EXCLUSIVE: Rick Warren Won't Endorse Marco Rubio Despite Joining His Advisory Board

Rick Warren
Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren participates in a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 26, 2008. |

Despite the recent announcement that Rick Warren has joined an advisory board for Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, the Southern California megachurch pastor and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life says he'll never endorse a political candidate — and he's not endorsing Rubio.

The Christian Examiner, a sister publication of The Christian Post, reported on Thursday that Warren had joined a number of prominent evangelicals on a religious liberty advisory board for Rubio, but his action should not be taken as an endorsement, he says.

"It is public knowledge that I never have endorsed a political candidate and never intend to," said Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, in an exclusive comment to the Christian Examiner. "It is not my job as a pastor to endorse candidates. But I do offer private counsel and perspective to any candidate who asks for it. I have done this with many candidates in the past. In this election cycle, I know most of the candidates on both sides who are running for president, and many have been friends for years, but they all know that I never endorse."

Though Warren has counseled, advised and developed relationships with political figures across the political spectrum—and spoken out on a number of specific political issues, he has avoided taking sides in elections. He famously talks about being neither "left-wing or right-wing" but instead being for the "whole bird."

In 2008 both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates participated in a nationally televised public forum at Saddleback Church where Warren asked both of them questions about their spiritual backgrounds, abortion, the definition of marriage, education and a myriad of other issues. The following January ...


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