Senator Obama (D-IL) released the following statement Thursday morning.

“America’ top doctor should be a doctor for all Americans, and so I have serious reservations about nominating someone who would inject his own anti-gay ideology into critical decisions about the health and well-being of our nation.”

“As with other nominees, I will listen to the testimony of Dr. James Holsinger, but this Administration must know that the United States Surgeon General’ office is no place for bigotry or ideology that would trump sound science and good judgment,” Obama’s statement continued.


On the website of ABC News, former presidential advisor David Gergen said that the nomination of James W. Holsinger for Surgeon General will lead to a confirmation fight that the embattled President should have avoided. He also raised the question of whether Bush puts ideology and loyalty over competence in choosing nominees.

“A confirmation fight is exactly what the administration does not need,” said David Gergen, a former adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, who predicted the paper would cause a “minor storm” among Democrats on Capitol Hill. “You have to wonder given the quality of some of the nominations that have gone forward recently, whether the selection group in the White House has gone on vacation,” Gergen said. “There has been a growing criticism the administration favoring ideology over competence, and this nomination smacks of that.”



Holly Babin, a spokeswoman for the Department of Heath and Human Services — the agency that will take the lead on trying to achieve Holsinger’s confirmation — insisted that the paper was by no means reflective of Holsinger’s thinking.

“That paper was a survey of scientific peer-reviewed studies that he was asked to compile by the United Methodist Church, it’s not that he was saying ‘this is what I believe,'” Babin said. “It’s a reflection of the available scientific data from the 1980s. It should be noted that in 1991, homosexuals were banned from the military and several years before that, homosexuality and Haitian nationality were considered risk factors for HIV/AIDS. Over the last 20 years, a clearer understanding of these issues has been achieved.”

Asked about medical experts who disputed that Holsinger’s paper expressed opinions timely in 1991 and pressed to explain what Holsinger’s views on homosexuality are currently , Babin said, “we look forward to the confirmation process, where we can share Dr. Holsinger’s qualifications and views.”


“Momentum against this offensive nominee is rapidly expanding and will only grow as Americans lean more about Holsinger’s reprehensible record,” said Truth Wins Out spokesperson Rev. Jerry Stephenson. “Holsinger’s unprofessional use of his medical credentials to back his religious based bigotry as a church official makes him unfit to serve,” said Truth Wins Out spokesperson Rev. Jerry Stephenson.