Focus on the Family today cheered columnist Mark Joseph’s ultimatum to U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Joseph told McCain in an open letter:

Fire up the Straight Talk Express or whatever it’s called and get your tail to Colorado Springs,” he writes. “Evangelicals don’t have popes; they have leaders with names like (Dr.) Dobson, (Chuck) Colson, (Rick) Warren, (Billy) Graham and (Albert) Mohler. Unless you have a death wish, suck it up, fly to Colorado Springs.

Let me be blunt with you: If you don’t do this, you will lose the election. It’s just that simple.

Those words could not have been said more bluntly if they had come directly from the Man himself, Focus chairman James Dobson. Instead, Focus responded with a verbose statement whose tone begins as false gentility and rapidly inflates with megalomania:

Tom Minnery, senior vice president for government and public policy at Focus on the Family Action, said: “Dr. Dobson would gladly open his door to either candidate for a discussion of issues vital to the family.”

While the mainstream media see Dr. Dobson as a “typical televangelist,” Joseph tells CitizenLink he has “always understood Dr. Dobson’s role and influence to be far larger.

“Many moms listen to his show as they car pool their kids around or run errands,” he told CitizenLink. “They trust him on issues of childrearing and want to hear his opinion on other issues, as well.”

Minnery said Joseph accurately describes Dr. Dobson’ influence with millions of American voters. “It’ a deposit of trust built up over 30 years,” he said.

Joseph’s open letter to McCain was paired at with Joseph’s open letter to Democrat Barack Obama.

Clearly preoccupied with McCain, Focus on the Family had nothing to say today about Joseph’s positive remarks about Obama’s liberal, pro-American, and Christian values.