer, the organization's current director, said recently he believes that non-Christians should not be protected by the Constitution, and that includes Mormons, the religion of Gingrich's opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. In a speech at the Values Voters Summit this fall in Washington, D.C., Romney condemned Fischer for using what he called "poisonous language."

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